The traditional high tea in the Langham Hotel has been revamped and modernised to the new Tiffin experience. According to Langham, Tiffin is the word that they have chosen to describe decadence and delight in their new afternoon tea ritual. Normally, their high tea takes place in the Winery which is their lobby bar, but this time, we were seated in Barolo which is an elegant dining area with a more private seating arrangement.
True to its name, we started our meal with a hot cup of tea. Langham offers a huge selection of tea – ranging from black, green, herbal and white – and choosing which one you want was a hard decision as they all looked very interesting. My choice for the day was a nice white tea that has a light floral aroma.
The new Tiffin afternoon tea is a bit different from the original Langham high tea that I had more than a year ago. They now serve three tiers of savoury treats and the dessert is presented separately. Some of the components is what you would normally expect at high teas such as warm scones served with cream and preserve and mini sandwiches. The others are quite different. The egg mousse and watercress profiterole, whipped blue cheese on rosemary shortbread and the fresh asparagus mousse with shave parmesan and truffle oil were all divine and very unique. The asparagus mousse was my favourite as it had an intense truffle flavour and the asparagus spear on top added a nice textural contrast. The consensus around the table was that we all did no like the smoked turkey breast on pumpernickel. I think pumpernikel is an acquired taste as the rye flavour is rather strong and potent.
As I mentioned above, they now serve dessert separately. After we finished the savoury part, the staff cleared our table and pushed the dessert cart over so we could each decide what we wanted for dessert. There were some interesting and christmas-themed choices such as gingerbread houses and mini christmas mince pies as well as the standard cheesecake slices, tartlets and cup cakes.
By the time the dessert arrived, I was rather full so I only decided to try three dessert items. The cake pop coated with chocolate and hazelnut pieces was a tad too sweet but because it was small, the sweetness is forgivable. The raspberry and champagne mousses on the other hand was phenomenal! It had a light airy texture and the flavours were fantastic. This was topped with a freeze dried raspberry, a very nice touch. The strawberry tartlet looked adroable and was delightful.
Compared to the Langham high tea I had over a year ago, I find that the Tiffin Experience is indeed an improvement. There are more choices when it comes to the savoury treats and they are of better quality. Also, being able to select my dessert means the high tea is more personal and I get to eat what I want. It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon!
Date: Saturday 24th November 2012 | Location: 88 Symonds Street, Auckland CBD | Food: Afternoon Tea