TOKYO – AFTERNOON TEA AT THE RITZ CARLTON

Tokyo – Afternoon Tea at the Ritz Carlton

From day 1 of my maternity leave, Stephen and I talked about taking a trip to Asia before I returned to work. The idea of a long haul flight was daunting but after a successful visit to Seattle when Alivia was 5 months old, we crossed our fingers and booked tickets to Japan with a three day layover in Taipei. In hindsight, we were way too ambitious (4 cities, 5 stops, 3 layovers, 6 flights and 3 train rides) and there’s lots of things we’d do differently, but one thing we got right was starting our trip at The Ritz Carlton in Tokyo.

We decided to stay in a hotel in Tokyo for ease of taking taxis, location and honestly to be a bit pampered after surviving the flight over. Using Stephen’s hotel points we booked a 5 night stay at The Ritz Carlton, which was centrally located in Roppongi and had a ton of restaurants within a 10 minute walk. I also loved that room service offered complimentary baby food suitable for babies from 6 months old to over a year. This saved us at the beginning of the trip when Alivia’s appetite wasn’t the greatest. While staying at the hotel, we had the opportunity to enjoy Afternoon Tea at the Lobby Lounge with a spectacular view of Tokyo and 14 delicious sweet and savoury treats.

Disclaimer: All food and drinks reviewed below were provided complimentary. All opinions expressed below are wholly mine.

The Lobby Lounge was located on the 45th floor with windows spanning two storey ceilings that offered a stunning view of Tokyo. Stephen, Alivia and I settled into a corner table with a comfy loveseat and armchairs facing the view. Our server came by to welcome us and introduce their tea selection. After taking in the aroma of each, Stephen chose the darjeeling while I opted for Royal Bouquet, a green tea with floral tones. Next, a cart was wheeled to us with a selection of artisanal jams for the delicious scones later and petit fours. I chose the yuzu jam that was more tart than sweet (I can’t resist anything yuzu) and complimented the clotted cream.

To begin, we were served a cup of the Ritz Carlton Tokyo special blend tea with our tiered serving tray of delectable treats. After which, our server brought over a cup of our personal selection. Cups were refilled but we did not have the full teapot at our table. Our server was also kind enough to find us an order of baby food from room service for Alivia. The Ritz Carlton also offers a special Kids Afternoon Tea menu for children under 12. A definite future mommy/daughter date.

As for the bites. Wow. Stunning in presentation and taste. The menu changes often to reflect ingredients that are in season but consistently includes traditional Japanese flavours like yuzu and sakura. During our visit, kumquats were in season and featured in a ham & cheese finger sandwich with chorizo and kumquat pepper jam. Other key ingredients of the savoury bites were foie gras mousse, crab, ikura and prawn. Each was paired with a sweet or acidic component that balanced and highlighted the ingredients natural flavour. Foie gras mousse with apple, prawn with pear, crab with lime. The sweets were just as delightful. I loved how they were lightly sweet, which meant I had no trouble finishing all 6 bites. My favourite was the strawberry tart with yuzu cream while Stephen liked the champagne jelly.

Overall, Afternoon Tea was a truly lovely experience from the live piano performance to each heavenly bite. I loved how flavours were present and pronounced without being overwhelmingly sweet or rich.

Tokyo – Afternoon Tea at the Ritz CarltonTokyo – Afternoon Tea at the Ritz CarltonTokyo – Afternoon Tea at the Ritz CarltonTokyo – Afternoon Tea at the Ritz CarltonTokyo – Afternoon Tea at the Ritz CarltonTokyo – Afternoon Tea at the Ritz Carlton