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The Tea of All Teas

April 27, 2010

While most people strive to do admirable things like become a doctor or join the Peace Corps, I strive to accomplish things like having tea in as many cities around the world as possible.   

Yes, I reach for the stars.  I’m sure my parents are super proud. 

My pathetic aspirations aside, thus far I’ve been able to partially fulfill my goal by having afternoon tea in Amsterdam, Paris, London, Toronto, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and as of last week, Tokyo, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur.  

Most of the time I research and plan where I am going to overpay for a cup of tea, but for some reason I didn’t have any location in place for Singapore.   I guess by the time I organized all details for Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur, my tea plan sort of fell by the wayside.  But sometimes the best plans are those that aren’t planned at all, as was the case last Saturday.   

After walking around Singapore for the better part of the day Ali and I were hungry, tired, and getting cranky from lack of food.  So before things got too ugly we caught a cab and headed to the Ritz with no reservation and no idea what was in store for us.  Little did I know that we were in store for not just an afternoon tea, but an afternoon tea buffet.  My God how could I have never heard of a tea buffet? 

To say I was overwhelmed is an understatement.  I didn’t know where to start.  I just kept telling Ali, I think I am in heaven.   

There was a savory section with a variety of finger sandwiches, dumplings, grape leaves, and smoked salmon with caviar, among other things: 



Round 1 Ameena - Tomato/Mozzarella Sandwich, Smoked Salmon with Caviar, Stuffed Grape Leaves with Hummus, and a Raisin Scone


Round 1 Ali – Cucumber/Tomato/Mozzarella Sandwich, Chicken Potsticker, Chicken Pastry, Cream Cheese/Tomato Wrap

There was also a chef on hand to make crepes to order with Nutella, chocolate, bananas, etc., but in attempt at maintaining a tiny bit of decorum I didn’t try the crepes.  

I stopped taking photos of Ali’s plates around this time because I was slightly distracted by the most beautifully displayed dessert station I have ever seen.  I felt like I was in a dream garden filled with sugar.  Am I the only one who dreams of sugar?  




I was already full from round 1 but I simply had to try some of the desserts so I picked out a few and had a bite of each before passing the rest on to Ali.   

Round 2 Ali & Ameena - Chocolate-filled Strawberry Sandwich Cookie, Cream Puff, Sugar Coated Mini-Donut


Round 3 Ameena – Chocolate Mousse Cone with Popcorn, Zucchini/Mozzarella/Tomato Sandwich, Raisin Scone

Are you grossed out by my sugar consumption yet?  In my defense I ate all of the scones but just a little bit of everything else.   

Round ? Ali – Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie, Fresh Whipped Cream and Strawberry Cake

I had a taste of Ali’s brownie and it was out of this world.  It was a momentous occasion because we agreed on something for a change – the brownie was the best dessert on the table!  Although to be fair we weren’t able to try them all.  I really wanted to but couldn’t.  Actually, I haven’t touched sugar since Saturday…that was how sugared-out I was.  But I’m glad I did it and I’d do it all over again.  It was worth the slight stomach ache too.  

If you ever find yourself in Singapore with an hour or two to spare and some lofty/vapid aspirations like mine, I highly recommend checking out the tea buffet at the Ritz-Carlton Millenia.  It was hands down one of the best, if not the best, culinary experiences of my life.  

Do you have any “silly” aspirations like my goal to have tea around the world? 

40 Comments leave one →
  1. April 27, 2010 7:36 pm

    Absolutely stunning! There is something so fun about tea time — it’s absolutely one of my favorite activities.

  2. April 27, 2010 8:03 pm

    I love that you like to have tea in as many cities as possible. I am a tea junkie myself.

    This buffet look so wonderful. I have been jealous of many of your vacation buffets, but I am most jealous of this one! At least I can enjoy it via blog pics!

  3. actorsdiet permalink
    April 27, 2010 8:33 pm

    OH MY GOD. my mind is reeling. you didn’t bring me back any?!?

    let’s have tea sometime – i’ll even go to american girl with you and maya sometime….

