There’s nothing quite like taking something quaint like tea time and defiling it with the whole buffet concept. If all goes as planned, this is the first in a series of tea buffets that I will patronize over the next few months. An article in one of the local newspapers put me on the scent of this trail, and I need no convincing of the absolute necessity of gratuitous overindulgences such as afternoon buffets. If you do, this blurb from the article will surely win you over: “Ah, afternoon tea, that elusive fourth meal of the day that no one really needs, but that everyone relishes once in a while. And heck, if you’re going to stuff your face full of goodies, why not plump for a buffet and get your money’s worth?” While the English leaves much to be desired, the point is as clear as the perfect summer day: afternoon tea buffets exist for a reason and that reason is so people like you and I can fattify ourselves on dainty scones, crustless sandwiches, and the like.
First up: Cafe Andante, located in the lobby of Novotel Citygate on Lantau Island. At $98HK + 10%SC, this was by far the cheapest buffet recommended. The pickings were pretty slim, and at the end of the day, even I had to concede that I’d rather pay a much steeper sum than sit through this one again. But I ain’t gonna lie, I did eat my money’s worth — my momma raised me right.
Plate 1, clockwise from bottom: fried rice with chicken, teriyaki chicken skewer, siu mai, tuna salad sandwich, and croissant. Thumbs down for fried rice. The teriyaki chicken was quite tasty though a bit fatty, and the sandwich was too damn cute to not like (it’d be like hating on a puppy with floppy ears and big brown eyes). I hadn’t had a croissant in so long, so this one was kind of glorious, especially with a couple slabs o’ butta.
Plate 2, clockwise from bottom: steamed pork and vegetable bun, prawn toast, vietnamese spring roll, almond cookie, fruit bowl. Thumbs down for the bun and prawn toast, thumbs up for the spring roll and almond cookie (as evidenced by their repeat appearances).
Plate 3: a sad excuse of a seafood crepe. This was the reason I thought trekking to Lantau would be worth it. But the clump of seafood hiding in the crepe pancake was caked in some weird white gravy goo that tasted like a bad clam chowder. Major sadness.
Plate 4, from left to right: beef siu mai, har gao, more spring rolls and chicken skewers. Nothing special here.
Plate 5: the cookies were definitely the highlight of this exquisite dining experience for me. The left one was lightly cocoa-flavored with thinly sliced almonds providing a nice crunch and visual appeal. The middle one was one from before, pleasantly buttery and almost cakey. And the third was the first + some generic shortbread-type deal.
Plate 6 from left to right: cheesecake, mango pudding, tiramisu, mini raisin scone. I enjoyed the pudding and tiramisu, and please refer to my comments on the tuna sandwich for the scone. I blame my dad for overdeveloping my sweet tooth, but really, why cry over spilled milk when there are so many sugary concoctions waiting to be devoured 🙂
Lobby, Novotel Citygate
51 Man Tung Rd.
Tung Chung, Lantau