Ginseng Splendid Afternoon Tea – Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur
Words: Rebecca Cannon
Photos: Monica Tindall
In the latest afternoon tea menu, Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur presents its well-reputed high standard with a health and beauty theme. To do this, they have partnered with the Korean cosmetic sensation- Sulwhasoo. Sulwhasoo is a luxury holistic beauty company, and in this collaboration, they highlight the Ginsenomics anti-aging range.
People told me in my teens, “you’re never too young to start taking care of your skin,” and how I wish I had listened to them. The key ingredient in Ginsenomics is an extract from the ginseng plant. Many dishes, especially the sweets, feature this superfood. As if I needed any more of an excuse to eat afternoon tea! Now I can imagine I’m waving a magic wand over my wrinkles as I nibble on a macaroon and delicately sip my tea.
Ginseng Splendid Afternoon Tea
While the food menu is Korean in style and ginseng-themed, the drinks are classic tea and coffee choices. I selected rooibos, but there is a whole page of coffee options by Illy Cafe, tea by Harney & Sons, and even hot chocolate if you so please.
It does not matter what age I am; when I see sweets in front of me, that is where I want to start. But with the benefit of wisdom that comes with age, I make myself start with the savouries (or is it because Mon is eyeing my plate for evidence of vegetables?). Either way, four savouries have been created by international chef Carlos Valente; Spicy Fried Chicken, Chijimi Pancake, Gimbap, and Croquette Sandwich.
The Korean fried chicken comes with a thoughtfully placed toothpick, so your fingers stay clean whilst your mouth can enjoy the sticky sweetness of the flavourful thigh meat. The Gimbap, or sushi to my anime-affiliated mind, is a superior California roll. It has more of the good fillings inside while still being a manageable bitesize. The sandwich bread is white, soft, and crust-free and filled with a vegetable croquette (see, Mon, I am eating my veg).
My timeless debate begins – Start at the top and work my way down? Go in the order they’re listed on the menu? Start with the best sounding? I followed the menu order this time, so I could play a matching game, trying to find which one was which on the tiers.
The Ginseng Strawberry Macaron was the easiest to locate, but the orange colour did throw me a bit. The macaron is poised on a chocolate base and has a white chocolate stamp on top. I don’t know if this was to hide any bitterness that can sometimes come through with ginseng, as I didn’t taste any. The strawberry and almond flavour danced on my taste buds instead.
Being a simple girl, the Chocolate Walnut Brownie looked like it would be my favourite, and it delivered. It presented whole chocolatey goodness with a drizzle of salted caramel sauce and crunchy walnut chunks. I recommend slicing in with a knife or spoon to witness the salted caramel lava flow down the middle.
The Mango Cheesecake was most definitely made with real mango. It’s hidden inside the orange genie orb. The pearl on top is white chocolate.
The Ginseng Raspberry Tart also has healthy ginseng hidden in there somewhere. Fresh raspberries on top are dusted with icing sugar and piped full of raspberry coulis. The almond tart yields no resistance as I bite into it (really, though, it stood no chance either way with my sweet tooth).
The Banana Cake took some searching. The process of elimination helped, but my mind’s eye was expecting banana bread. Can you see it? It’s the white log on the chocolate biscuit base. The inside tasted like mum’s chocolate banana muffins that we used to kid ourselves were healthy. It was wrapped in a white chocolate ganache and seated on top of a chocolate biscuit base.
The Yuzu Choux also took a search, but thankfully I can recognise a scone, the last reminding item, a mile off. They’re both at the base. The Yuzu Choux will be a favourite of those with a sweet tooth. It has a marzipan-like top with expertly made choux pastry underneath.
I love the playfulness of the chefs at Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur. They plated the classic white and green matcha scones to be arranged like an Alice in Wonderland chessboard. Both are well-sized to end an afternoon tea without regretting your dress size. Unless, of course, you decide to ladle them with clotted cream and jam.
Ginseng Splendid Afternoon Tea – The Details
The Ginseng Splendid Afternoon Tea is priced at RM188 per person and includes food, tea, or coffee and a Sulwhasoo sample kit. The tea is replenished throughout as Helmi, our server, was very good at seeing to. The tea runs from the 1st until the 30th of September, 2022 from 3 pm to 5 pm daily. Bookings are highly recommended.
Sulwhasoo Gift Package
The complimentary gift kit features First Care Activating Serum, Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Serum EX, and Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream. A RM50 discount code is attached, and you can get a larger sample set from RM190 per guest.
Reasons to try the Ginseng Splendid Afternoon Tea: pretty views; gracious service; a fun Korean-ginseng-themed afternoon tea.
Altitude @ Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur
Level 52, No. 2, Jalan Conlay,
50450 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur Afternoon Tea Hours
Daily: 3 pm to 5 pm