For our trip to Singapore, I made only one restaurant booking from Australia – high tea at the Raffles Hotel. On the day, I was glad we had a reservation; well before the doors to the Tiffin Room were opened, we stood in a long line of people with reservations, all eagerly waiting to get in. We peered through the windows at the elegant table settings. “Wow,” I couldn’t help exclaiming: “There’s a harpist!” It took a while to herd everyone in, and so despite the surrounding splendour and opulence, it felt a bit like waiting to get into Sizzler.
There was self-service iced tea and water available, but champagne and hot tea were noticeably slow to be served. Waiters in white jackets and black ties wove their way gracefully around the room to deliver three-tiered stands to all the tables. Our three-tiered stand resembled our clothes horse at home, perpetually bent out of shape thanks to our younger cat Truffle’s daredevil escapades. Within the wonky silver frame were finger sandwiches and little cakes. Not a big deal, but I was surprised that in an establishment such the Raffles Hotel where attention to detail should be impeccable, this crooked stand had not been taken out of service.
Fresh fruit, more cakes and hot pastries are served buffet-style. Three varieties of scone were available: plain and raisin (served with strawberry jam and clotted cream), and cheddar and spring onion.
The dim sum station included mini chicken char siew pow, seafood and spinach dumplings, and chicken and prawn siew mai. Toque-wearing chefs regularly replenished the stocks.
The Raffles Hotel’s reputation precedes it. Its colonial grandeur is magnificent, and the Tiffin Room is a beautiful setting for high tea. But too often, buffets impress with pomp and prettiness, dazzling us with quantity – and once we taste, leave us wanting. We appreciated the savoury offerings at this high tea, but nothing we ate, savoury or sweet, was truly outstanding; in fact, the cakes in our wonky silver stand were on the dry side. I don’t regret the experience, but I had expected something better, if not special, at the Raffles Hotel Singapore, and left a little disappointed.
Raffles Hotel Singapore
1 Beach Road, Singapore 189673
High tea is from 3pm to 5.30pm daily
Adults: SGD$58 without champagne or SGD$80 with a glass of Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve Champagne.
Children (aged 6 to 12): SGD$29
Reservations are highly recommended.
Dress code is smart casual. Requirements were provided in my email confirmation when I made the booking.
Jac and I were in Singapore for 8 nights in July 2014. We paid for this trip ourselves and our friend Mandy was our local guide and makan kaki (eating buddy).
- Ice cream wafer
- Al Tasneem
- Forget chilli crab! Keng Eng Kee Seafood
- Chomp Chomp Food Centre
- High tea at the Raffles Hotel Singapore – this post
- Tian Tian and Zhen Zhen, Maxwell Food Centre
- My Singapore durian fest
- Azmi Chapati
- Yet Con
- LEGOLAND Malaysia
- Dong Po Colonial Cafe
I’m flying out to Myanmar on 4 December and will be there on a photography tour for around 2 weeks. There will be new posts published here on the blog while I am away – I’ve got them pre-written and scheduled in WordPress. While I am travelling, social media updates (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) will depend on the internet access in Myanmar, which I know has improved in recent years but is still likely to be slow and unreliable.