JADE LOUNGE atNo. 158, DunHua N Rd, Songshan District
MANDARIN ORIENTAL TAIPEI
MANDARIN ORIENTAL TAIPEI
MRT: Taipei Arena or Nanjing Fuxing
website: Jade Lounge facebook page
$$$ (about NT$1300/person + 10% service charge)
Visit reviewed: 2/6/2017
[TAIPEI- SONGSHAN] First thing you should know if you are meeting someone for afternoon tea at the Mandarin Oriental in Taipei is which part of the hotel you are meeting at. It was almost comedic trying to find my friend while I wandered the marbled hallways, furiously texting him from the lobby to the empty shopping arcade, back to the Jade Lounge where I started. (Even finding their restaurants Thai and Thai or Bencotto takes a little bit of navigation as the hotel is split into separate buildings and there is an attached shopping mall).
Afternoon tea is offered at both the Jade Lounge on the 1st floor as well as Cafe Un Deux Trois, with slight variations. Since my friend was doing a write up on "must stay" hotel round up in Taipei and invited me to join him on his comped afternoon tea, how could I say no.
The afternoon tea at the Mandarin Oriental is a classic three tiered combination of sweet and savory bites, including a ham and truffle cheese layered crepe, Le Jambon Cru, 36 Months Dry-Cured Ham, Nut Bread Baguette Toast, Candied Tomatoes, smoked salmon on toast, scones and delicate raspberry and chocolate desserts and tea cakes to share. While the lounge and the set are very opulent and posh, the food unfortunately was prettier than they tasted, with some of the pieces being way too sweet. A lot of them were mousse based, so being someone who doesn't like mousse, this was a minus for me. Which is unfortunate since the cakes I've had from their cake shop are actually quite delicious.
The tea connoisseurs should be happy with their wide selection of teas, including half a dozen Chinese green teas, all from Taiwan. One of my readers mentioned on instagram that they used to offer you to try different types of tea along with the set- that would make it more worth the price tag of NT$1300 per person. Unless you are meeting someone who is staying at the Mandarin or looking for privacy, I would rather have afternoon tea at somewhere like Yellow Lemon or Smith and Hsu.
So cute but...
The scones were dry, even with jam... made me wistful for Smith and Hsu's scones.
On the way out, I spied this cart of chocolates and cakes, which after asking, are not a part of the afternoon tea set, but can be ordered a la carte. The price tag of NT$270 for three pieces of homemade chocolates will be sure to make you savor them slowly. I do also have to note that the service at Jade Lounge was quite helpful in suggesting what tea to choose and they kindly boxed up what we didn't finish for me in a takeaway box.