Honolulu | Afternoon Tea at Moana Surfrider

Tea for two in Honolulu ^_^

It’s not often that afternoon tea comes with a view like this.

We’re at the Veranda of Moana Surfrider and that’s Waikiki Beach on the other side of the balcony. 

Here’s what the tea service looked like in 2010 (so long ago!) and in 2013.

I did both those teas with Kristen…remember her from Alinea? She is the best eating buddy a girl could ask for.

They recently revamped the tea menu. Here are the options:

  • First Lady Tea Service – the basic plus berries/crème fraîche/brown sugar, sparkling rosè, and a sandalwood fan (which does come in handy)
  • Moana Classic Tea Service – the basic plus ginger biscotti and chocolate pot de crème
  • Veranda Tea Service – the basic three tier tea service and lemongrass-green tea sorbet

Six types of teas.

Three are custom blends for the hotel by The Tea Chest: Moana Sunset, Moana Royal, and Veranda Breeze.

The other three include: Jasmine, Darjeeling, and Lemon-Rooibos.

I’m a fan of Veranda Breeze, a velvety blend of black tea with vanilla from the Big Island and caramel.

The new tea sandwiches are their best yet (and I’ve been coming here for 15 years!)

Smoked salmon, cucumber, and chives on white.

Pâté, mango chutney, and cilantro on a warm roll. 

Gougère and prosciutto. 

The raisin scones have been replaced with blueberry scones. Mini versions…

…served with lemon curd and devonshire cream.

Time for another refill. Mom and I like to trades pots halfway through, so I drank Moana Sunset (black tea with mango and ‘ohelo berry) for the second part of tea. 

And then it’s onto the desserts ^_^

The lightest Kona coffee cheesecake…

…followed by mango macarons.

Strawberry mousse…

…and caramel butter cookies.

My favorite? The haupia roll cake!

Hope you brought your appetite because there is more to come!

Fresh berries topped with brown sugar and tons of crème fraîche. I love crème fraîche.

Tea at the Surfrider always (for as long as I can remember) ends with lemongrass-green tea sorbet. 

Till next time ^_^

Hong Kong | Island Shangri-La

Welcome to Island Shangri-La.

We’ve looked at the hotel’s afternoon tea

…and Restaurant Petrus on the top floor. 

Are you ready for a spin around the property?

Let’s start with the rooms…

…where you’ll find Tony (he can be all yours for HK$150 ;) and a copy of Lost Horizon on the nightstand. The hotel was named after the magical and mystical Shangri-La in the novel. I got takeout uni that night and devoured it while reading in bed…

…and drinking tea. Hotels are perfect for quiet time…

…I could hole up in a good property for days (especially when there’s an entire shopping mall downstairs) and never feel the need to leave. 

And this view! Hong Kong is very curious on misty days.

Fitness centers don’t excite me but I love walking and…hotel pools. It feel so decadent to swim while surrounded by buildings in the middle of the city.

56 floors, 531 rooms, and 34 suites…

…and one very fast elevator.

See you next time ^_^

Pierre Hermé Hong Kong

Have you guys been to the new Pierre Hermé in Hong Kong?

I love visiting the 6arr. Paris location for Ispahan croissants in the morning and deux mille-feuilles in the afternoon. The London boutique in Belgravia is such a beauty…

…and now he’s opened two locations in Hong Kong. 

Joanne took me inside the Harbour City boutique (the other is in the IFC).

And we ate a dozen macarons in one sitting. It was delicious. 

My favorite was Jardin Merveilleux with cucumber water, mandarins, and olive oil. 

They don’t do pastries at this location but you can get exclusive Christine Ferber jams (let’s visit her kitchen next time we are back in Alsace!)…

…and a range of teas including an Ispahan blend coupling darjeeling with lychee, raspberry, and rose.

There are even caramels in Ispahan and salted butter…

…and handbags by Barbara Rihl who happens to be Hermé’s wife. 

He also does this spread called Infiniment Praline Noisetté. It’s like Nutella on crack with crushed caramelized hazelnuts folded into a praline spread. I had plans to spread it over toasted brioche or a split croissant…but wound up eating the whole thing with a spoon straight from the jar. 

Till next time ^_^

Hong Kong | Afternoon Tea at Island Shangri-La

Put on your flying shoes…let’s head back to Hong Kong!

It’s time for tea at Island Shangri-La. The Shangri-La serves five types of afternoon tea within the property. Pretty amazing. We ate at Island Gourmet…I’ll be sure to return for the other four ^_^  

Drinking chrysanthemum…

…with plain and golden raisin scones. 

A bit of clotted cream and raspberry jam…

…and then we can get started on the tiers! Crab sandwiches on green tea bread…

…and cream cheese-chive rolls.

Brie and honey on walnut bread…

…and prosciutto and mozzarella on focaccia.

The middle tier! Chocolate and cherry tart…

…followed by a Mont Blanc cake.

A layered vanilla, lilikoi, and chocolate sponge…

…and apples over puff pastry. 

Top tier! Warm brioche stuffed with raspberry jam.

A mini sable breton…

…and custard fruit tart.

Caramel macarons…

…and a strawberry cake enrobed in chocolate ^-^

NYC | Pu’erh Mornings

One of my favorite parts of waking up in the morning is slipping on the bathrobe and walking to the kitchen. I go slow and open the tea cabinet, stretch my arms and wonder, ahhhh what shall I drink today

Recently it’s been this pu’erh from dad (thanks, dad :)

Six grams is just about right…

…for one serving (which you can steep multiple times). 

I love pu’erh in the mornings. It’s all dark and earthy, so masculine. Makes you feel alive!

Pour and wait two minutes. Then it is time to drink ^_^