Ian and I tried one of the most instagrammable afternoon tea sets in Bangkok. We found it on the 26 floor of the Okura Prestige Bangkok Hotel, at the Up & Above Restaurant and Bar. Besides the adorable dishes, we got a tasty treat which is hiding a meaning. The point is on the seasonal Okura afternoon tea set, but also the standard Okura afternoon tea carries the renown Japanese customs.
Table of contents
- Ambiance of the Up and Above Restaurant and Bar
- Tea Selection at the Up and Above Restaurant and Bar
- Okura Afternoon Tea Sets
- Scones at Okura
- Afternoon Tea Starters at Up and Above Restaurant and Bar
- Sakura Afternoon Tea Savories
- Okura Afternoon Tea Savories
- Sakura Afternoon Tea Sweets
- Okura Afternoon Tea Sweets
- Final Thought
- Okura Afternoon Tea Review Card
- Price and Location
Ambiance of the Up and Above Restaurant and Bar
When the elevator opened its doors, we saw a huge Sakura tree in the full bloom. Right after that, it became clear to us that the tree is actually a part of the Zen garden. Moving forward, we feasted our eyes on the massive art pieces placed all around the lounge. They not only look nice but also stretch the peaceful vibe throughout the Up & Above Restaurant and Bar. That is no small job for such a vast space! For that reason, the dark and soothing colors dominate the area. Although many large windows make this place tranquil all day dining place with a city view.
Tea Selection at the Up and Above Restaurant and Bar
For the Sakura afternoon tea, we got to choose from the Mariage Freres tea. This unique French tea brand is responsible for the French art of tea and an important part of French gastronomy.
Since the late 17th century the Freres family sparked their interest in tea. That is way before they opened their first tea shop in Paris in 1843. More than a decade later, in 1954, the Mariage Freres gourmet tea company was established. Obviously, the research lasted more than one generation, while the successful business keeps on flourishing for more than 175 years.
The first tea choice for the sakura blossom afternoon tea at Up & Above bar was evident even before I reached the end of the afternoon tea menu. We had to have a cup of the cherry blossom tea known as Sakura, Sakura by Mariage Freres. Its sweet notes are as delicate as the Japanese sakura blossoms. This scented green tea is a sensual combination with sweet nectar indications. I liked the fact that after longer steeping time it became more serious.
The Vert Fuji Yama
Our second pick for the Okura afternoon tea came from a very special place in Japan, it grew close to the sacred Mount Fuji. This pure green tea nourishes the body with light hay, spinach, and asparagus notes. Later, after a few minutes of steeping, it got gentle astringency that cleaned the pallet.
Okura Afternoon Tea Sets
At Okura Prestige Hotel, Bangkok afternoon tea changes with the seasons. This time we were lucky and got a taste of seasonal Sakura, Sakura! High tea, which cherishes a majestic sakura cherry blossom. On the other hand, we were eager to try out their standard high tea, called Okura afternoon tea.
When we were at the Up and Above restaurant bar, we had a taste of the Sakura high tea and the Japanese standard Okura high tea. In both sets, the beautiful serving box protected the high tea savories so well that even the bread retained its softness after we were done with the photo shoot. No matter what we tried, everything was really fresh and well designed, not to mention very tasty.
At Okura Prestige Bangkok, they change afternoon tea sets seasonally. We came at Cherry Blossom Season, while now is Lavender Season, which sounds tempting.
Scones at Okura
Every season affects the Okura Prestige Bangkok scones in its own way. For the Sakura season, we got ours garnished with the pickled Sakura blossom. Besides the beautiful decoration, it also added some flavor to it. Perhaps the pink color was most noticeable addition. Along with the sweetness, it set the scones straight to the Sakura theme.
When it comes to taste and texture, I must say I liked it, even though they weren't the traditional kind. Regardless of the scones style, they went well with the silky clothed cream and sweet jam. If the jam had been home-made it would have been even better. Honestly, I couldn't stop thinking of Sakura cherry blossom jam. That would be »a dream come true!«
Afternoon Tea Starters at Up and Above Restaurant and Bar
I often find myself wishing to begin the afternoon tea set with its sweet side and sometimes I do it. This time I went "by the book" and started with the peach sorbet. Lucky me! I loved its cooling freshness with a lovely counterbalance in the form of the fine vanilla crumble.
