Tea fit for a king

Saturday, 29 June 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Text and pix by -Cheranka Mendis Reintroducing old traditions in a day and age where modernisation has gorged its way through core conventions, The Kingsbury has now launched a daily tea buffet at the Gourmet Station from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., offering an extensive menu of delectable treats. Having survived testing times from the 1700s, an upper class British tradition, High Tea is now a timeless tradition celebrated world over. Having offered typical intimate English tea served to your seat, the hotel has now opened up a buffet featuring the essential hot and cold dishes, sandwiches, sweets and, of course, tea. The airy and bright interior and friendly staff make the Station a stress-free spot for taking tea. Overlooking the calming blues of the pool from one side and the busy hustle of the hotel from the other, the Gourmet Station features space for over 60 persons to relax on plush red chairs, sip hot tea (or coffee), bite into perfectly prepared delights and engage in conversation with family and friends. It is, in short, the best way to relax on a busy day. The early evening meal at Kingsbury isn’t overly lavish, which isn’t always a bad thing. Offering the customary ‘High Tea’ dishes as well as bites to suit the local palette, it is a blend of international cuisine with Sri Lankan charm. Entering the Gourmet Station, the first thing we notice is that it is packed; it seems like everyone wanted a bite off the latest new addition to the hotel’s offerings. The second is the chocolate fountain, dripping with gooey chocolate sauce – a mouth-watering attraction at the buffet. As we settled in our seats, the waiters are quick to bring a tray of tea, creamy iced coffee, milkshakes or even faluda – a pick for your liking. There is a steady and unlimited flow of beverages throughout the evening. At the live sandwich station you can pick though cold cuts, smoked items, cheese and assorted fillings and have the chefs prepare your perfect sandwich – whether you like it extra spicy or with olives and eggs. The bread is very fresh and fragrant, creating the perfect aroma for an evening of happy food and joyous smiles. While there is a variety of breads, the caramelised onion garlic bread is by far the best in the bread baskets. There is also a healthy assortment of hot items. From chicken satays, lamb satays, chicken lollipop, seafood wraps, spicy tuna toast to delicious chicken nuggets, mini pizzas, vegetable spring rolls and seafood wontons – there is so much to choose from. The nuggets are filled with oozing cheese and chicken and the wontons with the spicy sauce were absolutely delectable. The fun continues at the dessert corner where a live station has been set up for crepes with chocolate, blueberry, maple syrup as options. There is the aforementioned chocolate fountain with kisses, cake, grapes and marshmallows waiting to be dipped in. Cute strawberry tarts resembling Christmas hats, the famous Kingsbury macaroons, butter cake with sugar sprinkled on top, profiteroles and chocolate fudge cake are all laid out in style, while there’s also scones and lemon cream – a definite must try. The cream melts is a delicious accompaniment to the soft, fresh scones. The menu changes daily as the hotel aims to add diversity to the selection and offer various treats and flavours to those who would like to patronise the High Tea on a regular basis. The food on an overall scale was good, not too much or too little; and the extensive menu covers all kinds of cravings and appetites. It is advisable to come between 3-4 p.m.to get seating as it fills up fast. Priced at an affordable Rs. 1,400 all inclusive per person, the High Tea is a must-try for all foodies. Reservations could be made on 0771087720 or 5635635.