[SG] House@Dempsey's Vintage Tea Party

Sunday, October 07, 2012

The idea of a tea party never fails to remind me of the scenes in Enid Blyton or Alice in the Wonderland. Recalling the long table filled with tiny bites surrounded by small Alice, the rabbit and many other characters with a whimsical touch to it, and how often the characters in Enid Blyton stories go for tea parties, childhood smells just so sweet. 

An exclusive tea party that's only available every Thursdays and Fridays, 3 to 6pm, I was rather surprised to see how crowded it was on a weekday afternoon, right up in the corner of inaccessible Dempsey. Well, perhaps it was the high expectations I had after seeing the decor, hearing so much raving reviews and seeing the crowd on an unassuming Thursday. I thought that this place didn't live up to its hype and expectations created. Nonetheless, I thought there was a pretty good spread, with savory treats so that it doesn't just favour the ladies with sweet tooth like most high tea places do. 

What's a tea party without the multi-tiered racks (:

the other side of the line

savory part, with a variety of skinny pizzas on the far right

bread corner

More close-ups of what we've tried, with special thanks to my friend lily who brought a dslr to capture the better side of certain plates while the rest were by my non-pro digicam :P 

Out of the different sandwiches they had, I loved this the most! Duck meat with jam, the savory and succulent duck meat went extremely well with the slightly sweet spread. Great combination!

This was quite good as well, almost like those you can find in good spaghetti meatballs. The sauce on top, though little, was flavourful enough to go round the tender soft meatball. Somehow it was thick enough that you feel as though it's been covered with that bolognaise sauce, slightly on the sourish tomato side, much to my liking. 

Mushroom pie

This is a must-try for all mushroom lovers, if you like the strong flavour of mushrooms. It was a rather love-hate relationship for me as I like the flaky crust and the textures inside but the mushroom taste was just too overpowering for me. It was almost the same as the mushroom soup I've tried at PoTeaTo, or maybe even stronger. Loved how they made the slight creamy mixture though!

Just as we were too occupied taking photos of our food and ourselves, the friendly servers came and offered us these petite little madelines, and gosh! The only regret I had was not taking more at that time. Served fresh from the oven, it was warm and had a crispy outside, with soft and fluffy insides that made you crave for more. It had just a tinge of sweetness to it and had a rich buttery aroma to it, that got me addicted.

And everything else from there just went downhill. 
Well, all these were just too creamy, with a super overdose of mayonnaise in it that made us feel rather jelat. I thought it would have been better too, if the foccacia had been slightly baked to give that extra crisp to the bite. 

Cold sandwiches just weren't my thing. And the spring roll was pretty out of place I thought. Nothing spectacular, just rearranged probably to look abit more fanciful. 

I've heard so much about skinny pizzas but haven't had the chance to. There's been very extreme reviews of skinny pizzas that always makes me hesitate at their doorsteps. First time trying, I must say I wasn't impressed at all and in fact, I was very disappointed. The crisp wasn't what I was looking for, and tasted as though it's been left in the open for a rather long time that the sauce from the toppings had seeped through and it lacked that oomph! in the sound of the crust cracking. It pretty much tasted like packaged potato chips, minus the salty condiments we usually have. The combination wasn't fantastic too, the best out of the lot was perhaps the squid ink, where the crust was slightly better and had a slight charcoal aroma to it. This won't get me to their skinny pizza store for sure. 

Looking good, but that's about it. 

Cupcakes were too sweet, and the base's texture was kinda coarse for my liking. The tarts' crusts were too thick and weren't the crumbly type, tasted quite like the packaged sort of tart crusts. Eclairs were very disappointing, there was just too much flour and was extremely airy inside that there was probably only one strip of cream inside (just like what you see on the top). Plus it wasn't served chilled. In the tiny cup of pretty looking berries galore, it was filled with 70% cream, and just got too jelat after a while. The jam inside was also too sweet, the best part was perhaps the pistachio pieces on top. 

Best of the lot was the choco-nut ball, where it tasted very much like ferrero rocher, with different layers inside and it was a good mixture that wasn't too sweet and slightly chewy. 

I guess you can't exactly go wrong with biscotti. 

The cakes weren't up to standard, too compact and bland. You couldn't exactly taste the distinct flavours of the cakes. The blueberry cheesecake wasn't too bad, could have been better with a drier base. 

I fell in love with the madelines. 

They weren't as good as the previous one as it wasn't warm anymore, but the crispy outside still made me satisfied. The orange cake was such a disappointment, tasting just like a moister version of sponge cake. I was expecting a stronger zesty flavour of the citrus fruit to come forth but it was just hidden in the sweetness of the jam and cake. Forgot to take a snapshot of the other side of the cake, it had a rather coarse texture to it that didn't sit well with me at all. The two petite cups were just an epitome of how you shouldn't judge a dessert by its looks. 

As we were super dissatisfied with the standard of food served, we wanted to venture into their main menu to see if it was the same for their usual priced items instead of their free flow buffet. 
We decided to be adventurous and tried the pumpkin hazelnut fries. 

A little too adventurous for our own good, we gave up by the time we reached the third fry. The natural sweetness of the pumpkin couldn't be tasted at all and the first thing that struck us at the first bite was the strong taste of bad oil used in the frying. It left a somewhat bitter taste and it just got us rather sick soon after. Highly not recommended, in our opinion. 

I have my qualms going back there after a lacklustre experience with the tea party. We thought it was pretty much sub-standard and I would very much prefer the Four Seasons Hotel Dessert Buffet for a wider variety, less the savory items, at almost the same price or maybe lesser (priced at $18 when I last visited). I must say they've got a pretty attractive menu though, probably worth a shot if you happen to be around the area. I'm rather tempted looking at this: http://www.dempseyhouse.com/media/dessert.pdf

Overall Nom Factor: 6.0/10
8D Dempsey Road
Singapore 249672

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  1. Hey!

    This is Cheryl from HOUSE (under the Spa Esprit Group), we recently revamped our Vintage High Tea so you can now expect more variety of sweets and savouries, what more, we change them occasionally so you don’t have to worry about having the same thing each time you come. Price is $30++/pax but if you come dressed to the 1920s, you get an instant 10% off ;)