Tea isn't just a sidekick to a triple tier of sweet treats
What would you do if you had at your disposal an encyclopedic selection of teas from the world over? For TWG Tea group executive chef David Thien, the answer is obvious: Dedicate an entire menu that celebrates the versatility of this ancient brew.
You might already be familiar with TWG Tea's colourful array of tea-infused macarons, but Thien's mastery with tea goes beyond the realm of all things sweet. A Norwegian salmon confit is touched with vanilla bourbon tea — a smooth, red tea from South Africa that plays up the pristine flavours of salmon with its warm notes of fresh vanilla. Chicken bourguignonne, which typically sees the chook cooked in a red wine sauce, is given a surprising twist with smoky Earl Grey tea, lending the dish a smoky and aromatic dimension that sets it apart from other chicken bourguignonne dishes out there.
If you're trying Thien's creations for the first time, you'll do well to begin with some of the recent additions to this tea-laced menu. In the mood for something virtuous? The TWG Tea Nicoise salad sees the classic Provençal dish elevated with earthy edamame and baby potatoes cooked till tender in a Chinese oolong tea accented with citrus notes.
Heartier options come in the form of a New Zealand lamb rack roasted with a parsley crust. The dish is sided with a sweet burst of tomatoes and tender eggplant medley infused with black tea spun with hints of Provençal lavender, Arabian jasmine, and a lingering hint of spice. The bold flavours of black Shen Nong tea is used to good effect with braised beef short ribs, a dish made all the more seductive with a wobbly slow-cooked egg, and sweet morsels of Vichy carrots.
For dessert, TWG Tea executive pâtisserie chef Philippe Langlois has your sweet ending covered with plates that weave in multiple teas at once. Only have space for one dessert? Try the chocolate truffle cake topped with Earl Grey tea-infused ice cream and a chocolate crumble crafted with vanilla bourbon tea.