Siem Reap is a haven for heritage enthusiasts and offers much more than old walls. Equally important, if not more than UNESCO ruins, is the local cuisine. We are sure that the glorious past becomes unforgettable once you combine sight with taste. So why not taste the history with a Khmer afternoon tea set (Khmer stands for Cambodians) at the oldest hotel in Siem Reap? For that very reason, the Raffles Siem Reap Hotel, Grand Hotel d’Angkor is often referred to as ‘La Grande Dame’ of Angkor. Without further ado, let’s dive into the Raffles Siem Reap Afternoon Tea Review.
- Raffles Siem Reap Conservatory Ambiance
- Raffles Siem Reap Tea Menu
- Siem Reap Raffles Afternoon Tea Options
- Sweet Bites
- Final Thought
- Raffles Siem Reap Afternoon Tea Review Card
- Price and Location
Raffles Siem Reap Conservatory Ambiance
Before sitting down, we went around the nostalgic Conservatory at Siem Reap Raffles hotel. We simply had to look at the English colonial design with Cambodian art pieces in its center from up close. While walking around the bright room, we appreciated the antique teakwood furniture and display of silver ornaments. Another welcoming sight was the respectfully obstructed view over the green pool area.
Privacy is essential in every hotel, let alone in one with a long list of famous guests. In places like this, we always imagine sitting at the same spot as some famous/royal butt did.
Raffles Siem Reap Tea Menu
We went through the selection of The 1872 Clipper Tea for our Raffles Siem Reap afternoon tea. This family-run tea brand from Singapore is known to be the countries’ oldest tea producer. Their story begins in 1872 when Sri Lankan immigrant, Balage Porolis De Silva, moved to Singapore. His entrepreneurial spirit broke loose in his shop, filled with jewelry and various wooden art pieces.
We bet you are asking yourself where the tea fits in, and that is just it; in the store. Da Silva served his own Clipper tea to the wealthy Chinese and European customers while they were focusing on the appealing items. Looks like customers liked tea more than the offer.
Clipper is a ship that carried tea chests around the world as quickly as possible to ensure tea’s freshness.
Hand-rolled jasmine scented green tea leaves slowly open when they come in touch with hot water. Despite its charming looks, the taste matters the most and delivers a satisfactory turn on a floral classic. It won us over, with a slightly more grounding effect of the well-known Jasmine touch. Naturally, the subtle sweetness of the tea grown in the Fujian coastal mountains adds to the unique taste.
Taste of Singapore
Thoughtfully tailored tea that suits the Singaporean cultural blend very well, including its harmonious ways. We loved the balance of this black tea blend sweetened with ripe mango and pineapple refreshed with soursop. On account of ginger and black pepper, it reminded us of spicy masala tea, to some degree. Another aspect we loved was its changing taste that evolved with the steeping time. Once it released the bitter notes, we added some milk to it and got jet another spin on flavors.
Siem Reap Raffles Afternoon Tea Options
At the Grand Hotel d’Angkor, one can choose between three options: Raffles Signature High Tea, Raffles Local Khmer Afternoon Tea and Wellness afternoon tea. However, we took the opportunity and tasted Raffles Signature High Tea and Raffles Local Khmer Afternoon Tea. You’ll find a short description of the bites in the lines below to give you an idea of what to expect.
Part of the signature tea are scones and pandan madeleine, which come with homemade jam and clotted cream. For the first time, we had the opportunity to try the caramelized pumpkin scones. Most impressive was the yellow color and crust, while the taste remained on the expected side; firm with a subtle flavor. Besides the color, a more firm texture differentiated it from the traditional scones. Both samples were easily halved before revealing moist dough that was waiting to be topped with incredibly delicious papaya jam seasoned with cinnamon. We couldn’t get enough of it and turned to delightful strawberry jam and silky cream once papaya jam was gone.
Khmer High Tea Savories
We started Raffles Khmer tea set with the less famous twin of Vietnamese Banh Mi, the Cambodian street sandwich known as Num Pang. This miniature version had fresh bread and an explosion of flavors. Sweet and sour notes came from the crunchy pickles and sweet chili sauce. We also got a portion of pork pate, and a tasty cold cut beside a mayo spread in the middle.
Another bite with a famous twin in Vietnam was a fresh spring roll. More specifically, fresh vegetable spring roll with sprouts and peanuts beside the thin rice noodles. The vibrant roll was delicious on its own, but best when dipped in the house-made sauce. Needless to say, the sauce had an intense sweet and sour taste, enriched with the golden fish sauce and crushed peanuts.
