Great dishes paired with the best teas in the world

Great dishes paired with the best teas in the world

Lately, my daily routine has been to pass by our Wooden Spoon branch in Katipunan before braving the traffic to drive to Makati. Our branch at Rockwell is now eight months old and, based on customer feedback, is well liked. So we're looking at adding a location.

After the lunch rush, I do my regular mall tour of Rockwell. I have to remind myself about how much caldereta my resto needs to sell to buy what my greedy eyes want, but not really need.

I am aware of successful restaurants, old or new, and the many stores that are on sale or have interesting deals. I am always on the lookout for something nice for my family.

Wednesdays are particularly special to me since this is the day new movies come out. With bottled water in hand and a bag of white cheese popcorn, I enter any cinema and surprise myself with what's playing on screen.

Simple joys is what I like to call these.

Surprise

On the second floor, I always pass by this place that specializes in tea. I picture the customers here talking in a British accent and picking up their tea cups with the pinky finger pointing upwards.

Not one who fancies anything with caffeine, I have never really appreciated taking tea. My only exposure to tea is the caffeine-free version I take with wonderful Chinese meals.

Well, I was in for a huge surprise. TWG Tea, while serving the finest teas in the world, is also a restaurant. The prices of its most expensive teas will shock you, but the range is so wide that everyone will find their own choice tea.

What I also discovered is that TWG serves very well-presented and delicious dishes, starting with the TWG Tea Salad I ordered. This was a mesclun salad with a slice of creamy and rich pate foie gras, smoked salmon, marinated shrimps, roma tomatoes, French beans and corn. It was served with green tea vinaigrette.

Very tender

The Saute of Beef was very tender braised beef that reminded me of beef bourgignon.

I would have preferred that a cut of beef like shank or brisket with a bit of fat and sticky gelatin was used. But with the great-tasting bread which I dipped in the sauce, I still enjoyed this dish.

The Mini Burgers, served with a salad and green tea vinaigrette, was made up of three kinds: wagyu burger, spicy chicken burger with shallot confit and a warm foie gras burger with apple chutney.

I also loved the healthy pan-seared sea bass, a perfectly cooked fillet on top of orange and yellow pumpkin risotto, served with asparagus, drizzled red chai tea-infused cream with some citrus. Delicious and healthy!

For dessert, I had the resto's bestseller, the Singapore Surprise-wild strawberries mixed with pastry cream on a mini pie crust infused with Vanilla Bourbon Tea.

Another one I would go back for is the caffeine-free Eternal Summer tea served with lots of ice. With a little syrup, this was an eye-opener-refreshing, thirst-quenching and rich, the first time I appreciated tea, really.

I learned two things from trying out TWG: First, it serves great food paired with tea; and, second, you don't have to have raised pinky fingers when you dine here (you can if you want, though).

Happy eating!

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