Afternoon Tea at Aman Hotel, Tokyo
After being blown away by the best ever afternoon tea experience in Hong Kong last year, I kept my expectations low. What could possibly match that?
Afternoon Tea wasn’t as heavily promoted like it was in HK but we picked Aman out of the many options. We wanted a little twist of Japanese culture rather than the full on traditional.
From the minute we walked into the hotel and up to the 33rd floor, we felt the hug of Japanese warmth. I got the impression, no matter who we were, what we wore and what language we spoke in, we were treated exactly the same.
The HK visit was the first time I had drunk tea and I’ve been having it with afternoon teas ever since. I realise my distaste for tea is of the English breakfast variety, other flavours, I now quite enjoy as an accompaniment to food.
Here, in this black themed lounge, I picked the Japanese teas and started with the Sencha Kawane to accompany the Bamboo Charcoal Buns and Cheese Mouse, amongst the savoury plate.
For the second tea, which was kept in an iron teapot on a candle, I started on both the plain and green tea scones served with beautifully presented clotted cream and brightly coloured homemade jam.
I was getting full half way through the eight sweets including 3 wonderfully crafted as a shoe, handbag and diamond chocolates so the Loquat, Jasmine Tea Jelly shot with the white chocolate hat was most refreshing.
As a non-fruit eater (the texture rather than the taste) this is a rare Tea where I didn’t get to sample the Banana Caramel Chou and the Pineapple Tart as they had actual pieces of fruit. But the Passionfruit orange cake and Mango, Cheese Mousse were super light.
Had we not had the delightful Intercontinental Hotel experience in HK, this would have ranked higher. The only points lost were when we were unable to take a doggy bag. I realised at this point it is a cultural thing, as we hadn’t done that anywhere in Tokyo due to the ‘regular sized’ portions. I had planned, as with every other Afternoon Tea I’ve enjoyed, to take some of the sweeter cakes away with us to enjoy at a time when we’re less full.
The Aman tea had a whole course of delicate chocolates which screamed to be had at another time with coffee as there was just so much sweet stuff here. In the end, however, we stayed almost an extra hour to take in a few more of these delights, working my way through the final Japanese tea and a Peach Bergamot iced tea to help wash the chocolates down. I did take a few bits in the little Tupperware box I now habitually carry for snacks so unlike many other guests, we didn’t leave anything behind!
All of this was served with typical Japanese reserve and we were left along to enjoy, what turned out to be the longest Afternoon Tea we’ve experienced accompanied by a kimono-clad lady playing a traditional koto.