The last time I went to Greenbelt with my friends was on December 14, 2012 when we had dinner at Fish and Co. While walking to the car parking area and saying our goodbyes, we saw several newly opened restaurants that offer superlative plates and exclusive culinary experiences. One of my targets then was TWG Tea.
I knew TWG Tea (The Wellness Group) two years ago way back in Singapore but never had the chance to dine in because no one would take pictures of me and I didn’t have anyone to go with. The fine epicurean products seemed too good to be true, and the most I wanted was to have a piece of TWG’s macaron. 😀 拜托了, 我觉得我很可怜。
With my visit to TWG Tea Salon & Boutique’s branches in The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and ION Orchard, my thirst to take a sip of this luxury tea grew. Fortunately, I don’t have to buy an airplane ticket to Singapore, Australia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Fiji, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Maldives, New Zealand, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Turks & Caicos, Ukraine, UK, US or Vietnam where TWG has retail outlets and exquisite tea rooms for it now has two branches in the Philippines. One is in Greenbelt and the other is in Resorts World Manila.
TWG Tea is known to harvest and sell only the finest teas in the world. Time is ripe and it’s with my greatest pleasure to finally enter this tea shop of elegance and beauty as a diner.
Review of TWG Tea Salon and Boutique (Greenbelt 5, Makati)
TWG Tea is nothing short of a wonderland of unique tea pots in different sizes, shapes and colors and over 450 types of tea blends spiced with a touch of sensuality packed in elegant tins. These can be seen through the glass-mirror exterior, but there was more we discovered when we got inside.
TWG in Greenbelt is both a tea store, where you can buy over-the-counter pastries, tea leaves in colorful boxes and souvenirs, and a dining place where limited tables and chairs are placed. There’s another special counter where customers can inquire about the teas on the long menu, with a large collection of shelved teas again positioned like aged wine bottles in the background.
Every section was graced with grandeur, with dashes of gold throughout the salon. Designs on the walls were hand-crafted. It was like a small palace with bronze fittings, Italian marble floors, crystal lamps and antique mirrors.
To me, the TWG salon was also in part a mini museum where we viewed accessory collections from a myriad of hand-blown glass, porcelain, stoneware, cast iron teapots, fine bone china teacups, saucers, creamers and sugar bowls, to smaller things such as tea filters and tea scoops.
TWG Tea gives customers a hands-down priceless experience from start to end. The receptionist assigned for crowd control listed our name and number for reservation and told us that she’ll send an SMS when there are free seats set for us.
Tough luck! An hour had passed before we received her message confirming for the accommodation, but that’s okay – we thought we definitely had to make the most out of her stay.
Indeed, we received a royalty treatment from their hospitable and approachable staff. No one felt hurried or pushed out of the store and like a regular coffee shop for hang out, TWG Tea is one exquisite place to enjoy tea and intimate chats with desirable meals and desserts.
We spared about 15 minutes to decide for our order, browsing through their extensive menu. Ultimately, we just asked the eloquent waiter for his best recommendation.
Food offered in TWG Tea hit the spot perfectly between breakfast and lunch, and lunch and dinner. Wow was the first word that came to mind when the three-tiered Fortune Tea Set (PHp 650) arrived at our table. I mean, yes, we’ve seen variations of macarons, muffin and sandwiches from places such as the UCC Café, the French Baker, Delifrance, etc. But TWG Tea’s presentation tops them all!
For the tea included in the set, we can opt to be served with iced tea and hot tea. Iced tea was an inferior choice over hot tea, as the amount of serving and the variants for iced tea are fewer. For the hot tea, we could only choose those valued at PHp 195 on the menu. Despite the limitation, featured tea blends and names were still so many in number that we found it difficult to order.
Silver Moon Tea is their bestseller of all times, as it’s the world’s favorite. We had the last order of the said tea for the day. It’s a combo of vanilla and green tea accented with grand berries. The fragrance was eminent but the taste was similar only to typical teas you can sample at Chinese and Japanese restaurants. We finished about six cups of tea (three refills per person) over almost two hours of conversation.
The first delicate savory we had were the chocolate and blueberry muffins. They were the best muffins I ever had, perfectly baked with moisture and served with TWG Tea jelly and whipped cream.
Next were three of TWG Tea’s signature tea-infused macarons which were meticulously handcrafted in a delicious manner. We liked the Earl Grey Fortune and Chocolate macaron the most, followed by the Napoleon Tea and Caramel then the Camelot Tea and Praline. Each had a distinct taste and I rate it as 3-4 times better than those I bought from Tous Les Jours before. (TWG Tea’s macarons are individually priced at PHp 50, 56% pricier than the TLJ’s. Gasp!)
Thirdly, we had shared three plush smoked salmon sandwiches with gruyere cheese on one side of the bread, delicate green salad and house vinaigrette – the perfect vehicle to happiness.
Price for Value: ★★★★☆
I credit the efforts of TWG Tea tasters who travel thousands of miles to various countries every year to sample and search teas and come up with exclusive blends from source gardens. The price was worth braving the inevitable customers that line up through the doorman, waiting that long, and paying for those elite guilty pleasures.
If you believe that tea time should be the most awaited and cherist moment of the day, TWG Tea Salon and Boutique has you covered.
TWG Tea Salon & Boutique
Level 1, Greenbelt 5
Legaspi Village, Makati City, Philippines