Sunday, 21 July 2013

High Tea Review: Enigma at the Piazza, Castle Hill

Enigma at the Piazza, Castle Hill takes the traditional British afternoon tea and gives it a Greek twist.

Enigma is situated at the Old Northern Road end of the Piazza, at the old Eurolounge premises. They've retained the classy interior and semi-open kitchen of Eurolounge, whilst adding their own little touches, including the gentle Greek background music.

The head waitress brings us our menus and advises us of the set high tea menu. Now it's just a matter of selecting either freshly brewed tea, coffee or a cold drink. 

When it comes to tea, Enigma does not muck about. There is a large range, enough available to tantalise the senses, but not too extensive that you'd get lost in the choices. I've been to a lot of high teas, so as soon as I see loose leaf tea (as opposed to the tea bag variety), I am already impressed. I ordered the camomile tea, which contained actual pieces of dried camomile flower, instead of the usual dehydrated tea leaves. I cannot wait to come back to try the truffle tea with real chocolate chips and caramel tea with real pieces of caramel. For non-tea drinkers, they also serve Granny's Garden, which is a concoction of apple, elderberries, beetroot, hibiscus, strawberries, blackberry leaves and currants.

The staff was very attentive, bringing us glasses of iced water with lemon slices without being prompted and offering hot water refills for the teapot.

We didn't wait long before the familiar three-tiered stand made its way from the kitchen. I know that traditionally, the Duchess of Bedford* ate her scones first, but I always start with savoury items, followed by sweets (in order of sweetness).

We started with the flavoursome Greek-style wraps. The first was Mediterranean roasted vegetable, with eggplant, pumpkin and capsicum; and the second was chicken, tzatziki and salad. The savoury tier, also had a sliced cucumber, smoked salmon and caper canapé.

Next we had the scones. I was pleasantly surprised by the light, pillowy scones with a chunky berry jam and double cream. I usually only have half a scone, as I consider them a waste of precious stomach space, with my husband more than happy to eat my leftovers. However, on this occasion, the scones, jam and cream were so good, I had to have it all to myself.

Last but not least, we arrived at the sweet tier, holding delicious petit fours and Greek pastries, including fruit tartlets, topped with blueberries, strawberries and kiwi-fruit; cheesecake with lavender; a passionfruit macaron; a strawberry macaron, tiramisu and Greek biscuits.

All in all, it was a wonderful afternoon tea and I could not fault the service. If lunch and dinner is anything like the high tea, I'll definitely be coming back.

Enigma at the Piazza
Shop 21, The Piazza
Castle Towers Shopping Centre

High tea is served 7 days a week, 11.30am to 3pm, $35 per person, minimum 2 people. Prices are correct as at date of dining: 20/7/2013.

*Legend has it, that the custom of 
afternoon tea began in the 1800's when dinner was eaten quite late in the day, so there was a long gap between meals. The Duchess of Bedford, feeling a bit peckish in the afternoon, requested that food be brought to her chambers to relieve the "sinking feeling". She liked the idea so much that she invited her friends over to join her. Scones were served on the top tier, covered with a cloche to keep them warm and were eaten first before they got cold.

Disclaimer: I was served as a guest of Enigma as winner of a Facebook competition. Although the meal was complimentary, they were not aware that I would be writing this review.

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