Hello my Dearest Readers :) Hope you’ve all recovered from Christmas and now getting ready to celebrate New Years! This year has just gone by so quickly I haven’t even had time to think about my achievements and failures…let alone New Years resolutions. But it’s ok I still have a little bit of time to work that out hehe
I’m sure I’ve said that plenty of times and I’ll say it again, I can’t think of a better way to spend Saturday afternoon than having afternoon tea with my girls – BBFF (Michele), Lianne (Food Made with Love) and Michelle (The Bakernista) :) A couple of weeks ago I came across an article which talked about Hihou limited edition Japanese Afternoon tea which they have on the last Saturday of each month. For Japanese food connoisseurs in Melbourne they will know Hihou is owned by the same group as Izakaya Den and Nama Nama the acclaimed restaurnats. I haven’t had the chance to try these restaurants but was lucky to try some of Hihou’s dishes at the Lexus Pavilion on Stakes Day.
Because there were limited seats, I literally emailed and booked a table of for and then merely informed the girls that they were to have afternoon tea with me on that date and 2pm. I gave them no choice and the only way they could get out of it was to give me a REALLY good excuse :P Yes I can be very pushy or efficient as I like to describe myself hehe
I’m glad we all made it to the afternoon tea that day and got a nice table by the window which gave us a good view of the Flagstaff gardens and the people walking along Flinders Lane. We all started with a hot tea, I obviously went for the matcha while the girls Ume Vert which was a Japanese Plum Green. I think I prefer the taste of the matcha tea but the Japanese plum green smelt so good!
The first course for the afternoon tea was this Chilli miso soy bean oyaki which is a dumpling made from fermented buckwheat and a miso soy bean filling. I found the dumpling to be a little dense and chewy but I did like the slight spiciness from the chilli.
It was then followed by this delicious Pork Tonkatsu Sandwich the girls went crazy for this :P I can’t blame them the pork tonkatsu (deep fried pork cutlet) had a light crispy layer on the outside but still remained so juicy and tender inside. This may sound a little silly but I also found the bread so soft and fluffy as well hehe
My favourite out of the savoury dishes would have to be this scallop and shitake shumai, they were freshly steamed and I loved the flavour and texture of the scallop. Just modernises and makes the already delicious Shumai even better.
Now time for sweets! I did let out a little squeal when I saw this little sweet treat box. It had a good spread of Japanese inspired and style sweets. On the top left was the matcha cookie which was more like a shortbread it was quite nice but I would’ve liked a stronger matcha flavour. On the top right was the Japanese Whiskey chocolate which was surprisingly sweet and couldn’t really taste the whiskey. In the middle was the Japanese Mountain Berry tart, there wasn’t a distinct flavour to the mountain berry best way to describe it would be like a really light tasting raspberry. On the bottom left was a white bean pate dumpling this was my least favourite as I’m not a fan of white bean and the paste texture. Last but not least was the miso caramel nut praline, it may sound unusual, however, the saltiness from the miso matched the sweet caramel quite well.
That’s not it there’s more dessert yay! This was the black sesame cheesecake, I know the colour may alarm people who are not familiar with black sesame but if you’re a fan you will appreciate the strong yet not overpowering black sesame flavour and the soft cotton like texture of the cheesecake.
Everything was lovely, but the winner of this whole afternoon tea was this warm yuzu tofu cake. I find it’s quite hard to find yuzu flavoured desserts in Melbourne. Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit cross between a lemon/mandarin. I really like the spongey texture of the tofu cake and the delicious white chocolate sauce topped with chopped pistachio and cranberry. I have already instructed Mr Bao to try and replicate this at home and try and open and use that bottle of yuzu juice we have at home :D
Overall, all of us had a great time at Hihou and really enjoyed the afternoon tea. We probably overstayed and wanted to stay for longer and just chat chat chat hehe for only $25 per person, it’s actually very good value for all the food we got and also unlimited supply of tea. Would highly recommended this to anyone who likes Japanese food or want afternoon tea with a twist.