Afternoon Tea at The Lobby Lounge in Ritz-Carlton / 
リッツカールトン東京 ザ・ロビーラウンジのアフタヌーンティー

We decided to visit the top 5 afternoon teas in Tokyo, and the list was on CNN news site.
According to the ranking, the list was the following.
1. Mandarin Oriental
2. The Four Seasons Tokyo Chinzanso
3. The Shangri-La
4. Peninsula
5.The  Ritz-Carlton

"Tokyo's 5 best hotel high tea experiences"

We tried to make reservation from the top one but top 4 were all full and finally could get a table at The Ritz-Carlton for Sunday. --- Well, we called Saturday afternoon, which was a day before, so we're really lucky to get a table.

The Lobby Lounge is located on the 45st floor with 8.1m height of ceiling, where the main lobby is, and afternoon tea is available from noon to 5PM every day.
There're 2 types of afternoon teas; The Ritz-Carlton Original Afternoon Tea and Heavenly Tea.
The difference was finger foods. The Original has more expensive seafood and delicacies. (7,500 JPY which is inclusive tax but added 13% of service fee.)
We're not big fan of foie grais or canard, we chose the other one, Heavenly Tea.

We're guided to a table and saw all the tables without customers were already set nicely.
Napkins were folded into a rose shape (or some kind of flower).
On each table, there're an apple with a white bird display.
A decorative pot of sugars and 4 jams were there, too.
They're strawberry, apricot, orange marmalade, and pure honey.

When we're seated, they brought menu books of yellow hard cover with flower prints.

Heavenly Tea
Tea list
First, hot wet towels with Ritz-Carlton's lion symbol were brought.
The towel smelled pepper mint. --- I didn't wipe my face, just I smelled it.

And a little bit later our tea came.
I ordered The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo Special Blend (chocolate flavor) and he ordered Tea Master's Special Selected Tea (rose flavor). 
My tea looked dark enough and had cinnamon-ish flavor instead of chocolate, or it was more like cocoa flavor and no sweet flavor.
Tea Master's Special had thin yellow and looked like a water with yellow ink to be honest, and had a similar flavor to camomile flavor, not rose.

Then we waited for high tea for a while, maybe 20 minutes.
On the top, there're 5 kinds of desserts, second plate was filled with finger foods and the bottom was two types of scones and clotted cream).

We started the second plate, finger foods.
I took all the kinds except the chicken salad as it's full of mayonnaise (topped with orange in the photo above).
Clockwise from the top, smoked salmon sandwich, mini sandwich with curried egg salad and shrimp, pate, and goat cheese.
I can eat goat cheese but it's no my favorite besides the cheese was as big as the mini baguette and was thicker than 5mm.
After having first bite with half of the cheese, I took the cheese off from the bread...

Moved on to the bottom plate, scones.
2 types of scones; blueberry (left) and lemon (right).
Both were deliciously risen high and had buttery flavor with golden top. 
Each scone had about 4cm diameter and 6cm height.
(Photo above is with strawberry)
I tried all the little jams and I liked apricot the best with clotted cream. 
Apricot: sweet but also had some soury taste.
Strawberry: really sugar-sweet.
Orange marmalade: bitter and fresh flavor
Honey: this is the only jar out of 4 without sugar, but as the flavor was too strong, I couldn't taste the scone's butter flavor well with this.
Both scones were crispy and had rich butter flavor and taste.

Finally we tried sweets plates, which we named diabetes plate.
From the left to right in front of the glass cases, montmorency, caramel macaroon, chestnut sweet potato tartlet, Uji green tea cake.
Glass cases are soy milk blanc-manger.

Cherries soaked in brandy were used and it had a strong alcohol flavor. If you're seriously weak with alcohol, I'd recommend to have a little bite before you finish this up at once.
The pie crust was crispy and whipped cream was smooth but medium rich.

Soy Milk Blanc-Manger:
The white stuff is a rice dumpling topped with gold leaf and chestnut.
The sauce was milky and had some sort of tea flavor. Blanc-manger was so soft, velvety, and light.
I think this was the most refreshing dessert out of 5 on the plates.

Uji Green Tea Cake:
Green tea cake at the bottom, white jelly, green tea jelly with whipped cream and azuki bean (sweet red bean) with a decoration of green pine straw.
As the pine straw isn't edible, we took it out first.
I could taste a strong bitter green tea flavor in it.
Most of the desserts with green tea is made sweet so this cake surprised me.

Caramel Macaroon:
Chocolate stripes on the top and it was a crispy macaroon but also had sticky texture as it needs to have.
Inside, there's thick caramel filling and it was bitter sweet.
I could both smell almond flavor (from the shell) and caramel, and it was a great combination.

Chestnut Sweet Potato Tartlet:
Spaghetti looking sweet potato is covered with sparkly gilt dots.
Top was soft and tartlet was crispy so I could enjoy different texture and taste from one sweet.

Note: Live music (piano)
From 2:30PM to 4:30PM, there's a pianist and plays the grand piano at the lounge.

<Personal Evaluation>
View: 3 out of 5

According to CNN's link, The Lobby Lounge is located in the tallest building in Tokyo, but unless you're seated near the window, you won't be able to see much and just seeing the distance, which doesn't let you see how tall you're as it's impossible to see the bottom of the building.
Due to the sunlight coming from in front of me, you can't see the outside in this photo, but mainly we're seeing some building and lands in far away places.

Food: 3 out of 5
Finger foods, sweets and scone were good, but we didn't have any favorite in the finger foods.

Tea: 2 out of 5
I've been to afternoon tea for a couple of times (in a hotel but not in Ritz-Carlton), I could change tea leaves and get different beverages as many times as I wish, so I was expecting the same service.
However, here, the Lobby Lounge doesn't do that. I asked if it's possible to change tea afterwards, the waitress said only one tea is served.
The pot was full so we could get about 4 cups of tea.
They kept the pot over a little candle so that the post and the water inside were always warm, but as the leaves were sitting in the pot all the time and they didn't add water, the last 3rd or 4th cup of tea was really really strong and bitter. If it's acceptable, you might wanna ask them to add some hot water in the pot before serving after 3rd cup.

Service: 3 out of 5
As we wore a winter coats, they offered a cloak and they took care of before we asked or even thought of it.
We have some issues with the food. One doesn't eat pork or shellfish, the other doesn't like mayo.
We mentioned those issues except mayo part because as long as the amount of mayo they use is little, I can handle it.
The waitress bend her knees to listen to our request carefully and made an offer to switch some finger foods to some others on the menu. 
When the high tea came to us, we had 1 shrimp and pate instead of two, then they added 1 more chicken salad (total 3 cups) and salmon sandwiches (total 3 sets).
We're thankful that they're flexible but maybe it'd make it easier to ask them in advance if there's any special request.
It took them a while to adjust, I assume, they prepared our high tea and served us first, then served other tables after us. I thought it was nice of them to keep the order.
Sometimes it took them for a while to take our order, notice that our cups were almost empty and also bring us the bill given that it's almost full, I understand, and of course they said that they're sorry for keeping us waiting.

Fee: I think it's understandable charge as it's a luxurious hotel afternoon tea.
3,900 JPY (tax included) + 13% service charge = 4,407 JPY

The Lobby Lounge (45st floor in Ritz-Carlton Tokyo)
Tokyo Midtown
9-7-1, Akasaka,
Minato-ku, Tokyo

ザ・ロビーラウンジ(ザ・リッツ・カールトン東京 45階)
東京都港区赤坂9-7-1 ミッドタウン

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