If there’s one word I can associate with the TWG Tea Salon and Boutique in Greenbelt, I would say opulent. Or luxurious. Or extravagant. You get my drift?
Just a few steps from the Greenbelt 5 entrance, there is no mistaking the place: gilded gold fixtures and shiny glass facade and inside, marble flooring and wood panels, with rattan chairs and tables covered in crisp white linen. Colorful tea cans abound in the “bar” in various sizes, some as big as beer barrels! The entire space is divided into two – one for the dining area, or the tea salon, and the other half where you can simply browse through their tea collection and well, shop.
I’m not particularly fond of tea (this fondness should be somewhere tuck away in my genes, as both of my parents love drinking it and it was a permanent supply in our kitchen pantry) but I do love to eat and love my macarons to bits so I was dying to see if this place would meet my expectations.
Anyway, as luck would have it, there were no waiting lines outside (it was 2PM when we got there, shortly after lunch but a bit too early for tea time, which are the busiest hours of the salon), and we got our table in less than five minutes.
I must commend the attention to detail – the menu was a thick booklet which came with a history of the establishment and there was an extensive tea list to choose from. And did I mention – the silverware was to die for! Also, while the place was undoubtedly new, the staff seem well trained.
As I said earlier, I’m not overly fond of tea and have no particular preference so I was a bit at a loss what to order. I only knew I hate fruity things (and that goes for perfume too) so I said I wanted something floral but not too sweet. I was given three cups of dried leaves and flowers to choose from, based on the smell. Hubby was also given several options. In the end, I settled for Sweet France and hubby chose the 1837 Black tea.
We each got a pot and hubby and I wanted desperately to have the tea sets for our house. So beautiful. And so expensive. I read somewhere it’s more than Php20,000 per pot!
Well, moving on to the food, which was my main reason for coming here (weird, isn’t it, that I go to a tea salon not so much for the tea but for the food?). We initially thought of ordering the set menu but we weren’t that hungry so I just ordered lamb stew:
…while hubby got the chicken en brochette:
The lamb was absolutely delicious – perfectly done. It was flavourful but not overpowering, and so soft each morsel would kind of melt in my mouth. I didn’t get rice to go with it but I got a freshly baked bun, piping hot, which I dipped in the sauce. Hubby’s dish was just also good although I think I got the better end of the deal. Haha.
After that, hubby and I went about the boutique to look at stuff. Of course, I couldn’t go home without taking some macarons with me so I got a small box to munch on later.
Well… as much as I would like to say that the macarons were as heavenly as their food, I was a bit disappointed. Texture-wise, it was good but the flavors didn’t really make my mouth water, and I would have to say that Chez Karine’s macarons still taste better (I will write about that some other time).
Overall though, hubby and I went home with very satisfied tummies and will definitely be back