  4. traynharder23 permalink
    April 27, 2010 8:43 pm

    what an AMAZING TEA! WOW@ i’m in awe.


    no, your goal is TOTALLY not lame it’s awesome

  5. April 27, 2010 9:07 pm

    why is everything so perfect and cute!! lol. so much detail and love put into the presentation. ur living like a princess right now (but u so deserve it!) xo

  6. nadia permalink
    April 27, 2010 9:25 pm

    OMG is right!! i am totally beside myself and wouldn’t know what to do w myself in that situation. seriously one of the most beautiful presentations i’ve ever seen, we will have to find a “tea buffet” in LA! there’s bound to be something of the sort?? and since i’m already 20 lbs in, it’s my jackpot opportunity:)

  7. Saeeda permalink
    April 27, 2010 9:38 pm

    wow, looks amazing! We are planning to be in Singapore in December and I know where we are headed for our anniversary tea! I love afternoon tea as well and wanted to add two to try – Peninsula Chicago and this really adorable place in SF, Crown and Crumpet(not as much variety but just a really cute place) I hope you had a great trip!

  8. April 27, 2010 11:57 pm

    I want some of those brownies!!! lol. I would love to visit Singapore one day. A few of my cousins just recently had a trip there and they enjoyed it very much. That’s a great idea to have tea where you travel.

  9. April 28, 2010 12:17 am

    Oh my god, donuts on sticks? Too fabulous daaaaahling. I am so with you on taking tea all over the world. I guess you and I are on the same page :D. To us tea drinking, cake eating housewives, may we rule the world.
    *kisses* HH

  10. April 28, 2010 3:20 am

    Oh my gosh, those flower desserts are so cute!! This entire “meal” looks amazing!!

    And I love their plates, too! 🙂

  11. April 28, 2010 4:10 am

    That dessert buffet looks like something out of Alice in Wonderland. You didn’t happen to see a Mad Hatter, did you? I think I would have gone a lot overboard with that selection. I love afternoon tea, but I think those desserts may have outshone it.

  12. April 28, 2010 4:19 am

    You are living it up! I don’t know how you practiced self-control around all those goodies. They’re like works of art.

  13. April 28, 2010 4:51 am

    chocolate-banana-nutella crepes? wow!

    your eats look yummy…i would be in a coma cause my mouth is full-speed and eats and eats before my brain registers 😉

    teas around the world?…i like that idea…its both a very simple thing (tea tastes) intertwined with a very accomplished and complex thing (around the world)…

    you got me thinking though…

  14. April 28, 2010 5:27 am

    Oh. Wow. If those desserts tasted half as good as they look then you must have an iron will to have been able to exercise any form of self-control. Love that you did a taste test of everything though 🙂

  15. April 28, 2010 5:55 am

    Oh my… those desserts look incredible!!!! Especially the brownie, yum! I always go for chocolate when I have a dessert buffet. Never fails me..

  16. April 28, 2010 5:56 am

    Those sandwiches were tiny 😦

    But what an amazing tea buffet complete with a sugar station. I didn’t know all those existed. I wouldn’t have resisted going for round after round. After all, they wouldn’t see me after that, would they? 😀

    I so enjoyed the posts on your vacation. I think the Mandarin paled in comparison to the rest of your palatial residences. That’s why you folks felt let down. 😉

  17. April 28, 2010 6:50 am

    *GASP* I’ve never had afternoon tea before. Unless you count drinking tea in the afternoon while I’m at work. . . .No?

    Was this your favourite tea yet? Be honest.

    • April 28, 2010 8:49 am

      Definitely my favorite tea yet, by far. Not sure if I will be able to find anything to compare to this again!

  18. April 28, 2010 6:59 am

    WOW! This does look amazing…

    huh I never thought of trying afternoon tea at a hotel.. will keep that in mind 🙂

  19. April 28, 2010 7:33 am

    Don’t know why I’ve never thought about doing that! I ADORE TEA.

    I have a tea place (or two) in my own town and never been

    what the flip is wrong with me.

    I am sugared out too…those desserts were so CUTE and beautiful.

    so glad you found yourself having tea at the Ritz.

    I totally love your goal! If I ever make it your way we should have TEA (and knit)


  20. April 28, 2010 7:54 am

    HOLY! Those are some of the most beautiful desserts I’ve seen. I’d be grossed out if you DIDN’T try all of them 😉 I don’t think having tea around the world is a silly aspiration at all. I don’t know what mine would be though. I’m pretty simple minded.

