A true taste of Blighty, with a distinctly Siamese touch
Growing up by the British seaside on a diet of fluffy scones and pots of breakfast tea, I was a little skeptical that afternoon tea Thai-style could live up to the standards set by the traditional cafes of my childhood. Would there be bite-size desserts? Would the jam be homemade? Would it include savoury and sweet treats all served over a three-tier stand?
How naive of me! Of course Thailand can do high tea just as well, if not better, than dear old Blighty, just as it has with Italian pasta and proper American beefburgers. And it really doesn’t get much better than an afternoon sipping cups of tea whilst chowing down on delicious cakes and bakes, especially when it’s in one of Bangkok’s finest hotels.
Situated right in the heart of the city, the Erawan Tea Room at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok is fast gaining a reputation as one of the city’s best high teas. This upscale restaurant embraces the roots of the British tradition, all the while keeping a firm eye on its surroundings. After all, it would be a culinary crime to omit the savoury snacks and sweet treats that Thailand has to offer, particularly when they are made so beautifully by accomplished local chef Achara Toussami.
Now in her twenty-second year at the luxury hotel chain, Achara works with the seasons to create a fresh menu each month, with several signature pieces remaining a constant fixture. Mango and sticky rice fans will be glad to see that this is a set menu staple, as are the spicy pomelo salad with shrimp and crispy rice puddings.
This month sees the introduction of a miniature chicken and mushroom pie and banana fritter; the former a light and crispy bite that melts in the mouth, and the latter exactly what I was expecting (and hoping) from the deep fried fruit.
Other highlights include the steamed crabmeat dumpling, the Chiang Mai-inspired pork sausage, pandan chocolate coated straws, a mini-cheesecake and, of course, a scone—easily one of the lightest, fluffiest I’ve ever tasted, served up with a healthy dollop of cream and homemade jam. It did not disappoint.
At just B600 per person it’s an economical option too, with plenty of grub here to see you through the rest of the day. But if more food is in order there’s an incredible à la carte menu available, boasting Thai favourites— including delicious Pad Thai as well as fragrant carries—plus an array of dishes crafted using sustainably sourced seafood.
Furnished with classic teakwood and overlooking the Erawan Shrine, this is an unmistakably Thai venue and one that’s perfect to take visiting guests to for a true taste of Siam with some home comforts thrown in for good measure.
By Annaliese Watkins
Erawan Tea Room
494 Rajdamri Rd.
Open daily: 10am-10pm, Afternoon Tea: 2:30pm-6pm, Dinner: 6pm-10pm
Tel: 02 254 6250