Rating: ★★★☆☆
Address: 391 Orchard Road, Level 2 Takashimaya Shopping Centre, Ngee Ann City, Singapore
Telephone: +65 6363 1837

I randomly walked into TWG Tea for a break while I was shopping in Takashimaya Shopping Centre on Orchard Road in Singapore

The restaurant was ostensibly high-end and it was keen to remind you of this fact. The interior was beautiful and opulent; there was classical music playing (quite prominently) in the background, and the staff were smartly dressed and prissy. TWG has a branch in IFC in Hong Kong.

TWG boasts its offerings of over 800 different tea harvests sourced directly from the estates, and there is a mini booklet introducing the teas that are offered, separated according to the geographical region and the type of leaves. A pot of tea is at an eye-watering cost of SG$11 to SG$48.5, and this was apparently justified by the use of “pure, filtered water” (as opposed to unfiltered tap water?), and the fact that TWG uses the perfect temperature for water and time of infusion which vary according to the type of tea.

(1) Merit should be given to the staff knowledgeably answered enquiries on the teas. However, I agree with my Singaporean friends’ view that the teas were a complete rip-off, as my pot of Lung Ching, from Zhejiang, China, tasted just like water. TWG claims that tea leaves are removed before serving so that the taste is consistent from the first cup of tea to the last – by that, they mean consistently bland.

(2) A touch of originality and sensuality shone in their signature Crème Brûlée Cake, which was decadently sweet and custardy, with fresh, luscious berries embedded in them – it was sheer deliciousness.

(3) Even though the tea did not lift my spirits, the creative flavours of the TWG Tea Macarons exceeded my expectations. The Napoleon Tea & Caramel macaron was permeated by the rich flavours of caramel, while the aftertaste of Napoleon Tea added complexity to this lovely relish. The 1837 Black Tea & Blackcurrent was brimming with the natural flavour of blackcurrents, which was accentuated by the deep taste of black tea.

Conclusion: The café struck me as pretentious and grandiose at first sight and my experience started off badly with the insipid tea, but the desserts which followed were much more delightful. Even though items are significantly overpriced (my afternoon tea cost SG$32), TWG Tea is an oasis of calm in the middle of the busy shopping heaven. Most importantly, the TWG Tea Macarons were a job well done.