  21. whydeprive permalink
    April 28, 2010 8:18 am

    Ok that looks like its just about the best place EVER!
    I like your goal of having tea everywhere. I dont have any goals at all. Not a one.

  22. April 28, 2010 8:46 am

    The set up and food look super delightful. I would skip lunch and just have high teas if I was there. Hope you have recovered from the sugar OD and jet lag. Thanks for sharing all the beautiful photos.

  23. April 28, 2010 9:18 am

    i don’t think that aspiration is silly at all. it’s more than i’ve got!

    that place looked absolutely insane. you take such great pix!

  24. April 28, 2010 9:25 am

    i have this strange desire to try every single spice i can get my hands on… lots to get to tasting for me!

    that place has such gorgeous set up perfect looking food! i could not imagine the time it takes to prepare that stuff!

    what did you think of the caviar?

    • April 28, 2010 1:59 pm

      The caviar taste was very subtle and I really liked it. I’ve never really had a bunch of it at once, not sure if I could handle that. 🙂

  25. April 28, 2010 9:34 am

    Hmm..I pretty much HAVE to go shopping everywhere I go. I will not leave until I buy something. I also like having a beer in every city I go to 🙂 Besides that, I don’t think so!
    I hate going to chain restaurants when I travel. My boyfriend was really irritated with me when we went to IL because I wouldn’t go to Subway with him-haha!

  26. highonhealthy permalink
    April 28, 2010 10:28 am

    I don’t think your tea aspirations are silly, I think they’re unique and cool! Having tea in as many countries and cities as possible? That’s admirable to me. 😉

    All those deserts are adorable! And delicious looking. I don’t know what I would have done if surrounded by so many options.. probably eaten myself into a sugar coma.

  27. raana permalink
    April 28, 2010 10:31 am

    this high tea seems to be inspired from botanical garden.lovely ideas for presentation!!
    this is one of my aspirations too!!!

  28. April 28, 2010 10:35 am

    Ooh, I love all the pictures. What a beautiful spread. I have a friend who had a goal to have a McDonald’s ice cream cone in as many different countries as possible. She insists they’re different in Europe. I have a goal of visiting every baseball stadium in the country. I love visiting stadiums 🙂 I think your tea aspirations are endearing. I love it. How’s the jet lag now? I’m a little nervous about coming back. I have a harder time with that!

  29. fitandfortysomething permalink
    April 28, 2010 10:51 am

    love that you enjoy having tea-but who wouldn’t if you got so many fun things with it. i think i aspire to ride my bike in as many fun places as i can 🙂

  30. April 28, 2010 11:22 am

    i never knew that this tea ceremony should be on my list but seriously — its getting added!!!

  31. April 28, 2010 11:38 am

    Gorgeous, a feast for the eyes!

  32. April 28, 2010 12:04 pm

    Gorgeous desserts!! My family has stayed at the Ritz in San Juan, PR and St. Thomas and both times we were giddy with all of the gorgeous little desserts!! But these desserts blow even what we had totally out of the water. Those desserts would most definitely test out my self control!!!!

  33. April 28, 2010 12:16 pm

    I think having tea in as many places as possible is a pretty admirable goal 🙂

  34. louisianagrown permalink
    April 28, 2010 12:31 pm

    Gee wiz. The only place we have that much food around here is at the casinos, and it isn’t even very good. I’ve never had tea in my life!

  35. April 28, 2010 12:44 pm

    Having tea around the world sounds like so much fun — I’d love to join you for that! 🙂 This is an absolutly beautiful buffet (especially the dessert station 😉 ).

  36. April 28, 2010 2:41 pm

    What tantalizing treats!!!!! Lucky you 😉
    BTW-ever tried a cuppa ‘chai’? Masala chai is another must try and ‘adrak/ginger’ tea is for the winters!!
    I love trying local fruits-loved Dragon fruit in Malaysia!!

  37. April 28, 2010 4:53 pm

    Oh, WOW!
    Loved that tea buffet!
    Never heard of something like that before 😀
    Looks like you´ve had a BLAST, Ameena!
    Have a great night!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,

  38. April 29, 2010 8:53 am

    My boyfriend kicks his shoes off too and it drives me crazy… only he is 27… some habits never change I guess 🙂

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