UPDATE: This restaurant is now closed.
The High Tea Club is a new addition to Cambridge’s vibrant Mill Road, tucked away just over the railway bridge. Created by sisters Danielle and Jessica Xiao, The High Tea Club is a beautiful space with a little something for everyone, serving breakfast, lunch, all day brunch, afternoon tea and cocktails/drinks with an evening nibbles menu. However tea is the focus, offering a staggering variety of imported teas that aren’t available anywhere else. It’s a veritable tea lover’s paradise.
The menus are extensive and quite varied… from English breakfast, through afternoon tea to exotic tea based cocktails and everything in between. It’s just crazy enough to work. After all, The High Tea Club is very much a reflection of Mill Road… lively, diverse and fun! I attended to the press launch on 29 October. I liked it so much, I couldn’t wait to go back and I did, a couple of weeks later.
At the launch, I was offered a choice of tea. I had Jasmine Chai consisting of black tea, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, white pepper, jasmine petals, rose petals, lavender petals, clove and nutmeg. It was packed with flavour and served in a lovely cup and saucer.
Some people at the launch ordered one of the spectacular flowering teas where the tea slowly opens into a flower once hot water is added. They are served in clear glass teapots so you can enjoy the show! When I went back to The High Tea Club a few weeks later, I made sure to get the Mountain Dream Flowering tea. It was not only gorgeous, it was a very enjoyable cup of tea.
On both occasions (the launch and my return visit) I shared The High Tea Club’s Chinese Dim Sum afternoon tea, a variety of small dishes served in three neatly stacked square bamboo baskets.
The first basket featured vegetable spring rolls and sesame prawn toasts, both deep fried so they were greasy, especially the toast. I’m more a fan of steamed items but these were good nonetheless.
The middle basket contained three different types of dumplings: pork siu mai (cup shaped), prawn dumplings (encased in a thin translucent wrapper) and pan-fried dumplings (filled with meat then crimped to seal in the filling). All three had tasty, fresh fillings. The first two baskets included cucumber as a palate cleanser. Nice touch.
The bottom basket was the “dessert” featuring light and fluffy egg cream buns, with some sliced strawberries to finish the meal with a little something sweet.
English afternoon tea is also on the menu with freshly made finger sandwiches and homemade scones. Some people enjoyed this at the launch and it looked very good indeed.
In the evening, The High Tea Club transforms into a bar with a vast array of drinks, such as beer, wine, spirits, liqueurs and cocktails. They have cocktails featuring tea that I heard are quite good so I definitely need to go back and try those. Nibbles include cheese boards, bruschetta and that wonderful Dim Sum afternoon tea. There are hot drinks available too, such as coffee, hot chocolate and of course… an extensive range of teas!
Return visit on 22.04.2016
The High Tea Club have simplified their menu and now offer All Day Dim Sum, Afternoon Tea with a selection of finger sandwiches and Cream Tea with scones. Their Weekend Brunch is on Saturdays and Sundays only. Paulo and I popped into The High Tea Club for lunch and ordered Dim Sum for 2. We had a choice of 6 boxes (individual menu items), each served in their own bamboo basket. The accompanying tea rice came in its own cup. The Dim Sum menu differs from their earlier Dim Sum Afternoon Tea, as we get to make our own choices out of a total of 26 items (divided into Steamed, Fried, Pan-fried or Roasted categories). All six of our choices were delicious. From the steamed items we chose: pork siu mai (pork, shrimp, mushroom), prawn dumplings, chives dumplings (pork, chives, prawn, mushroom) and egg cream buns (had this last, as “dessert”). Pan-fried items included Shanghai pork buns (pork, sesame seeds and spring onion) and pork & prawn bun (pork, prawn, spring onion and mushroom). They were served with two types of sauces: a herby soy sauce and a spicy one. The rice cooked with tea was excellent and sticky enough to pick up with chopsticks. We had a nice lunch and we will go back for more Dim Sum in the evening so we can enjoy their cocktails, many of which are tea-based.
This post is based on 3 visits: the press launch and 2 return visits. Although the food and drink were complimentary at the launch, all views are my own. My return visits were at my own cost and staff were unaware that my experience would be the basis of a written review. I did not receive compensation for my review.
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