Elix very kindly treated us to Afternoon Tea at Asia de Cuba last weekend and i thought i would blog about it as not only was it excellent value, extremely tasty, beautiful to look at – it was the most un-traditional Afternoon Tea i have tried in every sense of the word!
Going to Afternoon Tea is one of my favourite things to do whether it be traditional and quaint at the Athenaeum, Traditional Chinese style which i tried at the Grand Imperial or funky and cool at Sketch or the W Hotel.
We started with the kiwi, mango and strawberry appetiser which was a sweet and refreshing smoothy in an Alice in Wonderland style glass bottle. The bright colours and light, sweet taste reminded me of those rainbow sherbet straws we used to eat as children.
Asia de Cuba permit you to have two teas with the meal – one which compliments the savoury and one for the sweet. I elected the house blend Iron Buddha green tea which was light in colour and taste, earthy and silky. Onto the food – pulled pork mini sandwich with a sweet, sticky, chipotle sauce. For what i expected to be a stodgy piece of the tea this was nice and sweet and moreish. I moved onto the parmesan and tomato mini-scones with mojito butter – absolutely delicious! The lime flavoured butter gave a sharpness to the rich cheesiness and both Elix and i would have quite happily demolished an entire plate-full! Another highlight for me was the carrott and green mango mooli roll which was sweet and sour, and refreshing especially when dipped into the Asian style dressing. I followed this with the chicken and avocado spring roll which was lovely and creamy inside following the crunch of the pastry on the outside.
The savoury section of the tea was finished off with a light and tasty smoked salmon tart topped with a hard boiled quails egg and empañadas both beef and vegetable which came with a very spicy chilli sauce – treat with caution as this gave me quite a shock when i treated myself to a generous scoop!
After a little rest and a new helping of Oolong tea which had a more flowery aroma to balance with the sweetness of the second course, we moved on yo desserts.
A tangy key lime pie topped with a light and creamy soft meringue, and a warm cinnamon doughnut – slightly crispy on the outside with a gooey caramel centre inside started me off nicely. Next came the banana spring roll. I’ve tried these a few times at Tsunami and when i was in Hong Kong and i LOVE them – i find the softness, gooeyness and rich banana tastes perfect inside a light, crispy spring roll. This one was plain and so quite light, i do admit, i am partial to some chocolate either inside or for dipping! Finally, my favourite sweet treat, a chilli chocolate ganache topped with pistachio crumble. The ganache was rich and sweet at first taste but then your mouth is whacked (a nice, tasty whack!) with a sharp chilli kick. This isnt too harsh especially as the pistachio crumble element provides a nutty, sweet, almost creamy balance in both taste and texture.
As a refreshing end and palate cleanser one more ice cold shot of lemongrass and ginger tea was put on the table and was the perfect end to an amazing afternoon tea!