There is no secret, Penang is foodie heaven, and you should visit it at least once in your lifetime. We are regular visitors there, and every time we are there, something new makes us happy. This time, it is not Nyonya cuisine, but a delicious afternoon tea. We stopped at Macalister Mansion to enjoy their high tea, which is now officially on our “The best afternoon tea in Penang” list. Make sure this sweet treat is suitable for you, and continue reading our Macalister Mansion High Tea Review.
About Macalister Mansion
Macalister Mansion is a unique historical property furnished playfully, a style that expands into the experience when you walk through the whole Macalister Mansion. The mansion is a boutique hotel with only 6 rooms. Each room has a totally different design. A constant change that affects the mood and lets the spirit be free.
Welcome to the Macalister Mansion’s very uplifting Living Room. Here you’ll find dominating clean look spiced up with Peranakan charm. To be honest, lightness is the element that feels the most at home. I believe it catches the idea of a light breeze, even though the AC was set for winter cold when we were there. That is why Ian and I sat next to the window for some warmth and of course, lovely light.
TWG Tea Selection at the Living Room
At the Macalister Mansion High Tea, we got to choose from the TWG, high-quality tea brand. For our afternoon tea at the Macalister Mansion, I went for Oriental Empire tea, while Ian couldn’t resist acold latte. Both were great, but I missed the teapot next to my single teacup.
Extra tea would make me much happier because I loved a mixture of tart citruses with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Aftertaste of the Oriental Empire tea is based on the black tea and the partially oxidized blue oolong tea.
Oxidation is a process that defines tea type through the visible color changes in the tea leaves. Once the tea leaves become dark, the black tea comes out tastier than ever. That is because oxidation affects the looks, taste, and aroma of the tea leaves. More prolonged oxidation changes the tea leaves also in their structure, leading to the unique antioxidants known as the theaflavins. That is why Oolong tea is a great middle that comes with the health benefits of both green and black tea.
Scones at the Macalister Mansion
Both of us got miniature raisin scones accompanied with homemade strawberry jam and butter. This two-bite-scones tasted good, even though they were kind of floury. To me, the best part was the big, soft raisins. Also, the fact that we only started our afternoon tea at the Living Room didn’t hurt. On the second thought, it is more accurate to call it high tea.
Is It High Tea od Afternoon Tea?
That is historically a more casual supper with heavier dishes. Just the opposite of the afternoon tea, where the strict tea etiquette deals with swanky titbits. Now that traditional rules aren’t so strict, we can often see the two intertwined. Surely Macalister Mansion is the perfect place for bending the rules and keeping the enjoyable feast instagrammable.
Macalister Mansion High Tea Savories
High Tea Appetizers
The most luxurious dish on the wooden tray, in my view, is the croissant with smoked salmon. Both components melted in my mouth and flourished, right next to the fresh salad leaf. Yes, only three ingredients and I buzz luxury. Why? Because croissants are a delicacy on their own.
Not only they reap butter’s finest transformation, but making them from scratch is an art by itself. I can still remember the ones we had at Le Normandie, two Michelin star restaurant in Bangkok. Then in the middle of croissant, the smoked salmon takes the flavors to the next level. Chip in some fresh lettuce and crunch away.
Before biting into the crab meat croquette, my teeth meet the firmly fried crust. Then the bite unravels the juicy middle seasoned with the salted egg. Not only is salted egg a tasty part of local cuisine but also the perfect addition to gentle crab.
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High Tea Main Dishes
The corn soup is a fine marriage between the cream, pleasing corn sweetness, and freshness coming from basil. Definitely a mouthwatering spoonful and my favorite kind of corn soup.
Mashed potato with chicken sauce sparked joy. Marie Kondo in me wants to keep the juicy chicken in creamy mushroom sauce forever. Especially the large chunks of wild mushrooms. I love the triple portion of umami! All the stars; chicken, milk, and mushrooms are rich in umami.
Old good bacon quiche is always a delicious bite for us, carnivores. Here smoked bacon was dressed up in balsamic vinaigrette and accompanied by rocket salad. All three are intensely flavorful inside the crisp baked filo pastry cup.
Sweets at Macalister Mansion’s Living Room
Four delicious European classics took our tea time to the sweet finish.
Muffin can be considered as an easy yet comforting treat that never gets old. The same goes for the salted caramel, which is totally addictive and absolutely moreish. A filled muffin with salted caramel surely is a combination that screams of simple pleasures and cravings for more.
Super soft dough of chocolate chip financier absorbs the melting dark chocolate beautifully. At first, the sweet vanilla leads the way, but before you know it, the chocolate takes the lead. Delicious from start to finish!
Coffee lovers, you’ll love your fresh brew with this juicy Opera cake. Mostly because it holds a decent amount of coffee in a compact pastry. It sure made Ian lick his fingers! Not surprisingly, as two of his favorites, chocolate and coffee are combined in it.
Fresh blueberry and strawberry in delicate French macaron pitched in enough juice to bring firm meringue closer to the filling. Perhaps the secret is more oriented towards the sugar reduction than the extra liquid. Nevertheless, the important thing is that the whole “cookie” was enjoyable.
With quickly explaining “out of the box” interior design of the Macalister Mansion in the lines above, I must confess that I expected a bit more from their afternoon tea set. It just didn’t blow my mind as the whole Mansion did, and then there is this notorious Penang’s gourmet reputation. However, I must admit that the prepared food did soothe my cravings for western flavors well. On the same note, the presentation is perfect. There is only a shortage of impeccable flavors, which certainly is not a reason to miss this one. Warmly recommended!
Macalister Mansion High Tea Review Card
- ATMOSPHERE – 9.1/109.1/10
- SERVICE – 9.5/109.5/10
- TEA SELECTION – 9.2/109.2/10
- PRESENTATION – 9.4/109.4/10
- BITES – 8.9/108.9/10
- VALUE – 9.8/109.8/10
Price and Location
High tea at Macalister Mansion’s Living Room will cost you about 25 USD for two, which is a bargain. Here is a link to the location for easier navigation. Enjoy!