If you are a high tea and good food lover, make sure you don't miss Zest Bar & Terrace, Bangkok. They have themed afternoon teas and this time we got mangosteen one. If I would have to choose which fruit is my favorite, I'd have a huge problem. As I have so many of them, mangosteen definitely being one of them. The only problem I have with this fruit is the peeling part, but the moment the snow white grains appear, all the effort is forgotten. At Zest Bar & Terrace, I didn't have to lift a finger to get to the sweet joy of this fruit. The chef incorporated mangosteen into every single bite and the combinations blew my mind. The “Queen of Fruit” was the absolute centerpiece on the dishes, which also presented a nice contrast to the seasonal menu. There was also something in the combination of a miniature wooden picnic table with high-end dishes and constant movement of the Asok intersection. The seasonal change of the afternoon tea menu can also be linked to the constant movement of the city itself.
Zest Bar & Terrace high tea set
Watching the crowd outside and sipping gentle English Breakfast tea was really something. The tea itself wasn't as robust and rich as we expected; actually, it was rather gentle and mellow, which didn't bother us much as the spotlight was on mangosteen treats. We started with the panini of smoked duck breast and mangosteen compote. The mangosteen added the juiciness and sweetness to the flawlessly cooked meat. This panini was a joy to eat, not only because of the taste but also because we could easily bite into it. The avocado and mangosteen bruschetta was next on the menu: it reminded us of guacamole and who would have thought that mangosteen could fit so well with the sweetness of the fruit. It was so delicious! The herb-flavored quinoa and mangosteen salad was impressive: the chef made a bread that resembled the mangosteen rind, in the right size and even in the deep reddish-purple color! The bread rind was perfection and brought more than just aesthetics to the table, it provided a soothing taste in the background of the shallot and tomato seasoned salad, where the mangosteen added the sweet and sour juiciness.
Where to start?
The delicious and savoury combinations of this tangy fruit got us excited for the sweets. Before reaching the last part of our mangosteen afternoon tea theme, we focused on the scones and jam. The tasty mangosteen jam was very powerful, even overshadowing the mixed berry scone. Perhaps was because we missed the crunchy crust on the scone and because the inside of the scone was so floury; nevertheless, the jam was an absolute delight.
The chef's ideas for the afternoon tea sweets were designed to pay tribute to this sensational fruit. righteously so, as the fruit sparked passion in poets, botanists, and chefs around the world - there are even rumors that Queen Victoria was a big fan of this delicacy. She supposedly offered huge rewards to the lucky person who would deliver her a fresh mangosteen to her. That was a nearly impossible assignment as the quickly perishable fruit lasts only a few days at room temperature and even the seeds die in a week after they dry out.
Zest Bar & Terrace high tea from above
We are certain that the Quenne would have appreciated the tropical twist on the French dessert Clafoutis with the added mangosteen - it was positively scrumptious! And so was the mangosteen yogurt pannacotta with vanilla bean. The vanilla combined the freshness of the yogurt and melted away with the flavorsome topping. The layered mangosteen compote with the vanilla sponge was presented to us in the tiny blue bowl. The sponge was so soft that we could mix the flavors easily. We especially liked the cinnamon seasonings combined with the freshness of mangosteen and berries.
Mangosteen in my palm
The last dessert on the afternoon tea menu was the cheesecake with mangosteen. The heaviness of the cream cheese went well with the juiciness of the baked mangosteen inside the cake. We didn't mind the fresh mangosteen flesh on top either, which added another dimension to the moist cheesecake.
It felt nice to rinse the luxurious bites with a warm cup of tea and get ready for the next delicious treat. As the queen of fruit was present in every dish, it was excited to compare how it’s flavor unfolds with different seasoning, and what I didn't expect was how different the fruit becomes when it is heated through. Despite losing the distinctive freshness, it remains delicious and becomes more comforting. We were always very happy to see the fresh parts of the fruit on top of a few bites and the chef was generous with this.
Zest Bar & Terrace high tea
Any downvotes? Interior is not in a great shape anymore. However, we were happy to see, that they realize how important is well-being in their hotel. They have a lot of greenery inside which makes ambient nicer, but the competition here around is harsh. Next year there will be at least 10 new hotels here in Bangkok and I believe it's crucial to put some money in a renovation.
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