[SG] Arteastiq Boutique Tea House @ Mandarin Gallery

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

The hunt for a sanctuary to retreat from the hustle and bustle of urban city life brought us to the quiet corner of Arteastiq tucked away at the top floor of Mandarin Gallery. We found the name particularly intriguing where essentially it meant 'the art of teasing' or 'the art of tea that makes you tick'. This boutique tea house serves an interesting array of special, alcoholic, fruit tea sets and desserts in a luxurious relaxing setting lined with designer furniture and it certainly won our hearts over with this innovative concept almost immediately upon setting foot.

Spoilt for choice when browsing through the menu, we decided to go for their signatures and while our orders were being processed, the camera started snapping away!

Captain Buntan - Pomelo Tea with Yuzu Gelato (S$12/+)

The pomelo tea was very refreshing and offered a perfect lift for the lazy afternoon. While we struggled to taste the elements of pomelo in the drink, we favoured the tang from the citric yuzu slices. The gelato was quick to immerse itself into the tea and enjoyed on its own, it was creamy rich in a good sense but seemed to lack a strong refreshing burst of the sweet citrus flavours and tasted more like a good rendition of vanilla ice cream. We felt that the tea with saccharine yuzu slices was too sweet for our palate though it helped that a separate glass of iced water washed it down a little. However it was the exact immense flavours from the yuzu slices that carried its beautiful influence on the gelato. We allowed some of the gelato to melt in the cold tea and surprisingly we got ourselves a new concoction, yuzu milky tea! Like any classic afternoon tea set, this came complete with 2 slices of biscotti. These oblong-shaped almond biscuits were made dry and crunchy and complemented the cold beverage well with an added texture to the submerged gelato! Overall, it was a good combination but the elements standalone might not quite find a footing in our must-try list.

Verdict: 7.0/10

The Flying Carpet - Two scoops of premium gelato with Arteastiq probiotic crispy prata (S$12.9+)

We chose the two recommended gelato from the list and they were pear tea and Cointreau bitter chocolate. We thought that the name to the dessert was really innovative, especially with the 'Aladdin-like' saucers which had dried cranberries and cocoa powder to sprinkle over the gelato and prata. The pear tea gelato was rich and had an immensely refreshing burst which contrasted well with the bitter chocolate counterpart. While it tasted revitalizing, we felt that the balance in flavours was tipped towards fruity floral tea so if you were expecting a solid punch of fresh pear fruit taste like I did, you might be poised for disappointment.

I was also expecting a good kick from the orange flavoured liqeur in the chocolate gelato but even with repeated servings, we failed to taste the alcohol. It was a good rich chocolate gelato but it was not really dark nor bitter. That being said, the extra serving of cocoa powder when sprinkled atop the chocolate gelato did make a positive difference, giving an added layer of texture and bitterness. I was actually looking forward to trying this interesting fusion mix between Indian cuisine and western desserts, but regrettably the prata was not crispy enough. It tasted dense with flour, thick and pretty much tasted like frozen pre-mades that got pan-fried prior to serving. Definitely look elsewhere if you are in search for freshly made prata. Overall, I liked the creative combination of infusing Asian culinary elements into desserts and admittedly, it was my first time trying prata without the familiar curry sauces and sugar! If the respective elements to this dessert could be improved upon, then I am sure it would be a winner.

Verdict: 6.5/10

The various cocktails and fruit teas were prepared at this fully exposed part of the 'bar' or 'kitchen' depending on your definition, but we certainly enjoyed watching our beverages prepared before us! The gentleman in the above picture was very polite and attentive to our requests even though he was not part of the waiting staffs. He greeted us enthusiastically upon arrival and even thanked us for our patronage upon leaving. It took a while for our desserts to be served so it would help if you visited with a laid back attitude like we did, then you would enjoy the whole cosy chilled ambiance a whole lot better!

In addition to providing an unique dining experience, there were social events tied up with art events held at the adjacent art gallery cum social painting lounge. You may wish to visit their official website here on the exact prices and ongoing promotions. Looking for a bonding session with your partner, this could be your next activity here to get some art juices flowing!

While the desserts were not exceptional in their class, we enjoyed the getaway from the busy hustle of Orchard Road, tucking away to reading some of the provided magazines, a little chit chat over some nice fruity, floral teas. Apparently they have a beautiful Adam & Eve cakes, which are their famous apple and orange cakes respectively. I would recommend this place as a resting haven for the tired shoppers to get a good pick up from the refreshing cocktails and beverages!

Mandarin Gallery, #04-14/15
333 Orchard Road, Singapore 238867
Opens: 11am - 10.30pm daily
Reservations for Boutique Tea House: 6235 8370
Reservations for Art Jam (Drawing and Art Gallery): 6235 8705

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