Afternoon Tea with Anna Polyviou at The Langham Sydney

Photographer: Josh Pike
Afternoon Tea with Anna Polyviou at The Langham Sydney
Afternoon Tea with Anna Polyviou at The Langham Sydney

She’s back and better than ever. Anna Polyviou is shaking up the afternoon tea menu at the Langham Sydney, but you’ll need to get in quick because she’s only there for six months.

Even if you don’t know her name you most definitely know who Anna is. She’s the crazy pastry chef with the bright pink mohawk who sets almost impossible to recreate dessert challenges for MasterChef contestants. She pops up on supermarket shelves too with her range of bake at home cookie dough, if it actually makes it to the oven before you eat it that is.

We had the chance to speak to Anna in person and she said she was excited to be back in a luxury hotel kitchen, even if it’s just for a short time. She has brought her team along with her and they are being kept busy creating a new menu every six weeks throughout their stay. There’s even talk of hosting a Doggy High Tea!

Anna’s new menu consists of four sweet, four savoury and scones, along with an additional course called Cake de Jour. Every day there are three options, and each guest can choose whichever one takes their fancy. Each day has a theme, today it was caramel.

The savoury tier had one nod to the classics with a simple egg mayonnaise sandwich on white. While it was delicious (we all know I love a good egg sambo), perhaps this one was a little too simple, maybe it could do with the addition of some lettuce.

The poached prawn cocktail was jampacked with chunks of prawn tossed in a tangy Bloody Mary sauce. Kind of like a thousand island dressing, but much lighter so you can still taste the prawns.

When we saw the goats cheese tart on the menu we assumed it would be a fresh goats cheese. It was a lovely surprise when it came out as a baked version. The caramelised onion gave a lovely sweetness and the heirloom tomatoes cut through the richness with bursts of freshness.

The showstopper savoury was the roast chicken stuffing. Instead of baking the stuffing in a single batch in a tray, this stuffing is cooked the right way – inside chickens. Doing this adds the extra flavour and moisture that only being roast in a bird can add. The roast chicken is then diced and a little is mixed with the stuffing and served on a brioche bun. Absolutely delicious.

Moving on to the sweet we started with Breakfast. Enrobed in a bright purple mirror glaze are several intricate layers resting on a sable disk. Cutting it in half you’ll find a cereal financier, fig jam, blueberry gel and yoghurt mousse. It’s a lot to fit into such a small treat and it shows that Anna and her team are pastry pros. Texturally it was a delight to eat too.

The baked cheesecake was rich and creamy with the fruit salad on top providing freshness. We really enjoyed the playfulness of the chocolate shard on the side cut to look like a slice of Swiss cheese.

We both agreed that the tropical tart was our favourite sweet. Pineapple is cooked down until it becomes jammy. It is then topped with a thick yuzu curd and mango popping pearls. Very tropical and very enjoyable.

Every afternoon tea has a chocolate element and this one is no exception. It’s a flourless chocolate sponge rolled with layers of chocolate mousse and covered in chocolate shards. It is so delicate we have no idea how the kitchen managed to cut through the roll without squashing it. Light with mousse yet rich with chocolate definitely eat this one last so you can enjoy the lighter flavours of the others first.

The Cake de Jour is an excellent concept designed for those who have “just a little more room”. We sampled all three options: chocolate banana bread with caramel popcorn, a salted caramel macaron and a vanilla rum canelé. The caramel theme of the day was well and truly covered with these three.

Anna’s scones are always exceptional, and these ones were no different. Not too crumbly and a perfect vehicle to layer with the clotted cream and berry jam. A generous serve of two per guest means you will be leaving this afternoon tea full and extremely happy.

If you can’t make it to the Langham Sydney by mid-February for the current menu, make sure to keep an eye out for the upcoming menus while Anna is at the helm.

Afternoon tea with Anna Polyviou menu:

Current menu available 6th January until 14th February 2023

Earl Grey Collins
Earl Grey Collins

Sweet:

  • Roll me in chocolate – Chocolate flourless sponge, chocolate mousse, chocolate shards
  • Tropic twist – Passionfruit yuzu Curd, ginger pineapple, whipped coconut, pabana foam
  • Cheesy – Baked cheesecake, biscuit crunch, seasonal fruit salad
  • Breakfast – Vanilla yoghurt mousse, fig jam gel, honey cereal financier

Savoury:

  • Roast chicken stuffing – Roast chicken, chicken stuffing, gem lettuce
  • Egg-alicious – Egg mayonnaise, white bread
  • Prawn cocktail – Poached prawns, avocado, Bloody Mary cocktail sauce
  • Tarting around – Caramelised onion, goats cheese, heirloom tomatoes

Cake de Jour (cake of the day)

Scones:

  • Plain buttermilk and tea-raisin scones
  • Served with clotted crème, mixed berry jam

 

High Tea Sydney – find more experiences
in our High Tea Venue Directory

Langham Hotel Sydney:

Email

89-113 Kent Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia

When:

Current menu available 6th January until 14th February 2023

Cost:

Weekday
From $98 per person includes a glass of Sparkling/Mocktail
From $108 per person includes a glass of Taittinger champagne

Weekend
From $118 per person includes a glass of Sparkling/Mocktail
From $128 per person includes a glass of Taittinger champagne
From $49 per child includes a juice or soft drink (12 years and under, 4 years and under dine complimentary)

Prices are correct at the time of publishing, but subject to change. Please contact the venue for further details.

Melanie Pike

Melanie Pike is one of our Sydney contributors. In her life outside of champagne, tiered cake stands and fine bone china, she’s the Editor of the Fernwood Magazine. After a long week of writing about sugar-free diets and the latest gym sessions to get her readers in shape, she sneaks away to sample the delights of some of the best high tea venues in Sydney. She’s covered from Katoomba to Kiama and almost everywhere in between.

Articles by Melanie