The Palace Hotel Tokyo right near the Imperial Palace garden precinct and Tokyo Station district opened earlier this year in May. It’s also really close to my office building. I’ve been able to see the hotel being constructed over the last year or so. Since the hotel opened in May, I’ve been meaning to go and check its afternoon tea. Finally got around to getting there last Sunday afternoon. It was a beautiful sunny, warm autumn day. Such a shame I had a bit of a hangover. It was a rather subdued afternoon tea as we’d all been out the night before celebrating a friend’s birthday. I took a stroll through part of the Imperial Palace area. Lots of people out and about enjoying the sunshine. (All photos taken on iPhone and not my SLR this time).
Marunouchi CBD in the background.
The Palace Hotel:
They don’t take reservations on weekends for afternoon tea. Most unfortunate. They only take reservations on weekdays. We arrived at 2pm, and had to wait about 30minutes for a table. The Lounge was quite busy, and weddings were also going on in the hotel. We waited in the hotel lobby until a table was available. We finally got a table for our party of six. Afternoon tea is served in the Palace Lounge (lobby lounge).
The hotel is very new and the interior is nice with lots of natural light. The new polished floors were a little slippery! Wasn’t a huge fan of the ergonomics of the decor. It’s one of those lounges with comfy soft chairs, but with coffee tables built way too low. The Afternoon tea set here is pretty good. It gets bonus points for creativity and it’s serving ware. I kind of like it when places don’t serve afternoon tea on 3-tier platters. This place serves its afternoon tea in a really cool way. Autumn place setting:
The tea set includes unlimited tea of any variety. Yay. I think I tried four different kinds of tea!
Loved the teaware!
The tea selection is very decent. I was suitably impressed. My favourite of the day was a black tea blend called Trois Freres. A good strong tea best served with milk. The genmaicha was a nice tea to end with. Also had the English breakfast (not that good) and the light Ceylon tea which was too light. The way the afternoon tea is served here is really cool. No tiered platters…instead you get a lacquered wooden box! It kind of looks like a jewelery box with little drawers.
Pretty neat, ay.
Each drawer pulls out as an individual box of food, kind of like a bento. One of the slim drawers then serves as a plate.
The top drawer contained the scone.
The scone was pretty awesome. Definitely one of (possibly if not the best) scone I’ve had in Japan. It was definitely less ‘biscuity’ and more softer/fluffier on the inside. It was also square-shaped. I wish there had been two scones to a serve though. Scones should not however be served with honey and apricot jam. Where’s the regular strawberry jam?! And honey has no place on scones. Crumpets however are totally deserving of honey. Oh well. The savoury “drawer” was my favourite.
Two portions each of sandwiches, quiche, pork rillette on baguette, and even inari sushi! The quiche was pretty divine. I thought the raisins and dried apricot was a nice touch. The dessert drawer was ok – an assortment of cakes and berries.
And I always save the scone for last. Sadly, sans jam.
Afternoon tea here is standard fare. Not the best and not the worst in Tokyo. Location is convenient though and the food is decent, as is the tea selection. The service however was ridiculously slow! Be prepared to wait 30minutes for each pot of tea. I am not exaggerating. Doesn’t help when the wait staff are shuffling about in kimonos – makes it awkward to carry trays and serve food etc. It is all very pretty though. Afternoon tea (includes unlimited tea) is 3800yen plus tax (about 4100yen). Menu can be viewed on their website.