Now open: TWG Tea Salon & Boutique
The purveyors of fine teas from Singapore have finally arrived in our land. We steal a visit and come out feeling a bit posh. By Surekha Ragavan
We’re all familiar with the Singapore-established TWG - a symbol of luxury which has triggered many feelings (mostly jealousy) among Malaysians visiting south. In Marina Bay Sands, it’s not unusual to have a stone-faced butler greet you at the door before you gently rummage through tins of tea. The scent of vanilla, rose and earth in every store is a marriage made in Singapore and if you ask nicely, you’re allowed to stick your nose into one of the bags to get a full whiff. It’s okay if you leave without buying anything – it’s widely acknowledged that a large number of on-lookers enter TWG just to feel like the Queen.
When we hear news of TWG opening in KL, we are naturally anticipatory. Already running for over a month now, the branch at Pavilion KL is nothing short of stunning. Suitably placed opposite YSL and Chopard, the tea boutique is a vision of careful deliberation – one of those cafés you want to immerse in rather than sit comfortably in. Endless rows of tea are the first thing which catches your civilised eye and going by the rules of perfection – no single niche is empty. Each carries a powder yellow tin and the attendants go by the tiny labels on each tin to source for an order. As we ask for a chocolate tea just to be funny, the attendant doesn’t give us the stink eye but instead slides open a wooden wall behind the counter containing more tea. Within the storage, he extends more hidden shelves to reveal enclaves of yes, more tea. It’s like a secret bookshelf but instead of old passages, hides tins of tea.
Selection of macarons
If you prefer to buy your tea in prettily packaged cans instead of by the gram, the most popular of them all is the Silver Moon, a green tea blend of vanilla, woodland berries, spice and well, everything nice. Some of the others which have proved popular include the Grand Wedding tea (as sunflower and fruit blend), the crème caramel (a dessert tea), the Geisha Blossom tea (a more conventional green tea) and the Singapore breakfast tea (a signature version of the English breakfast). Should your tea buds prefer a more unusual blend, you can opt for the Orange Blossom Oolong, the Smoky Russian tea or choose from the selection of sweet teas like coconut, cinnamon, passionfruit and apricot. We reckon there’s no flavour you won’t find here.
While you sip on teas served in elegant teapots, TWG’s ubiquitous macarons are available as girly accompaniments. Flavours are tea-based and some of the bestsellers are the Earl Grey and Chocolate, Black Tea and Blackcurrant, Lemon Bush Tea and Bain de Rose Tea. The macarons here are not overly sweet, a relief for most of us surely. For the more ravished, savoury items are on the menu include the wagyu burger, an RM43 combination of premium beef and fries topped with green tea powder. Eggs Benedict, salads and steaks round off the savoury menu. Though lunchtime crowds are abundant, an ideal visit for us is usually around 3pm on a weekday enhanced by a soothing cup of tea, a financier, a fork and a book.
For more info on TWG Tea Salon & Boutique, see venue listing.