Review: Sakura Afternoon Tea at the Raffles Singapore

The Sakura Afternoon Tea’s sweets and savouries, alongside the hotel’s signature scones

In a series of immersive Afternoon Tea affairs, Raffles Singapore continues to bring the travel experiences we miss the most to our shores. Just in time for spring, the hotel’s Grand Lobby has been transformed into a cherry blossom sanctuary akin to the scenery that is presently blooming across Japan’s parks and gardens.

A cherry blossom tree sits in the centre of the Grand Lobby

In a two-part extravaganza, guests can enjoy two Sakura Afternoon Tea and Kyoto Afternoon Tea experiences from March to May this year before the gastronomic journey adjourns to another exciting destination.

Offered alongside the signature Classic Afternoon Tea, the Sakura Afternoon Tea invites guests to indulge in a baby pink-trimmed selection of classic Japanese treats, home-baked scones, and unique creations by Executive Pastry Chef Tai Chien Lin.

The Sakura Afternoon Tea table setting amidst the exquisite Grand Lobby

To start with, guests can choose from the venue’s signature menu of Mariage Frères premium tea, custom-blended coffee or handcrafted cocktails. The latter features innovative beverages like Waka Jūsu “Poetic Sip”, a tart and fruity concoction made with Champagne, yuzu, Sangue Morlacco (also known as Luxardo cherry liqueur); ZakuroMirukuhaibōru “Springtime Highball”, a creative blend of malt whiskey, pomegranate, apple, orange, sencha, milk and lemon; and Hanafubuki “Cherry Blossom Blizzard”, a potent elixir of gin, vermouth, sake, cherry blossom and umeboshi. You can also opt for a glass of Billecart-Salmon Champagne in brut or rosé for an additional charge.

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As soon as you’re sipping your drinks and settled in—the ambience at the Grand Lobby is dignified casual—tier runners will serve a three-tier silver stand filled with an array of savouries, sweet treats and patisseries. Though individually petite by design, the selection is more than substantial.

The three savouries were beef sando (meaning “sandwich”) katsu bechamel; surimi (referring to a paste made from fish or meat) sandwiches that looked like tamago with mayo and tobiko egg; and egg sandwiches with grain mustard and butter lettuce. It was hard to pick but my favourite was the beef sando katsu bechamel because the juicy meat packed a tasty punch between the small squared bread.

Photos don’t do justice to the prettiness of the pink patisseries

For the sweets, there were sakura verrine, sakura monaka (shaped like a cherry blossom), matcha rollcakes, sakura strawberry éclairs and Japanese chestnut Mont Blanc tartlets. Naturally, everything was pretty in pink. Perfect for the sweet-toothed, it was evident that the creations were thoughtfully conceived and right on theme.

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Not forgetting the Grand Lobby’s signature scones—served shortly after we’d tucked into the spread—with clotted cream and strawberry rose petal jam. If you’re wondering, Raffles Singapore’s scones are the best, bar none.

No detail is spared to celebrate the springtime festivity

I’d declared at my last Vienna Afternoon Tea experience that high tea at Raffles Singapore is a different kind of tea. This time was no exception. Stay tuned as we continue on the culinary journey to Kyoto, Japan.

Monday to Thursday: 1pm to 5pm
Friday to Sunday: 12pm to 6pm

The Sakura Afternoon Tea (15 March-11 April) and Kyoto Afternoon Tea (12 April-30 May) are priced at $88++ per guest and are offered alongside the signature Classic Afternoon Tea. All thematic afternoon tea reservations have to be made at least one day in advance. The Writers Bar handcrafted cocktails will be served from 5pm daily.

*Sakura Afternoon Tea will be unavailable from 2-4 April, during which Easter Afternoon Tea will be offered.

Polite and professional

Food & Drinks

The luxe factor is:

10 Location
8 Service
7 Dining
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