After my sweet tooth got content, I was ready for the poached egg with potato espuma. For such gentle stars, the truffle oil and pesto were spot on. All I needed for boosting the flavor of this warm cloud was to stir it a little and dig in.
Sakura Afternoon Tea Savories
Savories at the Sakura afternoon tea set at the Up & Above bar followed the English tea tradition. The tea sandwiches included ham, egg, and cucumber fillings all moist and tasty. I liked the abundant fillings with multiple textures. To me, the most adorable was the shrimp and apple choux pastry which tasted even better than it seemed.
Okura Afternoon Tea Savories
Exquisite Japanese afternoon tea set spoiled us with the sophisticated bites. After our Nobu afternoon tea in Kuala Lumpur, I can't resist getting to know more of the Japanese cuisine. At Okura Prestige Bangkok, I loved every single bite. All four savories were fresh, full of flavor, and fabulous looking.
My favorite was the marinated tiger prawn with chilled Dashi adding a splash of the sea to the taste. This ultimate Japanese broth got an upgrade with the Shinmeji mushrooms and pea sprout for more flavor and texture. All of which come together in a bouquet of clean flavors where each ingredient played its part.
In fact, the same philosophy was present in the second bite. In this case, the king crab became even juicier with the help of the Japanese melon. At the same time, the spicy tobiko mayonnaise added the pleasing warmth at the end. Talking about Japanese melon, we still can’t forget the one from Le Normandie lunch. Thank you, Japan and skillful chefs!
Sakura Afternoon Tea Sweets
"That is so cute!" I kept saying when I saw our cherry blossom afternoon tea set. Even Ian had the "kawaii" (the Japanese word for cuteness) in mind, and the pink is not even his favorite color. Nevertheless, Sakura blossom is all about the pink color and celebrating life. To put it differently, it is about the spring, which brings along fragrant and subtle flavors.
Sakura chocolate praline certainly captured the essence of Japanese Sakura celebrations. Firstly it got the pickled sakura blossom on top plus it puts in mind the transience. Time passes the same as the chocolate melts away and in the end, it becomes a memory. A sweet memory cloaked in white chocolate and refreshed by juzu (Japanese citrus).
Also, the subtle sakura mont blanc carried out the lightness of the spring. The layered chiffon cake resulted in an airy cloud filled with strawberry cream and potent sakura scent. Delicious, bite!
Additionally, the shiny lychee and peach cheesecake might be described as the spring in the full bloom. It comes down to the intense lychee aroma and delicate peach jelly filling in the middle, making it a divine bite.
There is more of cute deliciousness like the choux cream cherry blossom or the cherry blossom macaron. But the white peach and lychee verine deserve a special mention. I really can't be quiet about the silky pannacotta topped with fruit puree. It was so fragrant and light!
- The white peach and lychee verine is full of light, fragrant flavors.
- Sakura chocolate praline combined the sweet and refreshingly sour notes of juzu combined with the pickled sakura blossom and white chocolate.
Okura Afternoon Tea Sweets
Distinctly Japanese desserts included the green tea daifuku and matcha chocolate praline besides the sakura macaron. First I want to stop at the daifuku which is basically filled mochi. In our case, this glutinous rice cake was filled with the bean paste that could taste something like dark chocolate. Well, not really, but definitely comforting enough and slightly sweet. It was great with the matcha powder coating! A pleasantly chewy farewell before finishing the tea time with the refined matcha praline. Could it be any better?
The seasonal change on the menu is one reason to return to the Okura Prestige Bangkok for the new afternoon tea set. Yet the permanent Okura afternoon delight is in my eyes a tempting alternative worthy of tasting at any time of the year. I know that Bangkok isn't known for the seasonal changes, but it is a cosmopolitan metropole with the real sense of the world.
That is why it feels right to have a taste of more traditional Japanese morsels or the edible spring interpretations. The sakura afternoon tea got me a little nostalgic for the perfect springtime, somewhere in the past when the climate wasn't that broken as it is now.
All things considered, Okura afternoon tea is a star among Bangkok's afternoon tea offer and it's a must for all foodies wandering in this metropolitan city.
Price and Location
Each set for two people will cost you about 50 USD, which is a great value. Here is a link to a location for easy navigation. Enjoy!
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