I had not been to the E&O Hotel for a long time and it was about two weeks ago that I had the wonderful opportunity to revisit this hotel. Or to be more precise, the hotel's 1885 fine dining restaurant for high tea. As one might guess, it was named base on the year of the hotel was established. Additionally,1885 proud itself as one of the few establishments in Penang that still serves "traditional English afternoon tea". Now, for most Penangnite, it's quite difficult for them to imagine what traditional English afternoon tea would be since char koay teow, curry puffs, hokkien mee, nasi lemak and many other local delights are some of the common afternoon 'snacks' over here. I was just as curious as any Penangnite and look forward to be pleasantly surprised by the nostalgic atmosphere of the E&O Hotel.
The menu for high tea comes with a selection of teas. You have the option to choose from the usual suspects like Darjeeling, English, Earl Grey, Jasmine and for those with a more adventurous palette, there is the Peppermint, Peach and many more. As conservative and traditional as I am, I ordered the English tea while the rest selected tea of their choices. Tea came in traditional teapots and it wasn't long before I quickly discovered that all the tea were brewed from tea bags and not tea leaves. This was such a disappointment as the taste was clearly different and to make matters worse, the tea was lacking in flavour and was rather mild. My belief is that the tea weren't brew as per the time stipulated in the menu hence the rather insipid taste.
The star of the high tea is of course the mouth watering sandwiches and scones that came in a two deck silver plated tray. The platter consists of various types of sandwiches ranging from chicken, beef, tuna and cucumber and assorted scones that went well with jam and butter. And as if that weren't enough, you also get a plate of assorted pastries consisting of fruit tarts, brownies, cookies and others.
For those with extra budget to spare or feel like celebrating a special occasion, the high tea at 1885 is worth a try. While it will set you back by RM 38 ++ per head, its colonial architecture, interiors and well manicured lawns will take you back in time to the days of our colonial masters and provide an excellent backdrop to any meal. If you are interested in the high tea, it's from 2.30 pm till 5 pm daily.