Nestled in the bustlingly chic Westfield CBD, is The Tea Salon best described as a shoppers whimsical haven after a morning of intense retail therapy with the best friend.
Through August, The Tea Salon is to be hosting the Katherine Sabbath High Tea, deemed the most Instagrammable High Tea to come to Sydney. With imagery like this in it’s advertisements, we were nothing short of excited to sink our teeth into it:
All girls know that conversations over food naturally progress to updates on all things awkward in ones life, particularly those concerning men. “So how’s things going with that guy you’ve been seeing?” she asks leaning closer. “Finally” you think to yourself, the question you’ve been dying to have her ask all day – you need someone to talk to.
You explain that while this guy seemed great at first, and is still really nice…it’s just not working, and now you have to awkwardly tell him.
It’s unfortunate to say this, but our experience with the Katherine Sabbath High Tea was like an awkward “friend-zone” conversation.
Setting and Atmosphere
Just like when considering a potential partner, we’ll start off with assessing the looks. Now, The Tea Salon isn’t as immaculate as other High Tea places I’ve been to with the pretty gardens or antique buildings nor is it as quiet and tranquil (?). However, considering it’s located in the middle of a major shopping centre, it does it’s best with what it can and cleans up well, looking quite cute. The crockery is on point being exceptionally pretty and it also matches one other delightfully.
Overall The Tea Salon is no Johnny Depp (or insert preferred hot guy here). But often the looks aren’t the only thing that matters and to be honest we were quite happy to continue our date with the Tea Salon at this point.
Unfortunately the food is where everything went downhill. Layer by layer as we got deeper into the date things got worse, almost to the point of no return. Let’s weigh out the positives and negatives. Things started off great and the highlight of the food was definitely the savoury options, the scones were delish, as were the pinwheel sandwiches and the savoury tartlets were divine.
From Left to Right: Rosemary, Leek and Parmesan | Lemon, Pistachio and Current
Pinwheel Sandwiches: Smoked Salmon, Rocket, Lemon and Capers | Cucumber and Dill Butter. Savoury Tartlets: Beetroot, Goats Cheese and Caramelised Onion Jam | Pumpkin Feta and Pesto
BUT this was the Katherine Sabbath High Tea and the sweets were suppose to be the highlight. The advertisements for the sweets deemed that the Katherine Sabbath High Tea was to be the most “Instagrammable High Tea” and it looked amazing in the advertisements. We couldn’t wait to sink our teeth in (after taking photos of course).
After devouring the savoury layers and pleasantly happy w so far, we moved on to the last layer of the high tea – the Katherine Sabbath sweets. Unfortunately our high hopes were crushed and the sweets were the lowlight.
Rose and Pistachio Pannacotta with Persian Fairy Floss | Lemon & Raspberry Zig-Zag Gumball Donut | Chocolate Brownie Koala Donut | Banana Cupcake with fresh Raspberry Cream Dark Chocolate & Orange Fudge Tart with Salty Toffee Shards
The Rose & Pistachio Pannacotta with Persian Fairy Floss, was probably the best of the sweets, albeit too overpoweringly sweet that it made it difficult to finish the tiny portion of it. The Chocolate Brownie Koala Donut tasted dry and cold but worst of all was the Lemon & Raspberry Zig-Zag Gumball Donut which was cold, doughy and flavourless. I didn’t even know that it was Lemon and Raspberry flavoured until I read the menu for this write up!
The gumball center of the donut was also a poor choice. Besides the fact that at the time, Siree and I thought the gumball was a jawbreaker because it was too hard for us to bite, you don’t really want to be chewing on gum during your high tea experience. Especially if you’re sampling a little bit of everything, you don’t want to have to discard an old piece of chewed up bubble gum on the side of your otherwise elegant plate. I think it would have been smarter if the gum ball was changed to a truffle type, jaffa coated chocolate.
It is unfortunate to say that it was at this point that I knew the Katherine Sabbath high tea was friend-zoned. Gone was the excitement I felt upon looking forward to the most “Instagrammable High Tea” and gone was the addictive need to taste the rest of the food in front of me, that I had felt with the savoury elements.
Good service and friendly staff. They kind of stay out of your way, which is something I prefer. It would have been nice if the waitress told us what each of the sweets were upon service – we found ourselves asking a lot of ‘what’s this?’ questions.
Pricing and Value for Money
Pretty good value for a high tea at $43, usually most are 50+, however overall I was a bit disappointed because I expected more of the Katherine Sabbath High Tea.
Where: Westfield Sydney Level 4 (Designer Gallery), Cnr Pitt Street Mall and Market Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday: 10AM – 6:30PM