Another tasty take on coconut presented the rice pancake with coconut. We liked the pleasantly chewy texture of the pancake and thick coconut milk dip.
Raffles Signature High Tea Savories
Cucumber sandwich with creamy cheese excited us with intense red bread. The color came from the beetroot juice that also provided sweet earthy undertones. They were felt only at the back and were an excellent addition to the crunchy fresh cucumber slice surrounded by the mouthwatering silky cream cheese.
Crispbread tasted almost like grissini and wonderfully accompanied the smoked salmon with fresh tomato and horseradish. Lovely bite!
The last but not least, a very soft brioche tasted slightly sweet with unmissable vanilla seasoning. Both texture and taste-wise, it went perfectly with abundant egg filling.
Raffles Local Khmer Tea Sweets
Five samples of local sweets revealed some similarities to the traditional desserts we had at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok’s Authors Lounge. Especially the yellow bean cake trapped inside the jelly that tasted like mild marzipan. The Thai Luk Chup’s biggest and pleasant difference was added banana that somewhat masked the mushy beans.
Coconut lovers will get a fair taste of it in a few different bites and maybe even some inspiration. The simplest has to be the taro and sago coconut pudding. Sago pearls are a bouncy, fun addition, while starchy taro soaks up the sweetened coconut milk up like a sponge.
Another bouncy bite proved to be the firm coconut dumpling sweetened with palm sugar. It was quite the opposite of the soft glutinous roasted rice cake. We liked the soft texture and caramelized taste, especially when we combined it with concentrated coconut milk. The last bite might be simple, but only if you have the young banana that keeps the firm texture even after the slow-cooking process. This piece was surprisingly firm, with taste expanding from sour to sweet.
Raffles Signature High Tea Sweets
Fresh mango slices shaped as rose flower fitted in the tart cup like a lip-smacking crown. Perfectly ripe mango had all characteristics we wished for, and it got the deserving support from the brittle tart.
Another fruity peak was present on top of the lusciously creamy white chocolate panna cotta. We’re talking about the portion of fresh passion fruit that refreshed every mouthful.
Who thought that the dessert with “nun” in its name would spark a desire for more. Precisely that happened once we tried the Raffles Signature Berry Religieuse. Both choux pastry buns were filled with cream and covered in purple berry glaze. Actually, the name originated in the mid-19th century and has a shape inspired by an obese nun.
A tasty combination of brown dulce de leche in a succulent cheesecake was a great base for the toothsome pecan nuts. It was intense, but not as much as was the celestial opera cake with strong coffee pour over the sponge and buttery cream in between.
Abundant Siem Reap Raffles afternoon tea comes with a few extras that we have to mention. Let’s start with the most luxurious and optional; the glass of Mumm Cordon Rouge Champagne. Needless to say that afternoon tea with such tasty bites is a good enough reason to toast to all good things in life. We toasted to the occasion also with a glass of fresh mango and pineapple juice.
In the Raffles Afternoon Tea Menu, it was listed as the juice of the day and was part of our Raffles Local Khmer High Tea. By the time we reached the platter of seasonal fresh fruit, we were quite full. Still, fresh fruit is always a welcoming sight, especially when it is so graciously displayed.
Did Raffles Siem Reap Afternoon Tea meet our expectations? Yes, and even more than that. Having a high tea in a heritage hotel like this one is unforgettable. All the food was delicious and fresh and the service was typical for Raffles – splendid. We highly recommend trying their afternoon tea options next time you will be in Siem Reap.
However, we will stop here again for sure. Probably you know about our Raffles curse. All the Raffles hotels on our trip were in the transition of renovation, so we hard-hearted skipped them. Next time we will gladly make a hotel review and get deep details. Maybe our next SE Asia tour should be called “The Raffles Tour”
Raffles Siem Reap Afternoon Tea Review Card
- ATMOSPHERE – 9.7/109.7/10
- SERVICE – 9.6/109.6/10
- TEA SELECTION – 9.0/109.0/10
- PRESENTATION – 9.8/109.8/10
- BITES – 9.4/109.4/10
- VALUE – 9.4/109.4/10
Price and Location
Raffles Local Khmer Tea set will cost you 23 USD when for Raffles Signature High Tea set, you will spend 2 dollars more. Here is a link to the location for easier navigation.