“Peranakan afternoon tea delights”
Hidden at the back of Pan Pacific Hotel is Pacific Marketplace. I’m not sure about you, but if you notice the fingers holding the round logo it’s kind of.. …disturbing. Everything else is very normal looking though. But ahem, back to business.
This gourmet grocery and cafe at the hotel ground floor provides classic afternoon tea, croissants and pastries as well as an extensive selection of cakes, sandwiches and salads. Pacific Marketplace also makes and sells their own Pan Pacific sausages along with other deli goods available for purchase.
Spacious and casual, an immense selection of premium gryphon tea can also be found here. This review will be about the new Peranakan Afternoon Tea 4-tier set that Pacific Marketplace has launched in celebration of National day. Embark on a culinary walk around the Malay Archipelago with an array of eight Nonya delights.
Ais Gem biscuits. Enjoy complimentary all-you-can-eat Ais gem biscuits that we all hankered after as kids in Singapore. The colorful sugar frosting is NOT representative of different flavours as some people think; it’s just coloring. Tastes just like it did 20 years ago.
The Peranakan tea set comes in a 4-tier tiffin carrier, reminiscent of lunchboxes used by Singaporean grandmothers in the past. So what’s included in the set?
Nonya Chicken Curry served with freshly baked baguette. The rempah spices in the curry is very distinct and sets it apart as a Nonya curry. Flavours of tumeric, cumin and star anise can be identified in this strong curry. The chicken was also soft and tender. My only issue was with the toasted french baguette which I found a bit too dry and couldn’t really soak up and absorb the tasty curry.
Kueh Lapis, Kueh Bengka Ubi (Tapioca cake) and Onde Onde. The Kueh lapis was light, while the Onde Onde covered with coconut shavings was filled with a fragrant palm sugar that just oozes out with a bite.
Pandan Kaya Cake, Open-Face Otak Sandwich with Quail Egg. Loved the aromatic pandan kaya cake with flavours blended so well together. For the Otak sandwich though, I felt the otak was a bit too small a piece and seems to disappear among all the myriad of flavours. I’d love for the otak to be bigger and bolder, and not a a size for ants.
Kuay Pie Tie, Curry puff. Kuay Pie Tee had a crisp shell, filled with sweet turnip and a meaty shrimp, definitely a must try for ardent Kuay Pie Tee fans. Curry puff’s outer skin was a bit thick though, and seems a bit heavy.
Some of the other tasters like Dawn from 365days2play also commented that perhaps curry puff was a bit repetitive with the curry chicken dish (which I loved), and could be replaced with something else for more variety. Food for thought.
As mentioned the deli at Pacific Marketplace also sells ham and sausages that they make themselves and supply to others. You might want to buy some from the original source when you’re in the neighborhood.
Other than the tea set, there is also a wide range of desserts and savoury snacks that you can enjoy at Pacific marketplace for a chill afternoon. Quite a good Nonya spread of sweets and savoury, although maybe some small tweaks can be made to the menu seeing that the price is a bit on the high side.
Curry chicken fans like myself will love the Pacific Marketplace’s version though. Pandan Kaya cake was also another of my favorites here. Peranakan Afternoon Tea: 16 June to 9 August 2014, 3 – 5pm Expected Damage: $68