Monday, November 1, 2010

Harlan's @ The One

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Last year I had a very memorable experience at The Parlour @ Hullett House TST and won my top spot in my Afternoon Tea No More 2009 award. This year before the end of it, I found the establishment that qualified for the Afternoon Tea No More 2010 --- Harlan's @ The One TST.  First of all, I was attracted to here because of the Jo Malone Afternoon Tea set as promoted. I heard about it from many friends as well asking me to give it a try. It sounded interesting enough right? If I am from Jo Malone, I would expect my business partner to help promote this special offering as well, however, guess what, I have to request for the special menu and what was funny was that .... well, let me pull it as follows: 
Jason: "Hi, I would like to check out the Jo Malone Afternoon Tea set menu." 
Staff: "Jo Malone?" 
Jason: "Yeah, the perfumes, fragrances, candles ... "
Staff: " [pauses] Oh, I think I know what you are referring too, wait a moment please ... " 
Great job! I would be fairly pissed if I am from Jo Malone

(P.S. - based on my knowledge, Harlan @ The One is no longer run by Harlan Goldstein himself even though the name remains. Harlan Goldstein can now be found at the recently opened Gold by Harlan Goldstein @ LKF, Central, Hong Kong)



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Of course I can go on with the quality of the food first but I rather highlight some of the interesting experiences first. These experiences put a new meaning to Harlan's slogan "Where Dining is an experience" ... missing a few words in my opinion ... "Where Dining is an ONE TIME experience." So what happened

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My friend ordered a pot of English Breakfast Tea and out of the 10,000 sqm of table space (a table for 4 to be more exact), the staff has to put the pot and cup right next to the edge of the table. Another thing that I find funny was that when my friend as for a refill of hot water, the staff just poured the hot water into the pot right from the little counter 10 steps away from us. It was poured from those thermo bottle! I really thought I was in a Chinese restaurant at that moment, the bar was just around the corner, why can't they just walk a few steps and do it there! I don't care how you do it but not right in front of us please! 

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We have been reminded that their tea time last from 3:30pm to 5:15pm because they need to prepare for dinner time. Well, the preparation seems to have started when we sat down. Table clothes were being ironed ... RIGHT NEXT TO US! They seemed to care more about how straight the table clothes were then check out what diners were requested with their hands up for over 30 secs! (and by the way, they were so straight and flat if you ask me) If you think you cannot handle afternoon tea session, then please just don't offer it. It is better to not offer it than doing a bad job at it!

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The place was located on the 19th floor with a great patio outside overlooking the harbour. Half the restaurant was surrounded by glass windows so natural sunlights can shine in giving you a wonderful feeling.  At around 4:00pm - 4:30pm, the sunshine would shine directly into the restaurant. Why I know? BECAUSE IT WAS SHINNING DIRECTLY INTO MY EYES! For some odd reasons, they lift up the blinds, just that particular section of the blinds! Do I look too pale that I needed a sun bath? Do I look shiny under the sun like Edward Cullen??? 

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I guess I can now return to talk about the food such as the super hard macarons, dry tiny sandwiches and dry scones. Just to name a few by the way ... sigh

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So what was so special about the Jo Malone Tea Set? Well ... we were given this set of Jo Malone's candles and cologne. It was the Parma Violets Tea scent candles. (forgot to check which fragrance of Cologne it was before I gave it to my friend ... ooops) Wish it was the Red Roses fragrances if they have it in candles. (I don't think they have it unfortunately right?)
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Among of the items, the best had to be the Honey Roasted Pear Napoleon. Macarons were hard, bread was dry, scones were dry, tiny pizzas were cold and cheeses were ... out there under room temperature or been prepared for a long while in my opinion.

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We also ordered the Chicken Mushrooms, Parama Ham, Jalapeno, tomatoes and Mozzarella Pizza was good or perhaps excellent when comparing with the tea set. Italian styled pizza, thin and flavorful without the tomato sauce overwhelming the rest of the flavors.

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Likes:

  • The pizza was surprisingly delightfully, perhaps when compared with the rest of the meal that it made it to my LIKES list.

Dislikes:

  • Ironing table clothes while we were eating? 
  • Direct sun lights into my eyes and I did make some really obvious move but yet being ignored! Why just that section of the blinds? WHY? 


Avg Spending: HKD 180 per person (Jo Malone Tea Set for 2 = HKD 298, normal Tea Set = HKD 198 for two.)

Harlan's 
19/F, The ONE,
100 Nathan Road, TST
Tel: +852 2972 2222
http://www.jcgroup.hk/restaurant.php?name=Harlan's


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13 comments:

Cooking Meow said...

OMG.. i just called and reserved yesterday.. (ok, just because of Jo Malone, not for Harlan's!)

the ironing pics.. i can't stop laughing!! hahaha

Devilish said...

Hi Jason! I have been reading your blog for a while but this is my first comment! :)

The Harlan's tea set sounds really bad... did you try the Jo Malone Afternoon Tea offered by MO Bar of The Landmark Mandarin Oriental? I did and the food was probably much better than that of Harlan's. But Harlan's does do better in one aspect, which is they have Jo Malone candle accompanying the tea set!

Mochachocolata Rita said...

wtf! let's do another tea party at home and show em how it's done! :D

Jason said...

@Cooking Meow: I have a feeling you would see the same thing. And did they say they were fully booked many afternoons? You know why? Because they only use maybe around 10 tables out of 30 for the afternoon tea session and they ask you to sit to the front of the resto because they need to iron table cloths from the back!

Jason said...

@Devilish: Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. How was your MO Bar experience? Just wondering, if they do not give you at least a candle, how do they call it Jo Malone Tea set haha ... yeah! I guess at least the candle scent made me chill ... otherwise I could have been very furious! haha

Jason said...

@Rita: yes! Another afternoon tea party is a must! We need to introduce the art of Afternoon Tea Party to lil SC :) haha

Devilish said...

Wow, you reply to comments so quickly! :P

The only things "Jo Malone" about the MO Bar tea set were a small piece of chocolate printed with the words "Jo Malone" on one of the cakes, as well as the Jo Malone cologne they gave out as free gift (which looked exactly like what you got from Harlan's)... -__-"

Jason said...

@Devilish: Ohhh ... then I feel a bit better to have the candle to take home HAHA ... a reminder of my experience here at Harlan's @ The One HAHA ...

gastronomous said...

LOL i still cant get over how he ironed right infront of you! thats just wrong....

but i do like jo malone :)

Cooking Meow said...

Jason,

they didn't, because i booked 28th Nov. XD
the lady just reminded me that may hv other party, if so, i need to change the booking date or cancel booking.

But I did emphasis Jo Malone!!

I'll take pic if I see anyone is ironing the table cloths around me XDD

Waldo said...

Brilliant Capture of what NOT to do while people are working thru hard macaroons =)~

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