A part of Mum’s birthday present was a mummy-daughter day out with dinner and a show. Tickets were purchased for Jersey Boys and the booking was made for a Sunday evening but I was struggling to work out what to do for dinner. Not wanting to eat after the show, I had been searching around for something that would be open early enough for pre-theatre dining. Unfortunately the show starts at 6pm on Sundays which really makes dinner impossible. Then it dawned on me that we could go to high tea instead!
I had been to high tea at the Sofitel previously, back when Lenôtre pâtisserie was running the show and the little samplings of sweet and savoury were delectable. I had heard things had changed a lot since the Lenôtre days but as the hotel is close to the Theatre Royal we thought we would give it a go anyway.
Wentworth Afternoon Tea – $49.00 per person / with a glass of champagne $59.00 per person
Chicken, preserved lemon and almond sandwich.
I wanted to dive straight into the sweets on the top tier, but thought better of it and started with the savoury layer. The little sandwich of chicken, preserved lemon and almond was a great start to the afternoon, the bread soft and fluffy (and though I always eat my crusts I love that high tea follows tradition of no crust… why is that?), the chicken poached well and the lemon bringing a little kick of acidity to the sandwich.
Goat’s cheese and mushroom profiterole.
My profiterole was nice and puffy with just the right about of goat’s cheese and mushroom filling. My brother who had also come along with his girlfriend found his profiterole had an overpowering amount of filling, and having tried his I would tend to agree. If there was a little more consistency these would have fared better at our table.
Smoked salmon, rocket and fried caper on brioche.
Salmon and caper are a marriage made in heaven and though I thought the brioche would be a lovely addition everyone at the table agreed it was stale and tasteless. While there was a generous serving of smoked salmon the dish was lacking any real flare and unfortunately we felt it was another disappointing savoury.
Aged brie, cranberry and cucumber mini baguette.
Mum and I both loved the baguettes. The crusty chewy little baguette was filled with a nice slice of brie, only a small amount of cranberry (perfect for someone who detests condiments!!) and a decent amount of cucumber. Fresh and tasty, we all enjoyed this one.
Scones – plain and raisin.
You simply cannot have high tea without scones! We all received one plain and one raisin scone; the plain scone was light and fluffy, the raisin scone slightly more dense and a touch too dry. Both were enjoyable but the plain one definitely took the cake! The jam wasn’t bad but nothing to really write home about and I would have liked a little more. If I’d been given two plain scones, a little more jam and a dollop of clotted cream I would have been in heaven.
The chocolate éclair was made from quite a good choux pastry, filled with delicious chocolate cream and topped with chocolate and vanilla icing. Yum!
I’m not a huge fan of pistachios so I was a little saddened to see these on the menu instead of a gooey salted caramel or milk chocolate flavoured macaron. Lucky for me I was pleasantly surprised when I bit into the macaron and discovered it was infused with only a small amount of pistachio and the base almond macaron was more prominent. Technically I suppose it failed as a pistachio macaron, but I quite enjoyed it.
Raspberry opera slice.
Hmm, I didn’t dislike the opera slice but I felt it could have been so much more. I suppose I am not a huge fan of the original opera slice to begin with and didn’t think the raspberry had much going for it. Rather than being a little slice of chocolate and raspberry indulgence, the slice was sweet, sweet and more sweet – surprising considering dark chocolate is fairly bitter.
Peach meringue tart.
The meringue was, yep you guessed it, extremely sweet and I couldn’t really taste any peach. Supposedly the tart base was filled with white peach curd but all I could taste was sickly sweet goo. I didn’t enjoy the flavour or texture of this one and by this stage of the afternoon I was all sugared out and craving another plain scone!
I had a game plan with the menu which included saving the ‘best’ for last. I thought it would make sense to save the ‘famous’ Wentworth cheesecake until very last but seriously, was this even cheesecake? I’m sorry to say I thought it was rubbery and flavourless. Perhaps I had a bad batch but I was really disappointed. I’d love to know if anyone else has had this and thought it was any good?
Overall the food and service were both average. I wish Lenôtre was still there and Mum could have experienced the Lenôtre high tea in all its glory. Unfortunately this rates as the worst high tea I have ever been to. The Observatory Hotel, Swissôtel and The Victoria Room were all so much nicer than the Wentworth, I didn’t see any value for money and don’t think I will be going back anytime soon. Sorry Sofitel, the competition has well and truly outdone you.
Wentworth Afternoon Tea @ The Sofitel Lounge
Sofitel Sydney Wentworth
61-101 Phillip Street
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9230 0700
Wentworth Afternoon Tea Website