Bustling streets of the largest Vietnamese city can be a challenge to newcomers. It sure took us a while to cross the road without skipping a heart bit. One way to overcome the culture shock is with a cup of traditional Vietnamese coffee and a clear view of the intersection. After the stress road crossing, it feels good to keep down a notch and enjoy a warm cup of tea with the treats. Of course, we are talking about afternoon tea. In Ho Chi Minh City one can find a few high tea outlets. The last time we wrote about unforgettable Park Hyatt Saigon high tea, and today I will present to you our afternoon tea time at the Villa Royale. Please continue reading our Villa Royale high tea review and find out how it is.
A cross between a gallery and a restaurant shines in dim lights. Its dark interior puts many items into focus, though very casually. In fact, this dining room is quite an event on its own. A space filled with many different antiques that arrived at Ho Chi Minh from all around the world.
The best part is that while you dine at the Villa Royale, you get to use the beautiful antique tableware. The afternoon tea experience just can’t get more authentic, I guess.
The heart of the drink menu is the TWG tea selection, but one can get something else as well. Tea’s biggest competition is coffee and reasonably, Vietnamese coffee has its home here as well. Those looking for different refreshments will love fresh juices made of seasonal fruits. In addition to that, you’ll also find a selection of soft drinks and water.
Our Tea Selection
Green tea, dyed water only so slightly, but it delivered a strong taste and aroma. Most noticeable was the vanilla and strawberry scent, which translated into the cup of tea. Once tasted, we appreciated slight bitterness making the somewhat girly drink more refined.
Jasmine Monkey King
Night-blooming jasmine releases a relaxing aroma rounded with floral sweetness. Fragrancy is straightforward also due to the fine young leaves and buds. Both are hand-picked and offer little bitterness but fine complexity. Certainly, this is a special tea and the name pays respect to some historical details. Back in the 18th century a group of monks trained monkeys to pick the most tender tea leaves. As one can imagine the tea wasn’t for the monks, but Emperor Qian Long himself. Now TWG group scented the cherished tea leaves with a flower that was first used to scent tea with.
Afternoon Tea Bites
We will spare you the details of each afternoon tea bite but will go through some. Scones are the one-piece we shouldn’t leave out in our Villa Royal afternoon tea review. Although sadly we can’t share the good news regarding this classic. Scones at the Villa Royale were heavy and had a pesky mouthfeel.
Sandwiches, on the other hand, were a step better. Especially the mango curried chicken, but the smoked salmon quiche was the savory highlight. Crispy crust and moisty deliciousness inside are just the right combinations for a good quiche.
Needless to say, some sweets were better than others. We especially liked the chocolate macadamia pie; with melting chocolate and crunchy nuts it was spot on. The second best place goes to Millionaire’s chocolate caramel tart, which took care of all our sugar cravings.
All things considered, we enjoyed our time at the Villa Royale. The attentive staff was very kind and helpful, plus antiques are always a joy to look at. We surely stand behind the idea of combining old traditions with modern demands. If we consider the past our present surely improves. That is especially true when we think of the future and what lies ahead. Speaking of the future, keep in mind that reservations are a must. Especially if you have dietary restrictions or desire for the VIP tearoom or communal table. Although, if you happen to fancy afternoon tea set alone look elsewhere. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t eat something else.