Open Hours: 12:30PM-5:30PM
Phone number: 2216 6988
Price Range: 280rmb + 15% service fee (for one person)
Dress Code: Smart Casual
English Address: 1 Chang De Lu
Chinese Address: 上海静安区常德路1号
Metro: Line 2 or 7 Jing'An
*Please note this was an arranged tasting
It’s been quite awhile since I’ve reviewed a Shanghai afternoon tea destination and what better way to pick up where I left off but by accepting a courteous invitation to taste test the PuLi Hotel’s signature afternoon tea set?
The PuLi Hotel was the first ever hotel opened under Urban Resort Concepts back in 2009, nestled right in the heart of Shanghai city. Known for their unconventional ability to create subtle tones of luxury within a hotel atmosphere, guests often frequent here to enjoy their afternoon tea in the outdoor Garden Terrace situated in the midst of the Jing'An Park or grab drinks at the famed 35-meter "Long Bar".
Upon walking into the Jing’An Restaurant on the second floor, I was instantly charmed by the classy contemporary vibe given off by the polished wooden floors, quietly shaded full length glass windows and gentle modern lounge music drifting in the background. It’s definitely a change of pace to what I’m used to – a real haven for those seeking a few hours away from the bustling city.
I ordered the PuLi Afternoon Tea (280rmb + 15% service fee) that comes with one cup of tea or coffee of your choice. Since I brought a friend with me, she ordered another beverage for herself.
I had their Breakfast Tea and she tried their Latte (60rmb).
Our set has arrived!
We decided to work our way from bottom to top. First thing I tried was the Chicken and Truffle Pretzel.
Creamy chicken sandwiched between two soft pretzel buns = instant favorite.
Loved the pretzel bun so much that I grabbed the Corned Beef with Leeks for myself #sorrynotsorry
Next up was the Liver Parfait with Prune and Rye.
I’m not big on foie gras and the blend of prune flavoring was less than appealing.
After finishing the bottom tier, we made our way to the top.
First, the Financier with Raspberry and Fennel Seed.
Overly sweet with a stale texture that made it mediocre at best.
Next we tried the Yoyo Biscuit with Butter Cream, Canoli and Canelé.
Yoyo Biscuit was too buttery for my taste and the canoli was quite standard. The canelé, however, had a delightfully chewy and sweet outer crust with a soft caramelized center. Yes sir, I could certainly have more of those.
The Triple Chocolate Muffin was next.
Calling all y'all chocolate lovers out there, this rich treat’s for you. Good thing it came in a small portion or I’d be eating a handful.
Next we have the Yogurt Mousse with Passion Fruit and Basil.
Beautifully crafted, but tastes meh.
Typical me to save the Lemon Meringue for last.
Zesty lemon filling accompanied by a crispy crust, just the way I like it. Hands down this is the standout of the dessert tier.
And of course, we couldn’t enjoy our tea without scones.
It’s rare these days to find scones in Shanghai that are up to par, but these come pretty damn close. Paired with a serving of jam and Devonshire cream, these buttery moist pastries melt right in your mouth.
Overall, the highlights of this visit include the attentive staff, the refreshingly zen atmosphere and the savory treats from the tea set. Though sweets are not their strong suit, my fondness for their scones makes up for it and I'm determined to have my next afternoon tea date here at the much-talked about Garden Terrace where guests can enjoy the lush view of Jing'An park while chatting away with friends after a long week of work.
Having been served so well today, I look forward to coming here for their Sunday buffet brunch in the near future.