High Tea is usually quite a traditional affair, filled with dainty sandwiches, sparkling champagne and English Breakfast tea. But Madame Hanoi is always one to take a concept, tip it on its head and create something extravagant and new. Enter the Hanoi Hendrick’s High Tea, a Mad Hatter’s party for only the finest and most sophisticated.
A pot of Hendrick’s gin tea is served first, a delicious concoction created with English Breakfast, fresh lemon juice, cucumber, orange, spiced honey and spiked with Hendrick’s gin. The dangerous part about this tea is it tastes like just delicious, fruity, spiced tea. The gin is so smooth, we could easily down a whole pot to ourselves, without even noticing the alcohol!
As with everything Madame Hanoi, the High Tea has a French-Vietnamese fusion influence which is what makes this experience so unique. Starting with the savoury, the bottom tier has Tasmanian salmon grilled with a hot pepper paste perched atop a betel leaf, and a crispy pork bahn mi with pâté, chilli and asian basil. The salmon was perfectly cooked and, needless to say, quite spicy, but this was levelled out by the freshness of the betel leaf. Bahn mi is easily one of our favourite street foods, and this mini version had a super-soft bun, tender pork and crunchy crackling to boot.
Moving on up, we arrived at the intriguing Soft Shell Spider Crab burgers in squid-ink-blackened buns, and confit duck pickled cold rolls. Everyone knows what a soft shell crab burger tastes like by now, but we really loved the aesthetic provided by the black bun, and the use of a Spider crab instead of a regular, giant crab. The cold rolls were deliciously fresh however, and the duck was tender and tasty, especially when dipped in the accompanying rich peanut sauce.
Arriving at the final tier, we were met with coconut tapioca with mango, sago, lemongrass, goji and dill, garnished with mini French macarons. This creation was something we had not tried before, and we really loved the fruity, sweetness of the dessert, as well as the interesting texture provided by the tapioca. Madame Hanoi’s macarons are always on perfectly crunchy and chewy, and today was no exception.
If you’re keen to experience this French/Asian fusion take on a high tea, it’s $45 a head and available at Madame Hanoi from Monday to Friday 12pm to 5pm, and Saturday to Sunday from 2pm until 5pm.