My one concession to touristiness was high tea. “Would you prefer fabulous food, or a spectacular view?” Noel asked. As I’ve said before, I have the palate of a stevedore so I chose ambience.
High tea at Clifford Pier in the Fullerton Bay Hotel defeated me completely. The setting, a repurposed historical landmark, was even more magnificent than the photographs, and the food was wonderful. In addition to the pots of tea and the three-tiered cake stand of savouries and sweets, there was a generous buffet with bakwa finger sandwiches, pork belly, chilli crab, sambal prawns and noodles, and you could ask the waiter to bring you more pots of tea and refill the cake stand. Have you noticed that when the food is great you don’t have to eat as much of it in order to feel full? The food was so delicious that after two trips to the buffet I surrendered and could not eat solid food until the next day. At S$45++ per person it is a brilliant deal. Go when high tea starts at 330 pm and bring a book to help you pace yourself between trips to the buffet.
Any place was bound to be a letdown after Clifford Pier. High tea at the St. Regis Hotel was alright, just not as spectacular; the food was okay but not as scrumptious; the selection was not as wide and the servings not as generous. If you ask for more tea you are charged extra; the tray is not refillable, not that we wanted seconds of anything, even the lobster bisque. It’s also more expensive at S$49++.
High tea at the Fairmont is supposedly the most photographed high tea in Singapore. Next time.