Tuesday, January 21, 2014

London Calling High Tea at Shangri-La

Executive Pastry Chef Nicholas Patterson from soon-to-open Shangri-La at The Shard in London made a guest appearance at Shangri-La Toronto last week (Twitter: @ShangriLaTO, Facebook: Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto). Known for his wealth of patisserie experience and accolades, chef Patterson brought to Toronto - all the way from the U.K. -  his best selection of signature pastries. Chef Patterson's London Calling High Tea menu (#londoncallingslto), which debuted on January 13th at the hotel's Lobby Lounge, is priced at $40 per person and is served daily from 2pm to 5pm. And don't worry everybody - this High Tea menu will continue to be offered well after the chef Patterson's departure on the 19th.

Named ‘UK Pastry Chef of the Year’ at the Craft Guild of Chefs’ awards in 2008, chef Patterson - prior to joining Shangri-La - was most recently head pastry chef at Claridge’s, where he created some of London’s most eye-catching edible gift items and awarded the Tea Guild’s ‘Best London Afternoon Tea’ in 2006 and 2011. He also spent two years between Paris and Tokyo as Chef De Poste with the renowned French Pastry Chef, Pierre Hermé. 

The Lobby Lounge is very spacious. It still manages to be very cozy though with all the leather sofas and chairs, and of course that incredible fireplace. I also love the natural light coming in through those large floor-to-ceiling windows.

 Large statement paintings and sculptures can be found throughout the lounge.

Shangri-La's tea library offers 68 choices of teas.

Drawing inspiration from chef Patterson’s award-winning ‘Best Afternoon Tea’, chef Patterson, in company with Shangri-La Toronto’s Executive Chef Damon Campbell, worked together in creating the new High Tea menu for Toronto.

Warm chamomile and traditional plain scones
House made berry preserve and Devonshire cream

Scottish smoked salmon and cream cheese on whole grain bread
Roasted chicken and grain mustard mayonnaise on mixed seed bread
Cucumber apple and cream cheese on country white bread
Egg and watercress with crispy Serrano ham on brown bread
Lobster and chive with curried mayonnaise on brioche roll

SELECTED TEA CAKES (clockwise from top)
Passion fruit sensation - Passion fruit cream, tropical fruits, mango coulis and passion fruit marshmallow pieces
Coco - Coconut dacquoise biscuit, calamansi lime curd, topped with ginger and coriander infused pineapple
Temptation - Layer of chocolate ganache, raspberry compote, chocolate sponge and soft chocolate cremeux
Cafe au lait - Vanilla mascarpone cream, coffee cream brulee centre, white chocolate flakes and coffee soaked sponge

All-around delectable scones, finger sandwiches and pastries at the Lobby Lounge. I really enjoyed the entire experience - from the lovely room, the attentive service, the teas and the food, all the way to the live music... I didn't want to leave! 

In my opinion, the scones were good but not the best I've had. My two favourite sandwiches were the egg and watercress with crispy Serrano ham and the lobster and chive roll. As for the pastries, the winners for me were the passion fruit sensation (make sure you get your spoon all the way to the bottom!) and the cafe au lait (the coffee creme brulee centre was superb). Oh and FYI: you also get to take home their scone recipe :)

The Lobby Lounge and Bar on Urbanspoon