One of the legendary places for high tea on weekends was The Landing Point, located in The Fullerton Bay Hotel sitting on the heritage site of Clifford Pier. How legendary is it? Try making a reservation only 2 weeks before and you most likely will be told to go fly kite on the pavement outside instead.
Not only can one find lots of high-recommending reviews online about The Landing Point, you can also find lotsa Instagram photos taken there. Why? Not only is it a building full of colonial charm by the waterfront, it also faces the world-renowned Marina Bay Sands; it’s one of the best places to take of one chilling out with a spectator view.
I thought since the net is saturated with reviews of the afternoon high tea, I should try out the lesser-talked-about evening high tea – Sundown Soiree.
Sundown Soiree is exactly what the name suggests: Sundown and evening… With high tea. Seating starts at 6.30pm, and if you linger around long enough, you get to watch the light show happening every night at the bay, with Marina Bay Sands as the perfect backdrop.
N and I were early, so we were seated at 6.15pm. We took around 10 minutes to ponder through the menu: There was only one option for high tea set (though you can go for a la carte items) with a list of 11 different tea to choose from. I am not a tea person, so I just picked the Fullerton Express (my original choice of Scarlet Hour was not available) and N chose Lemon Bush.
There was also a list of standard gourmet coffee, like Espresso and Cappuccino, available and included in the price of the high tea set, or one can add on S$18 to have an artisanal cocktail.
We spent the next half an hour admiring the interior.
To be frank, I had been here a few years back for the proper afternoon high tea and we were seated on the upper terrace facing the street. It consisted of booth seats with high backing; although you could only see the marina view in full when you walk around the restaurant, the interior design of the place was sufficient to make one feel like a taitai (rich man’s wife in Cantoneses).
This time around, because I booked like waaay in advance, I managed to request for a window seat facing the marina at the lower terrace. There were 2 types of seating available – cocktail table with bar stools or sofa seat.
Oldies like me can only settle for the latter.
The whole place was remade to have full length window offering everyone in the restaurant a panoramic view of the bay; since it was already evening, one would not be baked by the equatorial sun when seated by the window.
I would say the design theme was contemporary, and if you go down to the details like the embroidery on the cushion cover, for example, you’ll find exquisite patterns that showed how the restaurant focuses on the details.
Ambience wise, the whole place was bathed in soothing warm lighting as night falls, which made me feel like I could fall asleep on the super thick and soft sofa…
If I was not so hungry…
The food came only at around 7pm and we were stunned at first sight.
The 3-tier assortment of bites looked disappointing; no thoughts were given to food presentation of individual items and plating was pathetic as the items could barely fill up each layer.
p/s: the reason why I took my shots of the high tea set this way? To hide the empty spaces on the plates.
Luckily, the server took time to introduce the items to us… “introduce” as in to tell us the names of each item, but well, I didn’t know the source of the caviar found on the “Boston Lobster Cornet a L’Oriental” and “Smoked Salmon Mille Feuille with Caviar).
Since it was after 7pm by the time the food arrived, we were famished and we finished everything in like… 10 minutes. I even tried to slow down the process by cleansing my palette with tea to savour the taste of each item…
Having paid S$50+ each, we tried to get our money’s worth by warming up the sofa further after the food was finished. By 7.30pm, we were too hungry and decided to go for a 2nd round elsewhere.
After I asked for the bill, another server came with a plate of food items to ask if I wanted refills. My eyes nearly popped out from 500rpm of spinning. She took 20 minutes to come and offer me a refill?
To be frank, I was not aware I could have refills (I only heard that the tea was free-flow). However, at that point of time when I was about to sign the check, my mind went through the list of food again and decided that even if I had the time, there was none that I would love to have a second round of.
The taste of the food was so average that it did not drive me to say, “Yes, I want more of this and this!”. The smoked salmon was too salty, macarons tasted like Hello Panda and there were a few items that tasted too similar to each other.
I wasn’t impressed with the tea too. The tea bearing the hotel’s namesake smelled like toilet and tasted like Redoxin. Lemon Bush was too light to be called a tea.
Perhaps I’ve grown too old to be distracted by the good view such that I I would overlook the fact that the cost of the meal barely covered the basics. Take that view away, based on the quality and quantity of the food, and I could find better options in Merchant Court’s Crossroads Bar at a lower cost.
And I’m not even someone who could figure out if my food is “too metallic”…
So guys, if your girlfriends insist on coming to The Landing Point for the Sundown Soiree, it will be good to drop by McDonald’s beforehand to fill yourself up before you report for Insta-Boyfriend duties.
The Landing Point
80 Collyer Quay, 049326