Chihuly Lounge @ The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore
Jerry’s back from Switzerland and we intended to do some catching up with tea followed by dinner but we weren’t that lucky! Firstly, The French Stall (TFS) that I wanted to go for tea was closed on Mondays and secondly, so was Sik Bao Sin (our dinner venue).
We only knew that TFS was not opened for business after we arrived at Sturdee Road. So where’s the best place for tea? Google search seemed to be the best place for an answer. I keyed in “Best hi tea in Singapore”. There were a quite a number of suggestions and The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia, Singapore – a remarkable 5-star hotel, was one of them. It was also one of the nearest destinations from where we were at.
“Best high tea: Chihuly Lounge @ The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore.”
Unfortunately, we did not get to taste resident pastry chef Terence Pang’s “delightful creations” and so cannot comment if it was good, better or best but their service needs attention!
When we arrived at the lounge, no one was there to usher us in. We walked into the middle of the lounge and asked if this was indeed Chihuly Lounge where hi tea was served. A waiter acknowledged that it was and sat us next to the grand piano. He brought over the main menu and asked if we were interested in having their hi tea. I said yes and he went to get the hi tea menu. He came back, gave a short introduction to their tea menu and left us. I thought he would be back to ask if we were ready to order but he didn’t.
15 minutes later, we waved at a waitress, enquired about the teas offered, there were two sets of menu (one standard fare and the other with champagne) and then there’s the weekend tea which could be ignored since today’s a Monday. We ordered two sets of hi tea under the standard fare (I think it was S$48 per pax before taxes). We waited…
We waited patiently until another waitress came to inform us that it is too late to serve us tea as it would mean we had to rush through our tea. The time, 4.20pm. The hi tea comes in a set and supposedly table serviced. There’s no buffet or at least I didn’t notice one. What did she mean closing and rushing? Do we have to return the tea service at 5pm on the dot? She suggested we have some cakes instead and left us to decide. She did not come back to check on us.
This time round, we waved at another staff (in black skirt suit). She came and took our order. She offered scones at S$4 a piece (minimum two pieces) and asked how many we would like. I replied two. She looked surprised but did not tell me that the scones were not of standard size (if that’s what her raised brows meant), she just kept on emphasizing they were S$4 each. Was I to know that a S$4 scone (from a main menu) these days are the size of a small macaron? I am used to eating scones English-scone-size.
The Orange Pekoe, according to Jerry’s taste, was mild. My coffee was ordinary. The sugar cookie that came with the coffee was a life-saver! The Bitter Orange Jam and Clotted Cream were delicious on my half scone. Jerry had 3 halves of the scones which masticated like very firm pancakes – too smooth textured for my liking.
I believed that we had been there an hour earlier, the service would have been better. Busy as they were, their momentum was in full swing. As most of the guests had left or were starting to leave when we first stepped in, one would think they had more time to be attentive but the wait staff looked tired and zoned out from their monotonous tasks. The waitress at the bar counter (looking at me or through me) took more than 60 seconds before she realised I was waving at her for our bill.
Jerry and I could only think of three excuses for this type of service. Overworked, under-staffed and perhaps demotivated.
The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia, Singapore.
Address: 7 Raffles Ave,
Tel: (+65) 6434 5288.
Time: 2:30 – 5pm
Happy eating 🙂
P.S. It is possible that I may return again, and *if ever, hopefully, the next tete-a-tete session at Chihuly would be a delightful experience with decadent desserts and savoury canapes.
*If ever – is because I like to go to different places for different food adventures and blogging purposes.