Autumn Afternoon Tea 2019 – 3 Tokyo Spots Worth the Hype!

  • KAWAII
  • RESTAURANT
  • Tokyo
  • by Zoria Petkoska & Martin Danker

    What’s there not to love about Autumn? The weather finally becomes cooler, all those hellish mosquitoes that tormented people during summer perish, and delicious seasonal fruits and vegetables start bringing a special touch to the local cuisine. Japan loves its seasons and equally loves creating seasonal menus and products to go with it. And year by year, the innovative seasonal food offerings get more and more amazing!

    One of the greatest things about Tokyo is the city’s fascinating afternoon tea sets, and once we mix that with autumn, the results tend to be spectacular. To celebrate autumn and our love for afternoon tea, we have decided to share our experiences at 3 different hotels in Japan’s capital.

    Mandarin Oriental Tokyo

     

    この投稿をInstagramで見る

     

    Drowning In Matcha(@drowninginmatcha)がシェアした投稿

    The Mandarin Oriental Tokyo is one of four hotels in the Japanese capital that have been awarded with five stars by the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide. It also has three restaurants that have been awarded Michelin stars, making it a must-visit for foodies.

    The hotel offers afternoon tea at its lounge, named Oriental Lounge, and with fantastic views of Tokyo to boot. On a clear day, one can even see the Shinjuku’s famous skyscrapers; and while the view can be truly mesmerizing, one comes and stays at the Oriental Lounge because of its terrific afternoon tea.

    For its 2019 autumn afternoon tea, Mandarin Oriental has opted to create a journey that allows people to try some of Japan’s seasonal flavors. Among the savories, for example, you can find things like salmon tartare with green apple jelly, shrimp with tarragon cream and girolle mushrooms, and the spectacular open-face sandwich with smoked duck and roasted fig.

    Needless to say, Mandarin Oriental knows what it’s doing when it comes to their savories. While other hotels simply go for uninspiring and quite underwhelming sandwiches, Mandarin Oriental always takes the opportunity to showcase the hotel’s culinary talent when creating their delicious finger food.

     

    View this post on Instagram

     

    A post shared by Drowning In Matcha (@drowninginmatcha) on

    The second tier had some of the petit fours, including the almond dacquoise with soymilk ganache and house-made praliné and the chestnut brioche. As you can see from the photos, this tier looks pretty brown. This color works because of the many seasonal fruits and vegetables one can eat in autumn, which the three petit fours represent superbly.

    The top tier has more petit fours, though these ones look far bigger than the ones below. Here we found the superb blueberry tartelet with fruit garden mousse, and a tarte tatin so incredible we are not exaggerating when we say it was the best one we have ever had.

     

    View this post on Instagram

     

    A post shared by Drowning In Matcha (@drowninginmatcha) on

    Mandarin Oriental Tokyo does another thing right: it allows people to try as many beverages while having afternoon tea. This is not uncommon since it’s something other hotels in Tokyo do (such as Palace Hotel, ANA InterContinental Tokyo, and Four Seasons Marunouchi). However, not every hotel does this. In fact, some luxury hotels will only let you choose one tea; meaning that if you were feeling adventurous and ordered a tea you ended up hating, you would have to bite your tongue and stick to your horrendous decision.

    Mandarin Oriental Tokyo also has seasonal teas, and for their autumn afternoon tea Mandarin Oriental Tokyo is offering a Halloween milk tea that’s creamy and delicious, having a hint of pumpkin reminiscent of a subtle pumpkin spice latte.

     

    この投稿をInstagramで見る

     

    Drowning In Matcha(@drowninginmatcha)がシェアした投稿

    Naturally, we also tried the hotel’s spectacular coffee. Some might find this sacrilegious because we are talking about afternoon tea, but seriously, Mandarin Oriental Tokyo has very good coffee. You can either start things with a nice latte and finish the experience with a good espresso.

    It must be noted that Mandarin Oriental Tokyo also offers a very cute and spooktacular Halloween afternoon tea. If you wish to have this afternoon tea instead of the autumn one, let the hotel know when ordering!

    ANA InterContinental Tokyo

    *Image courtesy of: ANA InterContinental Tokyo

    Afternoon Tea

    This elegant hotel near Tokyo Tower is well known among foodies for their unique creations when it comes to food. The first in Japan to have the new Ruby Chocolate, the ANA InterContinental Tokyo afternoon tea in the Atrium Lounge features the pink chocolate again, along with white and black chocolate sensations. Their new autumn/winter seasonal menu that has chocolate as a superstar started in September 2019 and will be available until January 15th 2020.

