Renowned for serving award-winning, regionally curated cocktails in a luxe, contemporary setting, MO Bar at Mandarin Oriental, Singapore has always been the hottest destination for cocktail connoisseurs.
But, did you know that you can while away your afternoon with a luxurious high tea and indulge in artisan pastries while overlooking breathtaking views of Marina Bay?
What’s more, MO Bar has recently relaunched its popular Afternoon Tea experience to offer an ever-changing menu that refreshes every six months so that you can look forward to new flavours every time you visit.
AVENUE ONE had the privilege of sampling the revamped MO Bar’s Afternoon Tea at a recent media tasting session – keep reading to find out what we really think about everything that’s offered on the stand.
What we think about MO Bar’s revamped Afternoon Tea
While waiting for your afternoon tea to be served, you can kickstart the experience by picking a personal pot of tea of your choice from the bar’s wide selection of different types of rare teas sourced from Asia’s famous tea-growing regions.
There’s the Mandarin Oriental, Singapore Exclusive Blend that you can opt for, but those who love a bold, black tea can opt for the London-Singapore Tea, which also offers notes of exotic spices.
Meanwhile, green tea drinkers have a handful of choices to choose from as well – those who enjoy a more delicate green tea might do well with the Saicho Tea, with notes of pomegranate blossom.
Now comes the food portion of the set, which offers six different courses of comforting, creative, and delicious treats, all inspired by local favourites.
The set starts off with a palate cleanser of Lemongrass Pineapple Granita with Coconut Kaffir Emulsion that doesn’t look like much as you lay your eyes on it. The taste, however, painted a different story – the bright flavours of the pineapple and kaffir contrasting against the rich coconut made for a refreshing, aromatic mouthful and each spoonful we took packed a tangy concentrated punch as if we were savouring a frozen pineapple popsicle on a hot sunny day.
After resetting our palates, it was time for the savoury bites to be served. We started with Potato with Citrus Mayo and Chicken Floss, a crowd-pleasing combination of crispy, non-greasy tater tot topped with zesty mayo and chicken floss that kept us wanting more, and Tandoori Chicken Rice Paper Roll with Yoghurt Raita which the chef nailed with a delicate yet flavoursome balance of sweet, sour, and spiciness.
Next, we moved on to heartier bites of Wagyu Pastrami with Kyurizuke and Tonkatsu Mayonnaise as well as Maine Lobster with Ikura on Mini Brioche.
The former fell a little flat for us even with the combination of wagyu and Japanese pickled cucumber (kyurizuke) but the latter won us over with the Maine lobster mousse that was encased in the soft brioche bun.
The highlight for us from the savoury department, however, was Black Truffle Egg Mimosa Kueh Pie Tee with Chives, which delighted our taste buds with a fragrant, creamy filling inside a crunchy shell.
From the selection of sweet treats on offer, indulge in four kinds of unique pastries that taste as good as they look. There’s the Nutty Pistachio Choux, a salty-sweet confection of pistachio cream in a pastry case with real pistachio on top that pistachio lovers will definitely enjoy.
The Baked Soft Cheese Cake with Vanilla Crème Fraîche was a winner out of the lot that had us asking our lovely server if we could have seconds! There was just something moreish with the pastry’s melt-in-your-mouth texture and bite-size portion.
The Earl Grey Chocolate Mousse with Banana Crémeux and Chocolate “Pain de Gênes” was another decadent morsel, with an elegant waft of earl grey permeating a creamy banana sphere enrobed in chocolate.
For something adventurous for the palate, you can’t go wrong with Yuzu Tart with Almond Frangipane and Citrus Foam that was both aromatic and decadent at the same time.
High tea enthusiasts will also be happy to know that MO Bar’s afternoon tea set comes with the quintessential scones as well, in bite-sized rounds in both vanilla and chocolate, and finishes off on a sweet note with milk and white chocolate pralines.
Elevate your afternoon tea experience with MO Bar’s signature cocktails
There’s nothing wrong with relaxing with your afternoon tea in the traditional way by relishing the savoury and sweet bites alongside a personal pot of tea. But for those interested in elevating the experience further, MO Bar also offers the option to top up your afternoon tea set for one of the bar’s signature cocktails or a glass of champagne.
Following the bar’s recognition as one of Asia’s 50 Best Bars with the Volume Two cocktail menu, MO Bar’s current Volume Three menu explores the history and culture of destinations across the Asia-Pacific with a creative selection of regionally inspired drinks.
The high tea bites on offer have been curated with the possible beverages in mind, so whether you opt for a spirited cocktail or bubbly champagne, you’ll find the perfect companion to uplift your tea experience.
Must-tries include Sarimanok (pictured), a very Insta-worthy glass of rum, mango, and citrus, and Rubi, an intoxicating potion of whisky, pineapple, and toddy.
Panacea was a surprising hit on the table, thanks to its easygoing, locally-inspired fusion of gin, Makrut lime, and pandan.
For the real taste of Singapore in a cocktail, you have to ask for Thunder. Drawing inspiration from the iconic Hakka lei cha rice, Thunder features a blend of gin, rice, grounded tea, and herbs that rejuvenated our senses instantly.
Another special element of Thunder? It’s served with a mini cup of crispy fried anchovies and peanuts, which we thought perfectly complemented the rice-inspired cocktail.
You’ll also be happy to know that this specific creation can be served with or without alcohol, so feel free to request a non-boozy option if you like – we promise you, it tastes equally as memorable.
Having refurbished in 2018, MO Bar’s opulent surroundings offer a comfortable yet chic place to enjoy a decadent high tea experience and unwind with your friends or loved ones. Serving up delectable flavours in an equally amazing ambience, the MO Bar’s Afternoon Tea is certainly an experience worth treating yourself to.
The MO Bar Afternoon Tea is priced at S$48 per pax and S$88 for two. For those looking for an additional indulgence, set options are available to include one of MO BAR’s signature cocktails from the Volume Three menu (S$65) or a glass of “R” de Ruinart Champagne (S$68). Prices are subject to a 10% service charge and 7% government tax.
Where to enjoy MO Bar’s refreshed afternoon tea menu
MO Bar is located within Mandarin Oriental, Singapore at 5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square, Singapore 039797. It opens daily from 3pm to 10.30pm on weekdays and from 12pm to 10.30pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
The afternoon tea menu is available from 3pm to 5pm daily. A special weekend brunch menu is also available from 12pm to 2.30pm on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays.
Photos courtesy of writer and Mandarin Oriental, Singapore.