Words: Samantha Urlwin Photos: Monica Tindall
The Hilton at KL Sentral is conveniently located beside the train station, providing easy access to both airports and KL City Centre. The hotel lobby is bright, cool and inviting, a great escape from the heat and humidity of the city. As we walked through to the lounge, our eyes were drawn toward the floor to ceiling windows, giving us a majestic view of the Lake Gardens.
The afternoon set tea (RM80 nett per person) arrived in a beautiful half-birdcage. The presentation was stunning and it was almost too beautiful to take apart and start tasting.
The tea menu is extensive, with choices to appeal to everyone. Traditionally, the classic tea for afternoon tea is English Breakfast but, if that’s not to your taste, you can choose from a large selection of Black Teas (six), Green Teas (four), Herbal Infusions (two), Wellness Teas (three), Fruit Infusions (four), or Rooibos (two).
First up, the scones, a personal favourite. Both the plain scones and raisin scones were delicious; I’d go so far as to say they’re the best I’ve had in KL. With a light, golden crust, they opened to reveal a perfect crumb. Moist and tender, the scones were accompanied by a heavenly clotted cream and a choice between apricot and strawberry jam; a lovely entrée to afternoon tea.
Presented with a wonderful array of little sandwiches; We started with the chive egg, mayonnaise and caviar on a mini English muffin. The sandwich was a delicate affair, with a piece of egg atop an English muffin (baked in-house). The caviar lent a lovely, salty tang to the egg sandwich and the English muffin was wonderful; light and airy.
A classic cucumber and dill sandwich followed and was almost too beautiful to eat. As tasty as always, the sandwich was artfully presented, with a long sliver of cucumber encircling the sandwich; the flavours delicate and fresh.
Next up were my two favourite sandwiches: a smoked salmon and lemon aioli on wholemeal bread; and shaved beef pastrami and Cornichons on mini brioche. The smoked salmon sandwich was beautifully constructed, with the smoked salmon wrapped around fingers of wholemeal bread; the flavours were exquisite and I was wishing for more. The shaved beef pastrami was lovely and the tang of the Cornichon offset the rich flavour of the meat. Both the salmon and pastrami are cured and smoked in house – and they were delicious!
The desserts looked exquisite: crunchy PB & J cake, strawberry cheesecake, raspberry macaroon, chocolate éclair and orange trifle. The trickiest decision was deciding which one to try first!
Éclairs are known to be a particularly difficult pastry to make well but you’d never know by looking at these. The pâte à choux was perfectly baked with a crunchy chocolate crust on top, filled with a delectable caramel mousse and sprinkled with gold leaf. The combination of the crunchy pastry and the smooth and delicious caramel mousse was magnificent.
Following the éclair, I delved into the Crunchy PB&J cake – who can resist a good PB&J? The cake was light and rich, all at the same time – absolutely heavenly. The base of the cake was a very thin layer of chocolate and the layers followed with a peanut dacquoise, raspberry jam, more peanut dacquoise, peanut crunch, chocolate ganache and topped with a milk chocolate peanut mousse and sugared chocolate decoration. The taste was divine and sure to please all peanut butter lovers.
The strawberry cheesecake was a masterpiece to look at, and almost a shame to cut into. Once I tasted it; however, I was glad to have not missed out. The cheesecake was actually two cheesecakes in one; a lovely, tart strawberry jam, sandwiched between baked cheesecake on the bottom and chilled cheesecake on top, and finished with a beautiful dome of strawberry jelly.
I’m generally not a huge fan of trifle but the orange trifle was delightful. Orange sponge cake with candied orange and a light and not-too-sweet orange cream combined beautifully. The orange flavour came through without overpowering the trifle and the candied orange pieces added a lovely punch of flavour. Light, flavourful and delicious.
Last, but by no means least, the raspberry macaroon. Perfectly shaped raspberry meringues joined by a layer of chocolate ganache, the time-tested flavour of raspberry and chocolate is hard to beat. Crisp on the outside and chewy within, with the burst of chocolate flavour is hard to beat, and the perfect ending to a lovely afternoon.
If you’re in the market for a classic afternoon tea, don’t pass this one by – every day from 2:30pm – 5:30pm in the Lobby Lounge of the Hilton Kuala Lumpur. The presentation of the dishes is magnificent, the food is delicious and the scones are second to none!
Reasons to visit: beautiful floor to ceiling windows overlooking greenery; a traditional afternoon tea executed with elegance and flair; without doubt, the best scones in Kuala Lumpur.