The Chinese Whispers Afternoon tea at One Michelin star Kai Mayfair
The highly acclaimed One Michelin star Kai in Mayfair invites you to a unique afternoon tea experience like no other. Gaining One Michelin star since 2009 Kai, calling their food “liberated Nanyang cooking” Nanyang 南洋 is the Southern East of China surrounded by the ocean. Taken inspiration flavours from their heritage than coming up with new innovative dishes using local ingredients.
Michelin star Kai
Call the gang to enjoy a Chinese style afternoon tea. The Chinese Whispers afternoon tea at Kai is far from the traditional sandwiches and scones in the UK. Kai sets the mood for you to relax, share juicy gossip over tea and indulge in gourmet savoury and sweet treats.
COVID safety measures have been in place arriving early, the front desk told me I could only sit inside at 4:00 pm on the dot, but they allowed me to use the restroom to freshen up. Walking through the door you see a wall of red apples. Various ostentatious mighty artwork of Asian women is displayed throughout the restaurant walls. Descending downstairs to a wonderland of the dimly lighted room sets the mood for the comfortable tea room for guests.
The Chinese Whispers Afternoon tea
We were lucky to be seated in an area with no other surrounding parties, as at the other end of the corner people were place table to table. The table is dressed with the book “China Rich Girlfriend” from Crazy Rich Asians author Kevin Kwan. A windup musical cage with a songbird that tweets away. Pastel vintage forage plates and a scroll with a message and songbird. At the end of your meal, you whisper your secrets or wish, write your name on the songbird to be placed on the metal cages surrounding the floor.
The whole Chinese Whispers Tea experience takes you on a wonderland journey. The glass box placed on the table is filled with 4 ceramic brown mini teapots with tea samples supplied by prestigious Jing Tea. From black tea Earl Grey, Dragon Well green tea, Organic Wuyi Oolong, floral infusion Whole Pink Rosebuds, you’re free to smell before making a choice. Surprisingly the oolong tea I have chosen was very delicate and paired well with food.
Part 1 Tea ‘Truth’ Potion
Tea ‘Truth’ Potion is served as a palette cleanser aperitif to loosen the tongue. A flight of three teas starting with sparkling ginger ale, hibiscus green tea and finally lemongrass white tea with a 5% alcohol content.
Jar of Whispers & Conversations
A glassed vintage jar is the first item to be placed on the table. The tag reminds me of the moment Alice from Alice in wonderland picks up the Drink me a potion. Inside the jar is edible conversation starters rice paper along with Tea & Vanilla Sable Breton treats.
You have ‘Chai’ Bao Sliders, bao with crispy duck, bao chopped vegetables, prawns on toast, Chinese tea egg, and finally the potion of ‘eternal youth’. All the savoury’s hit the spot, impressive bite-size snacks but unexpectedly very filling. The potion of eternal is a hot and sour soup that has many complex layers within the broth. In place of sandwiches are the baos with familiar flavours shredded crispy duck and sticky BBQ glaze.
Dipping into the sweet treats, you have classic Asian ingredients like pandan and coconut used in these desserts with that simple twist. Evoking my childhood memories of stuffing myself with pillow-soft pandan chiffon cakes from the bakeries. On the upper tier, A little Birdie once told me, Who needs money when you’ve got cake, It must be true if you heard it three times during Mah-Jong, Stories from Childhood. It’s a case of luck with what flavour mah-jong tiles you get. The chocolate bons bons are filled with either lychee, coconut and calamansi. The highlight for me was the pandan crème Brule, an incredibly smooth creamy texture and prominent pandan flavour.
Part of the interactive experience is the Willy Wong’s ‘Apothecary Macaroons’ with Clotted Cream. Playful marble blue and white macaroon shells are presented in a miniature bamboo steamer basket. Clotted cream is spread on the shell, you are free to play with the assorted vials of fruit essences, powders, condiments to create your own secret combination of flavour.
More about Kai
For more information, please visit Kai website.
Michelin Star: ⭐️
Address: 65 S Audley St, London W1K 2QU
Afternoon tea hours from 15:00-16:30
Price: ££-£££ Standard afternoon tea £46 excluding service charge, £52.20 including service charge.
O H B E H A V E (with a glass of champagne) £56.
P U T T I N G O N R O S E T I N T E D G L A S S E S (pink champagne) £61.