What do you think of when someone asks you what ‘luxury’ in Sydney, means to you? I think of beautiful 360 views of Sydney Harbour and the Opera House - with a glass of bubbly in hand. And that is exactly what High Tea on Level 36 at the Shangri-La Hotel Sydney offers.
Leading the helm of High Tea at the ‘Altitude’ restaurant on the highest level of the Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney is Executive Chef Michael Elfwing. With a new Modern Australian offering on 3 lovely tiers, we knew we were in for a treat.
Walking through the tables of lively groups clinking their wine glasses as they celebrated life mile-stones, we were set down at a table right by the window and would you look at that, a million dol-lar view of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera house. The gloved staff promptly took down our dietary requirements and filled our wine glasses with a lovely little drop that you might know by its signature orange label – NV Veuve Clicquot Champagne. Whilst some may choose the free flow of sparking wine package, my date and I decided that we still wanted to remember the mesmer-ising view and opted for the one glass of sparkling instead. Luckily coffee and tea were definitely on the menu!
Amidst the hustle and bustle of the restaurant during this fabulous afternoon, the wait staff were incredibly attentive and friendly. Soon after, tiers upon tiers of goodies arrived and were set upon the tables of wide eyed guests, myself definitely included. I spied three tiers of your usual fare, sweets at the top, your savoury in the middle and the signature High Tea scones to finish it off at the bottom.
For the savoury snacks we were presented with:
- A chicken liver parfait encased in a shortcrust tart and accented with muscat gel, winter quince, walnut and tangy, pickled shallot
- Smoked glacier tooth fish served on a thin crisp-bread with ribbons of celeriac and dressed with sour cream and celery
- Crispy, pulled duck cigar filled with native bribery
- An eclair, filled with whipped truffle brie and Shangri-La honey, topped with a delicate shaving of fresh truffle
Hands down my favourite on the savoury tier was the eclair because honestly what isn’t there to love about my two favourite pairings on a cheese board, truffle brie with honey that is encased in beautifully cooked Choux au Craquelin pastry, yum!
The sweets tier included:
- A petit soaked rum baba with chunks of spiced pineapple accompanied by a pistachio mousse
- Bahen & Co organic chocolate sabayon tart with a side of vanilla Chantilly cream
- Cheese and quince laid upon a thin sable accented with vanilla and rose, poached quince and cubed quince jelly
- A red love apple tart with cardamom roasted pears and a hint of savouriness from crispy pars-nip
I have always been a firm believer in having the lightest lunch possible so that I can enjoy every single piece of afternoon tea and that always includes the scones. The team at Altitude serve 2 scones, a salted butter scone that balances with the sweetness of the native Davidson plum jam (I have heard so much about Davidson plums on Masterchef so I was excited to finally taste one) and the lemon myrtle scone that brings a hint of acidity to round the final tier off.
Altitude runs a strict 3:30pm – 5:30pm service, but if you are anything like me; then you’ve come to the Shangri-La Hotel Sydney for High Tea and stay on for the view at Blu Bar next door.