February 13, 2013

TWG Tea Restaurant Review


TWG is a paradox. A Singaporean company perpetuating British colonial aesthetics, offering silver service and high tea in a conventional mall that is neither completely tea boutique nor tea salon. In other words: exclusivity amongst the small folk; European tradition rooted Asia, that’s not quite a shop and not quite a restau.

What a delicious product for sociological theorists to sip on.


 But put your pen away professor, because whatever cultural contradictions exist, there’s no denying that TWG is scrumptious. As Singapore staple that’s all over the little island state, TWG fascinates. It’s not the gold-colored and wood-paneled decor, nor the Anglo maitre’d they’ve put out on the floor. It’s the smell of tea that draws you in, holds you and stops you from walking out when the place is full and your stomach is empty.
From vanilla infused Earl Grey to fruity and exotic blends, TWG has it covered on a mutli-page menu that reads like a well-curated wine list to delight the novice and tea connoisseur alike. There’s a bit of performance in the brassy tea pots and with the faithful high tea, but it never trespasses into the realm of the kitsch (for now).




Whilst you could well spend the entire visit sampling tea after tea; the food is a welcome complement to the food, rather than a hasty afterthought. Whilst elaborately described, the Eggs Benedict, Wagyu Burger and Red Wine stews are actually just well constructed international dishes of the garden variety. With grand plating and an attention to detail, the tea gastronomy is very pleasing and a nice change of pace from the faux-western fare that gets thrown around at Greenbelt.
The real treat is the high tea, with authentic scones and dainty sandwiches and scrumptiously crisp macarons, featuring flavors like Moroccan Mint and Black Tea Blackcurrant that are indulgent.

So ignore the sociological implications and get your pot of tea, box of macarons and slather up a scone or two with clotted cream and strawberry jam, because, there’s no-one that does tea and pastries quite like TWG does.
Line up for Valentine’s Day or standby for more branches opening across Manila.

What: TWG Tea
Where: Greenbelt 5, Makati, Philippines
According to their Facebook page:

AboutTWG Tea is the finest luxury tea brand in the world. Specializing in whole-leaf teas from source estates, TWG Tea offers the largest tea list in the world, over 800 different single-estate harvests and exclusive blends from every tea producing country.

Company OverviewTWG Tea, the finest luxury tea brand in the world, was founded in Singapore. Specializing in whole-leaf teas directly from the source estates, TWG Tea offers the largest tea list in the world, with over 800 different single-estate, fine harvests and exclusive blends from every tea producing country. Like a haute couture fashion designer, TWG Tea understands the evolving tastes of the modern tea drinker and develops special varieties created in collaboration with the world's most renowned estates. A veritable tea institution, TWG Tea is passionate about sharing its expertise and has become a point of reference for tea lovers thirsty for knowledge.

A symbol of taste and refinement, TWG Tea creates signature modern tea accessories as well as tea patisseries and other infused tea delicacies. TWG Tea is constantly shaping the aesthetic image underpinning all of their products and gourmet foodstuffs, updating and innovating even as they respect the Asian and European traditions of elegance and beauty on which the brand is based, now spiced with a touch of sensuality and originality.



Pros:
-Excellent tea - a veritable smorgasbord of blends, flavors and complexity - twists on classics and some quirky originals
-Good service - staff handle issues well, and are polite, but not cloyingly so, in a Victorian, austere kind of manner. The rare issue is handled extremely well.
-A faithful high tea and a decent selection of international food, from Wagyu burgers to French stews.
-Addictive tea-infused macarons and chocolate
-Perfect for gifts and packaging

Cons:
-No reservations and wait lists stain the class as people line up to tussle over tables.
-A small space just compounds that
-The serving size to price ratio can be off-putting
-Time restricted menus? (Some dishes only available on certain days) This isn’t the 90s!
-Flavor of the month with the dodgy hipster and housewife crowd, so if you think the gold decor wards off evil spirits, you’d be wrong - it’s currently acting as a magnet.

Happy Valentine's Day!
x
Mark and Millie
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Listening to: Big Jet Plane by Angus and Julia Stone
       Loving: Shinjuku, Roponggi, Odaiba
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