Afternoon High Tea with a Dim Sum twist
There’s an overground movement happening in the international foodie scene—small bags of dried herbs are appearing in haunts where caffeine has long dominated. Now tired of bully brand giants and hipster corrupted cafes, teahouses are becoming a thing… again.
The masterminds behind Singapore’s Man Fu Yuan teahouse recently opened Man Fu Yuan Kitchen on the 8th floor of Helix EmQuartier. This is their second, “more casual”, Bangkok branch (the other being their upscale venue at Rajpruek Golf Club Bangkok).
For “high tea” rookies like myself, the magic traditionally happens between 2pm and 5pm where tea is the master, and dim sum the loyal disciples. It’s during this time that MFY offer their ‘High Tea’ promotion, consisting of a 2 Tier (B399) or 3 Tier (B599) dim sum stand—loaded with an assortment of savoury and sweet edibles—combined with tea. The range of tea here is rich, expansive, and deeply rooted in tea history and knowledge. Combine this with advancement in tea technology and flavour development and you have all the makings of a high tea revolution.
The restaurant’s polished marble tables, all-white Colonial British interior, booth seating, and nostalgic Chinese pieces is a seamless integration of contemporary Hong Kong and old fashioned English tea room, with a touch of Ming Dynasty. It doesn’t impose itself enough to be a suit and high-hair only establishment, but a Sunday dress could easily blend in.
We tried a variation of teas (hot and cold) and each one tells a different story. The Double Blossom is a flower tea—mild, softly sweet and highly aromatic—while the Pu-er is potent and earthy but strangely addictive, and the 5 Elements Blend, like the name suggests, takes you on a voyage of mineral, earth, wood, aroma, and spice.
The dim sums accompaniments were arguably some of the best I’ve had in Bangkok, in quality and technicality. The Deep-fried chilli crab bun, and the Japanese sweet potato with custard lava, are both specimens of dim sum craftsmanship.
From the main menu the World’s best radish cake with X.O. sauce (B150) was a culinary revelation—who knew radish could taste that good—and the classic Tea smoked duck (only B350!), with its intense smoky flavour and tenderness, is perhaps the ultimate drawcard.
As Confucius said: “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it”. For non-tea geeks it all might seem intimidating, but the beauty is in discovering it for yourself—what works for your palate, your mood, your spirit. In short: “What will take me to another level?” And the good news is, city folk don’t have to skulk down Chinatown alleys to get their hit of the good herbal… it’s a BTS ride away. So venture into the mysterious new (old) world of Cantonese High Tea. You won’t regret it.
by Samantha Proyrungtong
Man Fu Yuan
8F, Helix Quartier at EmQuartier
693,695 Sukhumvit Rd.
Tel: 02 003 6240
Open daily: 10am-10pm