The location is at Pan Pacific Orchard, behind Orchard Towers, and not, as we thought, at the more well-known Pan Pacific near Suntec. Upon entering, the high-tea (2-5pm) is to the right at the lobby, and not to the left which is its main restaurant, 10 at Claymore.
Very Good Croissants – Buttery, Fluffy and Flakey
Pan Pac Orchard’s concept of high tea ($28++ weekdays and $38++ weekends), that comes with free-flow of TWG tea, is small bites between lunch and dinner so that you’d have room for dinner. Therefore the selection isn’t extensive.
But if you want, there are free-flow, order-to-cook mains to fill your stomach. Chef Andy Oh’s char kway teow (pictured above) is award-winning, one of the six dishes and the only Asian dish that won at Omni Hotels and Resorts’ Simply Street Food competition. While the taste was not bad, enhanced by the sweetness of blue crab meat, my BFF and I agreed that, if we wanted to be picky, it was just a bit dry and there wasn’t any wok hei. This version was neither Singaporean (sweet) nor Malaysian (salty) and was more in-between, a little sweet, a little salty. We worry that it tries to please everyone but ends up pleasing no one.
The other two mains: I thought the Penang prawn noodle fared better than the char kway teow, its broth sweet, but my BFF differed and preferred the broth to be thicker. The Penang assam laksa (pictured above) had a rich tamarind fish stock and very fresh seabass with a great texture, zinged up by the mint leaves, but wasn’t assam-sourish enough.
As a whole, the mains were made moderate, aimed at a general public, which seems to be a smart decision since Pan Pac is a hotel for travelers all over the world.
The high tea costs more on weekends because there is a live cooking station that serves melted cheese over vegetables, or raclette. My BFF declared, “This is no good raclette in Singapore.” He informed me that the best raclette has cheese that can be stretched up to 3 metres, visually spectacular. Not as experienced as my moneyed BFF, this was my third or fourth time eating it. I thought it was much superior than the one I had at Borough Market in London. Pan Pac’s version had very fresh vegetables at a perfect balance between softness and crunchiness, which complemented the melted cheese. To a carnivore like me, it made me want to keep eating it.
The rest of the high tea includes scones, sandwiches, cheese, pastries and cakes, all bite-size. On a big plate, you can take all selections at a go. Few choices but they were rather good. The croissant was buttery, flaky and fluffy; chicken mayo on brioche was BFF’s favorite; and the cakes were the best. Green tea & red bean cake (pictured right) was ethereal and a favorite of both my BFF and me; and pistachio financier covered in chocolate had a nutty richness, mean and light at the same time, a great joy.
We wondered if Pan Pacific’s high-tea concept would work. We did enjoy ourselves. The ambience was serene, elegant and quiet, a winning point. The food was generally pleasing but the selection was limited and for a few dollars more, we could gone over to a neighboring hotel for a more extensive and visually stunning spread. To be honest, when we arrived, we were underwhelmed at the spread. True that they take into consideration that high tea is meant for light snacks, but we could go somewhere else with more selection and eat moderately. Having a choice in high-tea spread is the essence. But still, this makes a very cozy place to nuah and stone the day away. And if friends want a quiet afternoon in town area, we would recommend it.
10 Claymore Road
T: 6831 6685
High Tea: 2-5pm daily
Rating: 3.209/5 stars
PS: Thanks to Abigail and Pan Pac for the invite.