High Tea Review by Guest Blogger Suzanne from Don’t They Know Who I Am?
High Tea as a concept for me has always been a little bizarre. Tea I understand, perhaps some small pastries, but all of this plus savoury sandwiches, champagne, gourmet meats and cakes? Appearing in courses as it does, you could very likely be eating and drinking from an hour past lunch to an hour before dinner. Which I’ll happily admit has its charms.
Origins restaurant is located on the ground floor of the Pan Pacific hotel in Perth’s city central – tucked away in one of the off-St George’s Terrace roads, just around the corner from the main lobby. Origins is spacious and old-world, but small enough to feel quite cosy and sports a wonderful horse-art thematic that I love.
Upon arrival we were presented with tea menus – the brand of choice is TWG teas, a brand I’d met and made a big fuss over on a recent trip to Singapore, and the range was epic. I went for a Moroccan Mint, on the recommendation of Pawel, our effervescent and charming waiter, and it arrived in the most gorgeous teapot. Oh, if I had pockets this big…
I managed to refrain from champagne – not through virtue, due to being a dreadful lightweight with alcohol – and I was perfectly content with my delicious and refreshing tea. Not being at all sure what to expect, I was somewhat surprised at the appetizer when it appeared.
I forget sometimes that High Tea is also a savoury experience, and not just a big old cakefest. What you see above is a shotglass of frothy pea soup, a portion of duck sausage (I believe it was called something more exotic than that) and a slice of some form of cured ham/salami. I’ll admit to being a little cautious, but it wasn’t necessary. I loved that salami, and the pea soup was light and delicious. Duck is not a meat I like, but the sausage had been really delicately seasoned and the overall effect was very tasty. The portions are obviously tiny, which was a relief when the famed multi-tiered construction appeared.
The structure had three levels – from dainty sandwiches, to tiny prawn cocktails (a personal first: I am a fan), to tasty savoury cheese pastries. No cucumber sandwiches to be seen, but I didn’t feel their loss. I especially liked the cheese pastry and the open beef sandwich – wonderfully done.
And the cakes – let’s face it, it’s why I’m there – were tiny, delicate and exquisite. I felt like I could have strung them on a chain and worn them as a necklace. There was moist carrot cake with lemon icing, tiramisu, single profiteroles with white chocolate sauce, and miniature orange-icing cupcakes. We took our time with this course – there were duplicates of everything, and everything was a discovery. Pawel was vigilant and very helpful, one thing lead to another, and I was trying yet another herbal tea (Happy Birthday Tea). Oh my. The teas. They are worth the visit on their own.
Ultimately it was a very relaxing, pleasant and indulgent few hours, and I left feeling nowhere near as stuffed to the gills as I suspected I might be. All the food was very light and fresh, in small controlled portions, and wonderfully presented. For those looking to investigate one of Perth’s many High Tea venues, you most certainly could do worse than this.
About the Author: Suzanne spent her formative years playing video games and wearing princess dresses, and hasn’t particularly changed. She is a librarian and beauty blogger, who sometimes moonlights as a book reviewer and beauty writer for various publications. She is a cat mother, and only regrets this when she wears white.
High Tea at Origins Restaurant Pan Pacific Perth – Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to 5pm.