    The Afternoon Tea set is full of exquisite chocolate bites that one cannot find elsewhere! They represent autumn’s bounty by adding chestnut puree, candied cherry and berries. The presentation and look of every bite is playful, innovative and perfect.

     

    View this post on Instagram

     

    A post shared by Zoria’sTokyo+ (@zoria_in_tokyo) on

    The desserts in the set are the following: chocolate dome with berry, white chocolate and rose mousse, bitter chocolate&cherry cake, key cookie, milk chocolate mousse, chocolate cream puff, cacao pod chocolate, blond chocolate chestnut cake, ruby chocolate verrine, chocolate ring cake, chocolate lollipop, chocolate macaroon, 2 kinds of bon bon chocolate, scone.

    The savories include: homard & smoked salmon sandwich, caprese sandwich, pate de champagne with cacao nibs, foie gra flan with chocolate. There is also a wide array of drinks available.

    In December, concluding with December 25th, the Atrium Lounge will also offer Christmas Afternoon Tea, that features most of the standard Afternoon Tea bites with some Christmas classics like gingerbread cookies included.

    More information on their official website.

     

    View this post on Instagram

     

    A post shared by Zoria’sTokyo+ (@zoria_in_tokyo) on

    Desserts Buffet

    The sweet tooths out there can choose the Secret Garden of Chocolate all you can eat chocolate buffet at ANA InterContinental’s The Champagne Bar (3rd floor). There are 5 seatings daily, 90 minutes each, except for Sundays and holidays when there are 4 seatings.

    Some of the same sweets and savouries in the afternoon tea can be found here, among many more scrumptious offerings. This spread was honestly to die for and to die from the sheer quantity! From pastries drenched in chocolate, twhole cakes, cookies, mousses, to unique bonbons with distinct Japanese flavours like yuzu, sesame and even pepper, there are more than 25 sweet options for the taking.

     

    View this post on Instagram

     

    A post shared by Zoria’sTokyo+ (@zoria_in_tokyo) on

    Don’t you dare skip the savouries either! From deconstructed meat pie, chocolate bread sandwiches, pulled pork mini burgers to foie gras with chocolate mousse, there are 10 creative savoury bites. Finally, there are 15 kinds of coffee and tea.

    Did we mention the 3 chocolate fountains? One of them is an endless supply of pink chocolate, the other two being white and dark.

    More information on their official website.

    Hilton Tokyo

     

    View this post on Instagram

     

    A post shared by Drowning In Matcha (@drowninginmatcha) on

    Hilton Tokyo, located in Nishi-Shinjuku, offers a very extravagantly themed afternoon tea. Thanks to the Alice in Wonderland theme, one can truly feel that Halloween has come to town. The Hilton, of course, does a great job making one feel that they are in a different world. There are rabbits everywhere, bizarre chairs of black and red, and a wide variety of sweets and savories that go with the theme.

    At the Hilton, the approach is an all-you-can eat afternoon tea. Therefore, those who like to maximize every yen would rejoice with this buffet.

    However, since this is a buffet afternoon tea, it can get more crowded as people line up to grab as many things as possible before heading to their tables. And once they’ve finished consuming everything they wanted, they will stand up again to go for yet another round.

     

    View this post on Instagram

     

    A post shared by Drowning In Matcha (@drowninginmatcha) on

    Don’t expect quality that rivals that of Mandarin Oriental Tokyo. This afternoon tea is all about having a great time in a fun environment; and while some buffet afternoon teas have horrendous food, the Hilton still manages to provide tasty confectionery.

    Besides, the variety of food is incredible, so chances are you will find a lot of things you want to eat. This is a particularly great feature for picky eaters!

    The downside here are the lines. You have to remember that the lines can be very long; not necessarily Disneyland long, but still quite long. Besides, no one will come to your table to ask you if you need more tea. Oh, no, no, no. Here, you have to stand up and pour yourself your tea. The problem with self-serve tea is that finishing your cup of tea is faster than finishing all the food you put on your plate. Therefore, be prepared to stand up constantly if you want to drink more.

     

    View this post on Instagram

     

    A post shared by Drowning In Matcha (@drowninginmatcha) on


    Did you decide where to treat yourself this autumn? You can always aim for all three, or repeat your visit. Time is also on your side, as, for instance, ANA InterContinental’s chocolate extravaganza lasts until mid-January 2020! Whatever you decide, we are sure everyone deserves a nice luxury afternoon tea once in a while.