Situated in the lobby of the Crown Towers Hotel, The Waiting Room is a small, modern and glamorous restaurant that is also the newest addition to the Rockpool group. would never have known such a place existed let alone enjoyed nice afternoon tea there had it not been for the last minute hens’ night planning for one of my friends. Most well known places were booked out (we literally called the day before for a Sunday lunch booking) but as The Waiting Room just newly opened in October 2011, hardly anyone knew high tea options were available!
The place was decked out in bling, the most memorable being the restroom where there were so many mirrors on the walls I thought I was going to get lost.
The afternoon tea options were $42pp for tea and nibbles or the same food for $55 with sparkling wine. It came with 4 ribbon sandwiches, 2 scones with jam and cream, 5 mini cakes and 2 savouries. The internal decor as well as the cake tier and glasses were all modern and chic, so if you’re more after traditional high tea with cute girly tea cups then this may not be the place for you.
I just ordered a regular Earl Grey tea which was as expected. I should have ordered something different like Silver Needle or Organic Dragon Well Green, although the Earl Grey wasn’t bad by any means.
Service was great, the waitress came around to us to refill our tea cups at set intervals and even informed us of the ‘perfect’ tea brewing time so we were meant to pour and drink the tea after a few minutes, the exact time depended on the type of tea leaf.
The scones were orange vanilla flavoured which were quite large and filling. They were soft and fluffy and went very well with the house made strawberry jam and cream.
The ribbon sandwiches were average. I quite liked the chicken and walnut one as it was creamy and nicely flavoured. I wouldn’t have minded if all 4 sandwiches were this flavour.
The salmon and cream cheese sandwich was not bad either although nothing special, anyone could have guessed what this tasted like.
The cucumber and chive butter sandwich was very average, in fact there wasn’t much taste at all, especially after the strong flavoured cakes and beautiful scones.
I didn’t end up eating the egg sandwich as I was very full. I was trying desperately to alternate the flavours by eating one savoury and one sweet. I’m not a huge dessert fan so eating so many cakes in one go was pure suicide. I know, I’m not fit for high teas but I still like them!
Most of the mini cakes were quite sweet. My favourite was the profiterole as it had a chocolatey rich custard inside and wasn’t too sweet compared to the others although I didn’t manage to take an individual photo of it.
The caramelised apple tart was way too sweet. I only took one bite and I gave the rest to Racheese who loves her sweet things.
I also didn’t end up eating the passion fruit miroir as I was seriously dying from sugar overdose then. I know it’s hard to believe. I couldn’t give it to Racheese either as she doesn’t like passion fruit so it was put in a takeaway box together with all the left over food from other people.
I found the alfajor quite intriguing. Firstly I didn’t know what it meant (apparently it’s an Arabic sweet that can be found in Spain and a few other countries) and second it looked like a meringue with a hidden treasure inside. When I took a bite, it revealed layers of honey and hazelnut biscuits somewhat like a wafer and as I love hazelnut flavoured things, I managed to somehow eat all of it.
Another one of my favourites – the peanut butter, caramel and chocolate ganache tart – was so rich but so well balanced with the sea salt and peanut butter that I almost wanted seconds. In the excitement of eating it, I also didn’t take photos. Silly me!
I was only able to take one bite out of the parmesan biscuit and anchovy twist (savouries), purely just to taste them for the blog. I was so full I couldn’t even walk! The parmesan biscuits were very cheesy. So cheesy it felt like I was eating parmesan cheese dusted with a little bit of flour. It was very nice, although a bit too intense in flavour to eat too much of. I couldn’t remember too much about the anchovy twist apart from it being a little salty.
As you can see, I’m quite the messy eater.
I think I may have eaten the nibbles the wrong way around – top down is the usual case isn’t it? Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed The Waiting Room’s afternoon tea, although it wasn’t an easy feat for someone who can’t eat much sweets. If you’re looking for a good time out with the girls or wanting to book a place for a hens or birthday event, The Waiting Room is a good choice. Although you may want to get in before too many people find out about the place since it’s not a very big establishment.
Question time: Do you like getting dressed up and going to high teas?
The Waiting Room
Phone: (03) 8679 1800
Crown Entertainment Complex, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank VIC 3006