New Afternoon Tea Takes Off At Popinjays
The terms afternoon tea and high tea are often used interchangeably when referring to the classic British ritual of sitting down to sip tea and nibble on teatime treats. While we’re sticklers for calling it the former, as the English do when referring to the habit of sitting down for late afternoon refreshments—they did start the trend in the 19th century after all—the Popinjays’ version is possibly the one time we’ll accept its other name. Perched on the top of The Murray, Hong Kong, the rooftop restaurant is indeed serving afternoon tea up high, along with unbeatable views of The Peak, Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens, Central and beyond.
On the menu are a selection of homemade savoury and sweet treats as convention dictates, but with Popinjays’ signature flair for decadence. On the savoury side, the moreish morsels include organic egg, Kristal caviar, crème fraîche blinis; blue lobster, celeriac, apple remoulade tartlet; and the popular mini muffins. If your afternoon tea preference falls more on the sweet end of the spectrum, then remember to save room for the sugary parcels of joy, including mille-feuille, macarons and tartlets that feature seasonally rotating flavours, such as yuzu and raspberry, or vanilla and lemon, as featured in the most recent menu.
Afternoon tea without scones would be unthinkable: skipping these baked goods would be as inconceivable as eating them without venturing into the contentious, age-old debate over whether one should put jam or cream first. For those with a classic palate, Popinjays bakes their scones in-house, and serves them with a homemade, tropical papaya and mango jam and cream freshly whipped to order. If you’re in the mood for something a little more left-field, there is also quite literally a fiery option: the flamboyant Popinjays scones flambéed at your table, filling the room with their buttery aroma. The scones come in two flavours—cherry jubilee or blood orange—and are available for an additional HK$90 a pair. Over the top? Perhaps. But we will admit that this unorthodox treatment of scones does rather intrigue us, even if it’s not one for afternoon tea traditionalists.
Needless to say, there is a wide selection of teas on offer to go alongside the food. Choose from classic afternoon tea selections such as English breakfast, Earl Grey, and Darjeeling, or Chinese options including traditional iron Buddha, jasmine silver needle, dragon well, pu’er, and lychee red. There’s also a decent range of herbal and floral teas, as well as some refreshing signature blends like fruit dove, which mixes together rosebud, hibiscus and blackcurrant tea, a squeeze of lemon, agave, and soda. Caffeine addicts won’t be deprived of their java hit at Popinjays either, and can choose from the usual espresso-based coffees from Illy. And if like us, there’s always room for bubbly in your life, you might consider the champagne afternoon tea set for two which includes a glass of Deutz Blanc de Blanc or Charles-Heidsieck, Rosé Réserve each.
The Popinjays afternoon tea is set at HK$688 for two inclusive of tea and coffee, and the champagne afternoon tea set is available for an additional HK$300 per person. Popinjays may have been named after birds with a particularly sociable spirit, but they also understand some occasions call for a more intimate gathering. If only the most exclusive of tea parties will do, book yourselves into The Aviary, a 20-seat private room with its own terrace.