“TWG Tea, the finest luxury tea brand in the world, welcomes you to its Boutique and Tea Salon at the The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. With over 800 of the world’s greatest single estate teas and exclusive blends, TWG Tea offers a luxurious and trend setting variety of tea accessories and exclusive gift sets. TWG Tea also houses an exquisite and intimate tea salon, with breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner selections served with tea cocktails, fruit juices and sparkling wines. Indulge in handmade French tea infused cakes, patisseries and tea pastries at the TWG Tea take away counter, all prepared fresh daily.” – Marina Bay Sands Official Website
Picture this. We’re walking around The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and we’re thinking “how the heck do people afford anything in this entire shopping complex?”. Everywhere we turn: VERSACE, Burberry, Dior, Emporio Armani, CHANEL, BVLGARI, Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Gucci, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Victoria’s Secret, and every single watch boutique you can dream of, not to mention a fair few ridiculously expensive and imposing restaurants.
I would now like to quote Neil Humphreys, who accurately describes The Shoppes in his cheeky book, Return to a Sexy Island (Notes from a New Singapore), “I decided to play a game: find a shop I could afford. I made it harder for myself by sticking to the higher levels. The layout of The Shoppes was not unlike that of the Titanic, with the lower levels being more financially accessible.” Indeed, the lower you go, the more affordable things get. The same is true for a lot of malls in Singapore such as Paragon, Takashimaya and ION Orchard.
Moving along. We decided to stop at TWG Tea for a quick snack. Alright, we were starving and weren’t quite committed to spending $600 at a celebrity chef steakhouse. The TWG Tea Salons are well-known for their inventive and contemporary tea-infused savoury dishes and their fresh, handmade pastries are crafted daily by Executive Pastry Chef Philippe Langlois. Their Tea Boutiques boast a wide variety of over 800 different teas from all over the world. Fancy some Red Chocolate Tea? How about some Gyokuro Samurai Tea? They’ve got them all.
When ordering from their extensive menu, you’ll see that their teas are fairly expensive, especially for the amount you get, but the food is surprisingly decently priced. With such novel selections, you’d think the price of the food would be much steeper.
You don’t really get places like this on the Gold Coast, and since the entire island of Singapore is decked out with beautiful, fancy cafés like this one, we decided to treat ourselves just this once to whatever we wanted on the menu. For me, this meant a special selection of 8 tea-infused macarons and a bright pink-red scoop of cherry blossom tea sorbet. Obviously, I have a raging sweet tooth.
Sakura! Sakura! Tea Sorbet (SGD$5).
An amazing frozen dessert infused with the bold flavours of cherry blossoms, green tea and red berries, appropriately served in a wide tea cup. Very refreshing, floral and tangy! Love the striking colour!
Assortment of 8 Macarons (SGD$2 each)
The macarons were delightful in every way. With eight of them, it was hard to choose a winner. We had the following, all of which were quite impressive:
- Napoleon Tea & Caramel (amazing caramel taste, strong flavours)
- Camelot Tea & Praline (very buttery; subtle taste of tea)
- Earl Grey Fortune & Chocolate (a thick chocolate ganache that was too strong in my opinion; the subtle hint of Earl Grey was almost completely drowned out)
- 1837 Black Tea and Blackcurrent (soft and fragile shell but very lovely strong taste)
- Moroccan Mint Tea (wonderful, subtle mint flavour with a creamy, milky shell),
- Bain de Roses Tea (a thick filling with a strong rosy flavour; James’ favourite macaron),
- Lemon Bush Tea (like a lemon cream biscuit, tangy and sweet, powerful lemony taste),
- Grand Wedding Tea, Passionfruit and Coconut (refreshing, tangy passionfruit; you can make out all the different flavours quite well; the desiccated coconut gives the macaron a unique texture)
James went for a more savoury decision, one that I admire: a plate of “fresh farmhouse eggs scrambled with a choice of Matcha green tea, pure saffron threads or white Alba truffle oil and served with smoked salmon and a mixed salad of tender spinach shoots and marinated shrimp”. James went with the truffle oil eggs. Good choice.
Scrambled Eggs (SGD$19)
According to him, the scrambled eggs were really good because they had a very strong, earthy truffle flavour. He loves the taste of truffles, so I can only assume that he was in heaven with those eggs. He really enjoyed the toast too, which was perfectly crunchy and fluffy. Overall, he gave the dish a thumbs up. The only gripe he had was that he wanted more smoked salmon on the plate! But you’ve got to give them credit for arranging the salmon in the gorgeous shape of a rose!
We also had a pot of Orange Blossom Oolong Tea (SGD$10.50) that accompanied our late afternoon meal. You can seriously find any and every kind of tea on their extensive list. If you are a true tea lover and are willing to fork out some good money, you should make a trip to one of the many TWG Tea branches located in Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, England or America!
TWG TEA ON THE BRIDGE
(Weekday Menu/Set Menu/Weekend Menu)
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
2 Bayfront Avenue, B2-89/89A
Opening Hours: 10:00am – 10:30pm (Sun, Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs),
10:00am – 12 midnight (Fri, Sat & the eve of public holidays).
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