Betjeman and Barton, French Tea House, 1 Utama, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia - The Yum List
Food and luxury travel – Malaysia and the world
Betjeman and Barton, French Tea House, 1 Utama, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Betjeman and Barton, 1 Utama
Betjeman & Barton
French Tea House in 1 Utama
Words by Caning Jaramillo Photos by The Yum List (Monica Tindall)
Last week we had the opportunity to visit Betjeman & Barton, French tea store and tearoom: the first of its kind in Malaysia. This fine teahouse has specialized in the sale of teas since 1919 in Paris, but in recent years has begun sharing their elegant products with the rest of the world. This June, they made their debut in Kuala Lumpur in the old wing of 1 Utama Shopping Center.
Entering the store customers are greeted with gentle French tunes trilling from the speakers. Curved red cushioned chairs surround small tables, ideal for two or three. Shelves and drop down lamps carry through the color theme, and contrast softly striped wall paper. The decoration is subtle, but all has been finished with care. A stylish display of teapots, a large poster of the Eiffel Tower, and a whole wall of tea in tin canisters, are all that is needed for adornment.
Premium Tea – Japan Kiyosawa
Tea of course is the prime reason to visit Betjeman & Barton, and what’s on offer here is a distinct selection of French premium blends. Tea lovers can enjoy an impressive selection of close to 100 types of loose classic and perfumed teas from tea growing regions around the world. Teas are categorized in two: black labels denote the premium tea, and red labels the infusions. Assisted by staff, guests are invited to view and smell the various leaves to aid in making a selection for purchase. Most teas are specifically for retail. Each week however, a handful of teas are chosen for service in the tearoom.
Some Pretty Gifts
Staff pay special attention to the precise preparation of every tea. Each has its own steeping time and many are better without sugar and milk. As such, staff recommend the optimum way to enjoy the tea you order.
The first tea we had was their signature, Pouchkine (RM24++ pot – makes up to four cups). This Russian tea is made of sencha green tea with bergamot from Calabria and citrus fruits and peels. It has a clean fine taste and is a nice pairing with a sweet treat. Next we tried what turned out to be my favourite, the Luxury. This fine black tea from China has a subtle taste of maple syrup and candied chestnuts. The finish is superior and we find it could almost be dessert on its own.
Attentive Staff Pouring Our First Pot of Tea
While tea for retail sale is the primary business, the owners of Betjeman and Barton recognize the love Malaysians have for their food, so drinks are supported with a good menu of sweets. Macaroons, chocolates, ice creams and a variety of French style cakes are made daily by their chef. The menu currently features good quality models of standard sweets. In the future, however, expect to see a more inventive menu with tea infusions making their way into the line-up of treats.
The glass counter has a pretty display of elegant desserts and we couldn’t help but try a few. Citron Gateau au Fromage, Lemon Cheese (RM12.90++), was smooth and creamy with a tinge of citrus. Gateau a Chocolat a la Banane, Chocolate Banana Mousse (RM12.90), wass a round dome of dense whipped chocolate cream with a chocolate cakey base holding soft pieces of banana.
Chocolate Banana Mousse
Citron Meringue, Lemon Meringue (RM14.90), sports a crunchy base filled with a tangy lemon cream and just the right amount of meringue topping. A few toasted pistachios add an extra layer of texture on the top. It’s a lovely balance of sweet and tart, while not being over saccharine.
Handmade Chocolates (RM3.50 per piece) make a pretty gift to accompany some fine tea. Gift boxes are an extra RM6, RM12 or RM24, depending on size. A number of flavours are available such as, Truffle Mocha, Melon Milk, Hazelnut, Pure White, Dark Coconut, Mascarpone, Orange, Cappuccino, Almond Cup Milk, Crispy Nut, Melon Milk and Nougat White.
Hand Made Chocolates
For a cooling treat a tray of three Ice Creams (RM15++) is a nice idea. Mini cone cups are imported from France and the texture is a blend of chewy and crunchy. The current flavours are Pistachio, Double Chocolate and Vanilla. We try some new ones soon to be introduced to the menu: Beetroot cone with Rooibos Tea, Orange cone with Pistachio, and Black Sesame cone with Poushkine Tea. None are overly sweet, so they get all my thumbs up.
House Made Ice Cream in Imported French Cones
Reasons to Visit: excellent selection of fine teas for retail purchase, Lemon Meringue and Lemon Cheese desserts, free WIFI.