Happy Birthday Andrea!

Posted: April 25, 2010 in Food
Tags: , , , , , , ,

So I was running out of ideas on where to surprise Andrea for her birthday because:

  • She is incredibly fussy and picky when it comes to food (you know this is true despite your protests, hun!)
  • She’d kill me if I brought her to a place that serves sashimi, fresh oysters or soft cheeses which are 3 of her biggest weaknesses and she’s supposed to stay away from them now
  • She gets full easily now which makes her the worst candidate to bring to a buffet

After I’ve eliminated most of the eateries in Penang, I was left with the idea of afternoon tea. Andrea has a soft spot for really good tea, dainty little sandwiches, delicate pastries and not to mention scones with clotted cream! There aren’t many cafes/hotels that serve really good afternoon tea here and since she’d already tried the one at E&O, I decided to surprise her with afternoon tea at Rasa Sayang.

At RM35++ per person, you can decide where to have your afternoon tea as the lounge wasn’t open: left with a choice of either the lobby (with guests walking around), the beachfront bar (too hot during the afternoon) and the Spice Market (where the famous buffet dinners/lunches are held).

We were a little amused at how casual the afternoon tea was. Usually at all the English styled afternoon teas we’ve had, you get a somewhat snooty and stiff waiter dressed impeccably in an English uniform passing you a leather bound menu with the choices of tea, lists of sandwiches, pastries, jams and other assortments printed on heavy vellum paper. At Rasa Sayang, we were simply asked “coffee or tea?”.

When tea was served, we were further amused. Instead of individual tea pots, we were passed this gigantic white tea pot stuffed with 2 tea bags (no loose leaves or any other choices here unfortunately) of English breakfast tea

As with most afternoon teas, food were served on a 3 tier serving. Again, as there wasn’t a menu, I’m just going to go ahead and guess what the food was. The sandwiches were roast beef, smoked salmon and eggs served in crusty rolls. They were pretty good and I found the smoked salmon with its hint of savoriness to be the star.

On the 2nd plate, there were 2 tiny scones dusted with icing sugar, exactly 2 fresh strawberries and a smear of cream (tasted more like whipped instead of heavy/clotted). The scones were a bit so-so. Thankfully, we were offered 4 small jars of Australian honey, strawberry jam, apricot jam and orange marmalade which helped made them more palatable.

The 3rd and last plate consisted of slices of a rich chocolate cake, lemon curd tart and raspberry slice. These were nice but nothing to go wow about.

To be honest, what made up for a very basic afternoon tea was the service. When I called to make the reservations, I said it was going to be a surprise for my wife’s birthday and Rasa Sayang very graciously offered to make it more special by giving a complimentary slice of cake and with their staff marching out to sing Happy Birthday.

Andrea, who usually spoils most of my surprises by being snoopy on my laptop, wasn’t expecting this at all and squirmed with embarrassment as they sang her Happy Birthday very, very, very loudly and presented her with the slice of cake beautifully decorated with chocolate bits and fresh berries 🙂

All in all, the afternoon tea at Rasa Sayang is quite basic but the fantastic service and lush surroundings do help to make up for it. Nice as an afternoon getaway, just not a full blown authentic English tea.


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