“The brown bear’s elevenses wasn’t complete without it,
the good Boston folk fueled the Revolution with it.”
(Monch Puentebella, “An Ode to Tea”)
Last time, I told you of my dining experience in TWG Tea’s Rockwell Branch. This time, I’ll share my rather late brunch at their flagship store in Greenbelt 5. Just barely a month after I dined at TWG Tea’s Rockwell branch, I remembered their original store and my promise to have tea there someday. Fortunately, I was on leave and I already got my salary so heading there is a go. Their Rockwell branch has a lot of tea offerings, what more their main branch?
So after applying for a new student license (sadly, I cannot drive yet as I do not have my own car), I took a bus headed to the Ayala area in Makati. Excitement slowly filled me as I alighted from the bus and walked towards Rustan’s, for I could finally experience a taste of luxury! On the way to TWG, I stopped for a bit to take some pictures of Greenbelt Park. It was a portion of nature amidst the high-rise concrete, complete with schools of koi fishes swimming around – a perfect opportunity to practice my photography skills.
Finally, I arrived at the place after taking some shots of the park and the surrounding areas. Gold and brown hues welcomed me into the store; however, I informed the receptionist that I will be dining and requesting a table for one. She then led me to a table at the corner, which was a good choice since it lent an air of privacy. The manager then approached me, gave me the menu, and asked me what I wanted. Since I had not eaten lunch yet and I wanted to try their other offerings, I ordered their New York Breakfast set (P495). It consisted of a pot of tea from their wide selection (this branch had a wider selection, being the main one), a glass of orange or apple juice (I chose the latter), and their take on Eggs Benedict (cornflake muffins with smoked salmon and a soft-boiled egg topped with a hollandaise sauce, served with a side salad of lettuce). In addition to their set, I ordered 2 scones with whipped cream and tea jelly (P150).
Now, let’s proceed to the tasting. It was indeed a hearty lunch, but it was worth every penny. The Eggs Benedict was nicely prepared, with the salmon’s smoky flavor matching the egg’s richness. Topped with the hollandaise sauce, however – it was rather overwhelming even with the side salad. This is where the scones come in. They were good as they were, with the raisins providing the sweetness. On a side note, scones were one of the most dreaded things during tea time as their hard and flaky consistency proves to be a hindrance for its enjoyment. By request, TWG can heat up the scones before it gets served to you so its texture becomes easier to deal with. The scones came with tea jelly and whipped cream; as I mentioned previously, the jelly is infused with one of their signature tea flavors. Its blending with the cream did the trick, though – neutralizing the richness of the eggs.
Speaking of tea, I ordered three pots of it this time as I wanted to taste the different varieties they offered. I ordered Chocolate Earl Grey first as this was the tea most familiar to me (since I ordered this on my first visit to the place). The subtle taste of chocolate is masked by the aroma of bergamot just as before, but the addition of sugar reveals it. This tea I paired with the Eggs Benedict. In the middle of the meal, I ran out of Chocolate Earl Grey so I ordered another pot; this time, I chose Red Mint Chocolate Truffle Tea. Red tea is made from the leaves of the rooibos plant as compared to regular tea, and TWG recommends serving red teas cold. I should have followed their suggestion – the mint and chocolate mixed with rooibos ended up conflicting with each other, resulting in a flavor reminiscent of champagne. In the end, this tea didn’t really appeal to me since each taste tried to overpower the other.
I had already finished my meal by the time I finished my second pot (the red tea). Thus, it was time for dessert. I wanted to try another variant of tea, so I ordered four macarons (two each of Earl Grey Fortune & Chocolate and Napoleon Tea & Caramel) and a pot of New York Breakfast tea to go along with them. This was a different take on the traditional English Breakfast, as it was blended with chocolate. I originally wanted Chocolate Tea but they didn’t have it in stock so I followed the manager’s recommendation for something similar. Frankly, I didn’t taste a hint of cocoa with this tea at first (although I appreciate them serving this with milk – the way breakfast tea was meant to be served).
The late brunch and an hour’s stay were truly worth it. Despite the hefty damage to my wallet, I did manage to enjoy a bit of luxury even for just a day. Before I left the place, the manager (who introduced himself as Luis) asked me if I was satisfied with the teas I tried out (Red Mint Chocolate Truffle, New York Breakfast, and Chocolate Earl Grey). I told him about the New York Breakfast not having enough hints of cocoa. Afterwards, I asked if I could check that certain blend out – to which he gladly offered a large canister of New York Breakfast so I can have a whiff of it. New York Breakfast had cocoa indeed! Little did I know that this tea would become my personal favorite with succeeding TWG visits. Until then, bon appetit.
(POSTSCRIPT: I apologize for the delay in posting new entries – I’ve been busy with other things and there are times that I get discouraged due to this blog’s low viewership that I want to stop altogether. Thank you for your consideration.)
Here are the other shots from my short walk around the Greenbelt Park area (as I mentioned earlier):