Enough about The Intercontinental and The Majestic Hotel afternoon tea! There are tons of afternoon high tea spots in KL that are under the radar and worth checking out, like The Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara. At Le Bar Cocktail & Stories, the Sofitel Hotel offers an English-style afternoon tea at a much more affordable price.
High Tea at the Sofitel KL Damansara takes place in Le Bar Cocktail & Stories. The venue is on your left when you enter through the hotel’s main doors. Le Bar is going for an ultra classy and sleek aesthetic – there is a lot of black wood and high gloss marble. Large, floor-to-ceiling windows line one wall. The view out the windows is nothing special, just of the fountain and the building across the street.
The tables and chairs feel a bit low, but they’re not uncomfortable. The hot seat will be a table next to the window with one dangling egg chair. This chair is more aesthetic than comfortable. While sitting in it, I was wobbling and swinging all over the place even though I was sitting still. It would probably be troublesome if I had to lean forward to eat. It’s telling that nobody sat in this chair for longer than ten minutes. The washrooms are on the left of the bar counter down the corridor.
The service at the Sofitel KL Damansara was attentive. A hostess greeted us as soon as we walked in, and she was pleasant every time we called her over. Our reservation was at 2 pm, so there was only one other person in the establishment. The hostess came by and refilled our water glasses without having to be prompted every time.
The only thing that was a little gross was that there were a few tiny bugs on the tea set. A few centimetres away from the savoury sandwiches were what looked like dead fruit flies. We’re not pernickety, so we just brushed them away. I am curious how the kitchen staff didn’t notice this before serving us the set. Maybe it was made hours in advance and left out before being brought to us. In which case, slight ew.
Afternoon Tea Price at Sofitel KL Damansara
RM148 for two people (RM156.90 after tax)
Afternoon Tea Menu at Sofitel KL Damansara
The afternoon tea set at Le Bar Cocktail & Stories is called “La Boule en Rose.” Each person gets one of every item listed above, so no sharing is necessary. It seems like this is a permanent set with no set end date.
Click on menu pictures to enlarge
Food Served at Afternoon Tea at Sofitel KL Damansara
The tea is where the hotel saves money. It is Dilmah brand bagged tea, one of the cheap brands you can get at any supermarket. The tea choices in this high tea set are very basic – there’s English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Green and Chamomile. Cappuccinos, lattes and other coffees by Ily are also an option. Each person can choose a tea, so you get two pots for two people.
The tea arrives in a teapot that’s good for two cups. You can get complimentary hot water refills for your pot, but the tea isn’t strong. The second pot of tea will be noticeably weaker.
There are only two cranberry scones in the afternoon tea set, arranged on a separate plate with the cream. The scones are not the worst part of the set, but they are kind of filler. They were not warm, and they were a touch too dry. Jaya Grocer sells similar scones from their bakery. While these were a bit better than those, they reminded me a lot of them.
Le Bar is transparent about its use of whipped cream instead of clotted cream in its high tea menu. A mountain of whipped cream on a buttery scone is still yummy. I’ve also realised while writing this that we were never given the butter, jam or marmalade that was listed on the menu.
All the savouries are arranged on the middle shelf in a two-person set. It was, unfortunately, a bit messy with crumbs and the aforementioned bugs.
The BBQ Duck Hash was one of my favourites. Stacked like a club sandwich, it is topped with a disc of tea-flavoured gel and an edible flower. The jellied thing was a texture I’m not used to in savoury food, but it didn’t make the nibble any worse.
I’m a big fan of raw salmon, so another standout item was the Peach Melba Tea Cured Salmon. It’s finished with a jumble of salmon roe that rests inside a beetroot ribbon.
The Sriracha Egg Cremeux is the most visually stunning item amongst the savouries. A wafer-thin web made of an unknown food provides a nest for the grated salted egg. This mini sandwich should be eaten in one bite otherwise the egg powder gets everywhere.
The Pink Lady Apple Tatin is an adorable tiny pink taco. The shell is made of a sable cookie while caramel-flavoured cream overflows from the taco. The little chunk of apple on top is small but has a potent sweet, cinnamony flavour.
I’m not sure what you’re supposed to do with the tube of Leche sticking out of the Ispanhan Macaroon, but don’t do what I did. I gave the macaroon a Leche injection, and the syrup dribbled everywhere when I took a bite. Mark tried dripping it all over the macaroon and that seemed to work out much better.
The Long Sofidonut got special attention. It was listed separately on the menu and served on its own tray, separate from the rest of the sweets. The donut base was soft and pillowy. Tiramisu cream binds thick, chewy chunks of rich chocolate brownie and chocolate leaves to the top.
We both had no idea what to expect from The Black Forest Redesigned. Mark tried it first and had a hard time describing it. The cherry mousse surrounding the chutney was firm enough to not drip out once we had taken a bite. The chocolate sphere, similarly, was like a ganache but held its shape. There is what I think is a sable disc on the bottom to keep it from rolling around and sticking to the plate. I usually dislike black forest cake, but this was the best thing on the sweets tray.
Other five-star hotels will charge arrogant prices close to RM300 for their high tea. The afternoon tea at the Sofitel KL Damansara was surprisingly tasty for its low price and very aesthetically pleasing. Some things, like the tea, scones and ambience, are not at a five-star standard, but I’ve seen a lot worse at this price point. Comparatively, afternoon tea at Sofitel’s Le Bar is decent and above average for what you pay.
I am always on the hunt for hotels offering authentic English-style afternoon tea. I fucking hate those Malaysian fusion sets where they serve you cheap ass curry puffs and roti jala. If I wanted that kind of food, I’d go to a roadside stall and pay a fraction of the price. Sofitel Damansara’s high tea set had me stuffed by the end of it, and we both got a taste of everything without having to share. If you want to indulge without spending too much, check out the afternoon high tea at Le Bar Cocktail & Stories.