Thursday, May 21, 2009

Scarlet Tea Room in Pasadena

I know it's approaching Father's Day, but I have to go back and do a post on my whereabouts on Mother's Day. This year, I was kid free for Mother's Day lunch. It was heaven. My cousins and siblings wanted to take our mothers to an afternoon tea (and for my father's birthday), and after realizing how expensive the buffet at the Huntington Library was, we settled on the Scarlet Tea Room in Old Town Pasadena. At $38 dollars a person for the Mother's Day Tea, it's far from being a bargain (and also a reason why the kids were absent), but we thought it was a nice two hours of pampering.

The room is quite small but quaint and dainty, with various pretty ceiling decor, everything a little tea room should be. In terms of the menu, I've been here once before for a bridal shower, so I knew what to expect. The five course tea ceremony is their speciality and is essentially what the Mother's Day Tea menu is. There are also other options available too if you want to just come in for tea and a quick bite, or for a nice dinner or lunch.

As soon as we were seated, our party was able to order our choices of tea. You can get a pot per person, but as suggested to keep things simple, we ordered three pots at first for the entire party and then added a fourth. We chose the Fiji green tea, the organic passion green tea, a tropical tea with a long Hawaiian name, and if I remember correctly, one of the berry infusion teas. The last three were alright, but the Fiji green tea was very aromatic and delicious. The teas were brought out in dainty pots and served in little cute cups. The servers continue to fill your cups whenever you run out, so we drank a lot that day.

The strawberry sorbet was our first course. This was light and simple and good because we were starving.

We were also served almond mimosas (non-alcoholic if requested). I couldn't really taste the almond in there.

Scones were then brought out with an assortment of sandwiches. I thought we were suppose to order a choice of four types of sandwiches per person, but I guess to make it simple, they just brought out the whole lot. This then forced our party to pick and choose and divide so we could all have a taste of the good ones. We were disappointed in this aspect. The savory sandwiches were very good, but we had a hard time finishing up the sweeter ones, like the cranberries and citrus ones. In fact, the kids got to eat these as leftovers when I reunited with them.

The scones were excellent, very light and airy. The ginger scones were good although a bit bland, but the pumpkin ones were moist and so very delicious, especially with the cream that was served with them. I didn't care much for the lemon curd or the strawberry perserve that was also brought out for the scones.

Spring petits fours (mini-cakes) were then brought out along with miniature cupcakes and berries. By this time, we were all quite full, so a lot of these desserts looked way too sweet to even attempt and ended up in the kids' tummies, but I did try both of them. Yep, the mini-cakes were too sweet, but the cupcakes were quite moist and delicious.

Then to end everything, little plates of strawberries romanoff were brought out. These were so-so, but thank goodness the plates were small.

It was then time for potty breaks and the huge bill with the 20 percent tip added and the expected complaints from our Asian parents about why this was so overpriced and not worth it and how for less than this price you could go to nice buffet in Vegas. I still think they enjoyed the experience at least. I agree, this is overpriced and we could do this at home for a fraction of the cost, but the goal was to feel pampered, and I think the Scarlet Tea Room accomplishes that. I haven't been to afternoon tea anywhere else to be able to compare, but my cousin liked her experience at the Ritz-Carlton better because you don't have to divvy up the sandwiches, but I think we had to due this do to our large group. Overall, this was to me a very enjoyable tea experience, but only for special occasions.

Scarlet Tea Room is located at 18 W Green St in Pasadena, CA (626) 577-0051


EatTravelEat said...

Beautiful food! So many different items you got to sample.

I agree the food is great:). One item is particularly familiar to me as I ate it during a event at Rusnak Pasadena (a endless platter of desserts and appetizers were served)- the present shaped cakes.

shavedicesundays said...

EatTravelEat, have you been here before? I need to look up Rusnak now.

imjustatree said...

place definitely looks baller. endless platter? i'd definitely go to that...everything looks delicious

EatTravelEat said...


No, I haven't been here. They were catering for a car dealership- which was for a Audi and Porsche event (I wrote about it which you can see via the Festival and Events tab on my blog).

shavedicesundays said...

HWMNBN, the endless platter does sound interesting, doesn't it?

ETE, I will check out that post.

Chubbypanda said...

I think part of the fun in having high tea is the variety of little finger foods. Sure, you could do it more cheaply at home, but you'd have to buy all the ingredients, make everything, arrange it, brew the tea...

Like you said, it's all about having someone else pamper you.

shavedicesundays said...

Chubbypanda, yeah everyone knows it's not worth it if you're looking at it moneywise, but everyone needs to be pampered sometimes.