Stepping into the St. Regis is like being transported into the lap of luxury. In an interesting design choice, the Lobby isn't one of expanse. Rather, its compact stature, coupled with imposing (but extremely tasteful) black columns has the effect of ushering one into the hotel, as opposed to inspiring the need to loiter.
[The Lobby of the St Regis]
[The Drawing Room Calls]
Off to the right, you will find our venue du jour- The Drawing Room. In an unabashed display of opulence, the marble flooring and counters remind you that you are in for quite an afternoon. As the leather artwork by Mark Evans found in the lobby suggests, there is a strong theme of polo running through the hotel, and that culminates in the monumental sculpture by Fernando Botero that's found in The Drawing Room.
[Fernando Botero's Sculpture]
While the austerity of the dark marble reminds you at every turn that you are at THE St. Regis, there are concerted pops of colour to break up the severity of it all.
[The Tea Service]
On some level, it reminds you a little of being in Alice in Wonderland with the sharp contrasts of formality and levity.
Aesthetics aside, you will appreciate the ergonomic functionality designed into the entire hotel. For example, at each dining venue, they have moved away from the trend of having hooks under the table for your handbags. Noting the cumbersome nature of such things, they provide little seats for you to place your bag on next to you. I have yet to see this anywhere else, and it is a thoroughly well thought out move.
[For Your Bag]
Hidden under your table are charging stations as well, so that you have the convenience of charging your phone as you dine. As always, it's the little things that push the experience over the edge.
[What You'll Be Treated To]
[An Education on Afternoon Tea Etiquette]
In keeping with ensuring that your experience is authentic, you will be given a guide on the appropriate etiquette, with such tidbits as the history of afternoon tea, and the appropriate manner in which to place your cutlery and napkin when you leave the table.
With all this in place to package the ideal experience, then, it's a real shame that TWG is the only tea on offer. There are 5 choices ranging from white to black, but their tea still pales in comparison to finer options that I've experienced at other tea salons in KL.
[TWG's 1837 Black Tea]
The saving grace of the questionable tea was the beautiful China that accompanied it. The temptation towards kleptomania runs high because these beautiful dishes are exclusive to the St. Regis KL, having been designed by the owners. They're not for sale for the specific purpose of ensuring limitation to their tea room.
[How Gorgeous is This Table?]
Now, when it comes to afternoon tea here, you would be remiss in thinking it's just your run-of-the-mill offering because their savouries come quite literally on a silver platter.
If you go for nothing else (especially not the tea), go for the sandwiches! These delightful morsels are served in fours (one of each flavour), but you can have as many as you'd like as they make their way around the room.
[Egg Mayonaise "Melanosporum" Black Truffle]
[Scottish Smoked Salmon, Chives Creme Fraiche on Rye Bread]
[Sweet Wine and Port Terrine of Foie Gras on Toasted Brioche]
[King Crab, Avocado, Sakura Mix]
They were truly the highlight of the tea, not just because they helped to cut through the sweetness of the tiered set itself, but primarily due to the fact that the ingredients were extremely fresh and impeccably paired. You do have the option of popping in just for the sandwiches (RM80), but you would be missing out on two components of the tea service that you shouldn't.
[What's for Dessert?]
Because truly, what's afternoon tea without scones? With the array of dense and stodgy rocks readily available all over KL, this was a refreshing change. The scones here are the best I've tried in such a setting. They were crumbly and flaky, and delicious even on their own, but it definitely helps that the St. Regis serves actual clotted cream to go with them.
[Cranberry and Plain Scones served with Homemade Strawberry Jam and Clotted Cream]
More spectacular than finding good scones, our tea service came with a Chocolate Shooter!
[White Chocolate Tile and Chocolate Shooter]
Now, I've seen recipes for these cookie cups, but for fear of turning into the Cookie Monster, I've restrained myself from making them. It was quite nice to be given one in a controlled environment where I wouldn't end up under a pile of cookie crumbs in deep regret over my life's decisions.
This will undoubtedly satisfy the most ardent chocoholic out there (in fact, this entire tier would!). The "cup" is made of a deliciously buttery chocolate chip cookie dough, and then coated in chocolate to ensure it maintains its structural integrity because it is then topped off with chocolate milk. Truly decadent and heavenly, you would do fine stopping at this point and heading home.
But for those of you with a far more persistent sweet tooth than mine, there's a beautiful slab of white chocolate with the hotel's logo imprinted on it. It's beautiful, but not being a fan of white chocolate (it's not actually chocolate), I gave it a miss. However, my dining companion, Carol, who is a fan was overjoyed with it!
The overwhelming amount of sugar left me reeling at the idea of another tier of sweets, so we broke it up with another round (maybe two...okay fine, four) of sandwiches.
In essence, the top tier of this tea set was wholly unnecessary.
The fruit tartlette was nothing spectacular. It did have a nice touch of tart with the myriad fruit, a sufficiently crumbly shell, and even some edible gold leaf as an accent, but even so it wasn't a must-have.
[Mixed Fruit Tartlette]
The macaron, however, was excellent. Truly one of the best I've had in KL, this pistachio macaron had the perfect ratio of crisp and crumbly to chewy, with a perfectly sweetened centre. I could easily eat an entire box of these.
The hazelnut choux was disappointing, to say the least. There was an overwhelming meal-y taste to it which detracted from the rich hazelnut filling.
The cake pop, as well, was decent but not worth attempting if you've hit your sugar limit for the day.
[Raspberry Cake Pop]
While the macaron was excellent, the rest of the pastries were beautiful, but lacked any innovative draw. They weren't anything special, and I would skip everything but the macaron in favour of their house speciality if you still need something sweet to take your experience to the next level (the next level being diabetes). Which we did, of course!
Now, I'm not a fan of cheesecake, but I would eat this entire slice in a heartbeat (just before that heart attack sets in, too). It was rich, but somehow still light. It lacked the cloying density that so many cheesecakes have that saturate your taste buds and make you feel overwhelmed after just a few bites. Hands down one of the best cheesecakes in KL.
Overall, this was one of the best afternoon tea experiences I've had in KL. The service could have been a bit more attentive, but when you finally get their attention, they're very polite and try to expedite your request.
I will return for sure, but I would personally skip the afternoon tea set (RM140) in favour of the sandwiches and a cookie shot; maybe even a scone or two if I've put in my time at the gym.