Featuring everything from fluffy scones and dainty pastries, to cute macarons and sweet cupcakes (even dim sum bites!), here are Singapore’s most affordable high teas
‘Fess up if you think brunch has taken over our lives; besides, it’s impossible to turn it down in a city packed with great cafes! But if you ask us, nothing comes close to the languorous luxury of a traditional afternoon high tea. You know the works: chubby scones slathered with jam and clotted cream, tiny yet tasty sandwiches (sans crust, obviously) and delicate pastries served with exquisite tableware and calming, aromatic tea. Bliss. Fortunately for you, this British custom doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg – we dish out the best places to bag a fab high tea for less.
Below $20 per person
Fosters The Steakhouse
Fosters may be a steakhouse, but boy, does it serve up a mean (and pretty well-known) high tea set. For only $11.50++, scone devotees can treat themselves to the Devonshire Cream Tea Set, which features the iconic freshly baked, crumbly pastry with home-made strawberry preserve and cream, fruit cake, finger sammies and a pot of coffee or tea.
Fosters, 277 Holland Avenue, Singapore 278994, p. 6466 8939.
FFL Fresh Fruits Lab
It’s all about fruits at this Eastside cafe, which prides itself on a tinge of tang in all its dishes. On the savoury end of the High Tea platter ($38++ for two) are egg mayo sliders, rainbow spring rolls with a punchy lime sauce, prawn fitters with orange sauce and salsa, chicken bruschetta and kuih pie tee. Sweets-wise, there’s an equally wide variety, with mini lemon tart and berries, profiteroles, and rainbow cake trumping the rest in taste and appearance. Now for the possibly bad news: The high tea set doesn’t actually include traditionally brewed tea (shock-horror!), but does feature a choice of grapefruit soda or golden osmanthus. That said, the cafe is also big on the whole lab theme (test tubes, beakers, the works) which can make for a quirky dining experience.
FFL Fresh Fruits Lab, 351 Changi Road, Kembangan, Singapore 419818.
The secret’s out (okay, it’s been out for a long time): Marmalade Pantry serves up the best money-saving high tea set in Singapore. Priced at $38 for two people, the set features two pots of Gryphon Tea, finger sandwiches (egg and cress, beef and horseradish, green land shrimp), chubby buttermilk scones and two cupcakes. Pro tip: The restaurant’s location in ION Orchard always means busy crowds, so come on weekdays for a more muted afternoon.
Marmalade Pantry, Locations in ION Orchard, Oasia Hotel Novena and Oasia Hotel Downtown.
Tiffany Cafe and Restaurant
There aren’t a lot of Halal-certified (and affordable) high tea places in Singapore, so we absolutely had to muscle in on this. At only $19.90++ per person, the set is a steal, especially considering its mix of both English and Asian sweet and savoury bites for all palates. The spread includes local fare like dumplings, siew mais and kueh, as well as mini sandwiches, cakes and tarts. It’s not the most opulent of settings, but it’s the perfect place for when you’re stressed for time, and low on dough.
Tiffany Cafe and Restaurant, Furama City Centre, 60 Eu Tong Sen Street, Singapore 059804.
Below $30 per person
L’éclair by Sarah Michelle
You’re in for a treat at Singapore’s first éclair specialty store and café. Founded by two Le Cordon Bleu trained pâtissières, the cafe reinvents the traditional éclair – here, the tender choux pastry is made over with unique flavours and toppings. Try assorted versions at one sitting with the High Tea Degustation tea set ($50 nett for two) – this also includes a dark chocolate and hazelnut tartlet, raspberry macarons as well as savouries like bruschetta, smoked salmon and dil mousse tartlet. Note that reservations must be made at least a day in advance.
L’éclair by Sarah Michelle, #01-28, 190 Clemenceau Avenue, Singapore 239924.
Not a fan of English high teas? At Hotel Fort Canning’s Tisettanta Lounge, traditional Asian delicacies are the star of the game. Enjoy a selection of kueh pie tee snacks and dim sum dumplings, plus gourmet coffee or tea at $25++ per set. Picture-perfect views of verdant foliage, a gorgeous heritage venue and affordable high tea treats? We’re sold.
Tisettanta Lounge, Hotel Fort Canning, 11 Canning Walk Singapore 178881, p. 6338 5498.
Arteastiq is synonymous with relaxed art jamming afternoons and chichi meals. But if rolling up your sleeves and busting out your Picasso moves isn’t the plan of the day, perch yourself on one of their many plush, velour chairs for an afternoon of dainty delicacies from the Double Teasery set ($48++ for two) and the latest goss, of course. On the top tier of your gilded rack is an array of delectable sweets – chocolate truffles, macarons and a light matcha cheesecake included – while the bottom features a smoked duck wrap, pan seared foie gras on toasted brioche and vol au vent.
Arteastiq, Outlets in Mandarin Gallery and Plaza Singapura.
Few places in Singapore can rival TWG Tea’s pomp and extensive list of tea blends (they’re estimated to be well over 800!). With its opulent surounds, elegant tableware and gourmet menu, the luxury tea salon never fails to make us feel like glamour girls. On its afternoon high tea menu includes a range of sets (from $19 to $39), which all come with delectable scones and, naturally, a pot of the salon’s signature brews.
TWG Tea Garden, B2-65/68A, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018972, p. 6535 1837.
Below $40 per person
Two words: Posh nosh. Dining in Sentosa Cove is always nothing short of glamorous, so you can well expect Woobar’s Drop the T ($65++ for two on weekdays, $75++ on weekends) to be a spectacular, smooth operation. Served in standing decorative silver birdcages, each set boasts 14 canapé-style delicacies, including savouries like pulled bbq beef on brioche crout, handmade beef sausage puff pastry roll and crispy foie gras and duck rillettes bonbon. Sweets like meringue lollipops and macaroon pipettes will also go down a treat. With its swoon-worthy decor, plush ottomans and hanging cocoon chairs, you might want to Instagram everything.
WooBar, 21 Ocean Way Sentosa, Singapore 098374.
HOUSE at Dempsey
This massive brunch haunt perched atop Dempsey Hill opens its doors on Thursdays and Fridays to high tea hunters keen to escape the city’s madness. Lush woodland surrounds instantly sets diners at ease, while artworks dotting the property offer visual treats while diners eat. We recommend ditching anything with a tight waistband for the day; the HOUSE HI-TEA ($30++ per pax) buffet spread is massive, with herb-packed comfort food like truffle fries and pork belly and an extensive dessert platter of cakes, tarts and all assortments of sweets.
HOUSE at Dempsey, 8D Dempsey Rd, Singapore 249672.
Keep those pinkies up for this one. At Singapore Marriott Hotel’s Lobby Lounge, the afternoon tea features all the works of a traditional English afternoon tea set: crumbly, buttery raisin scones (with dollops of blackcurrant, orange marmalade and strawberry jam), macarons, sandwiches, tea cakes, chocolate praline, assorted savories and a choice of tea or coffee.
Lobby Lounge, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, 320 Orchard Road, Singapore 238865.
Sky on 57
The highest of teas is served at Sky on 57, which features Chef Justin Quek’s lineup of exquisite signatures. Gaze over panoramic vistas as you cradle a teacup in hand and a snack in the other. Priced at $78++ for two, this is the most decadent of high teas on this list, but it’s a small price to pay for the swanky settings and gorgeous views. There are gourmet sandwiches, classic gateux and petit fours, as well as seasonal sweets. But the real win here is the acclaimed foie gras xiao long bao – we still can’t believe it’s part of the deal.
Sky on 57, 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956.