Care For a Cuppa English Tea?

Feast on some British fare to get into the spirit of the London 2012 Olympics Games

Issue: Aug 2012

Have tea like the British royals at TWG Tea Company which has over 1,000 different types of teas
Have tea like the British royals at TWG Tea Company which has over 1,000 different types of teas

As the world turns its attention to Britain thanks to the London Olympics Games, all things English have come under the spotlight as well. While the British may not be known for their culinary forte, there are still some English fare that are quite delightful and well worth sampling. So, if all that focus on London has whetted your appetite for something English, you do not have to venture far. Here are some English staples that you can savour right here in Singapore.

A Spot of English Tea

Afternoon tea is a time-honoured English tradition, and tea is perhaps the national drink there second only to beer. If you want to indulge in a spot of tea, TWG Tea Company is the place to go. This tea boutique has elevated tea-drinking to a venerable art form. The luxurious setting in golden hues with Italian marble flooring and heavy wooden counters will have you feeling like royalty. You can sip nearly 200 types of tea from the store’s fine bone china tea cups. In all, TWG Tea Company boasts over 1,000 single estate fine harvest teas and exclusive blends, with new varieties added every season.

For this Olympic season, try the London Breakfast Tea, a strong blend of broken-leaf lack tea with aromatic red berries and a hint of malty sweetness. If you want something milder, the London High Tea is a black tea which showcases the best of Chinese and Indian teas. The London-Singapore Tea has exotic spices and a touch of wild berries. To go with your tea, TWG Tea Company also has a traditional English tea set that has scones with tea-infused jelly, and sandwiches so you can take tea like a proper Brit.

Pies are a mainstay of English cuisine and nothing is more English than a Steak and Kidney Pie which The Pump Room has done to perfection The Pump Room’s Chicken and Scottish Ale Pie is a comforting stew of slow-cooked chicken and oyster mushrooms in a gravy flavoured with Scottish Ale and toped with a puff pastry
Pies are a mainstay of English cuisine and nothing is more English than a Steak and Kidney Pie which
The Pump Room has done to perfection
The Pump Room’s Chicken and Scottish Ale Pie is a comforting stew of slow-cooked chicken and oyster mushrooms in a gravy flavoured with Scottish Ale and toped with a puff pastry

Main-ly English

English food is often homely, hearty and comforting. One of the mainstays of English mains is sausages, or bangers as they are colloquially called by the English. While the Americans like theirs between a bun with mustard and the Germans have theirs with sauerkraut, the British like theirs with mash potatoes in a dish called Bangers and Mash. At restaurant-bar, The Pump Room, at Clarke Quay, this English dish has been upgraded. Their Bangers and Mash comes with deep-fried onion rings and a Scottish beer sauce that unites the British love affair with beer and their local dish. The boozy sauce is ideal with the grilled chicken bangers.

Pies are another feature of English fare and The Pump Room offers a few English-inspired ones. The Steak and Kidney Pie is given a lift with the addition of India pale ale in the gravy. The puff pastry is buttery and crisp, forming a lovely dome over the beef and kidney stew.

The Chicken and Scottish Ale Pie features tender slow-cooked chicken with succulent king oyster mushrooms in a stew that has soaked up the flavour of the Scottish ale. The pie is topped again with the puff pastry that is both light and flaky. For the Shepherd’s Pie, minced lamb is used with carrots, onions, and mushrooms in a thick brown sauce. Everything is topped with mash potato then baked till a light brown crust forms. The creamy potatoes paired with the lamb stew beneath makes this soul food at its best.

Sticky Date and Toffee Pudding with Vanilla Ice-cream from The Marmalade Pantry is gooey goodness at is most decadent
Sticky Date and Toffee Pudding with Vanilla Ice-cream from The Marmalade Pantry is gooey goodness at is most decadent

Sweetly English

Pudding is the quintessential English dessert. So central to English sweets is the pudding in its many permutations that “pudding” was once used as an alternative for the dessert course in England. The Marmalade Pantry has an admirable selection of puddings. At this chic bistro, you can have a rare taste of English boarding schools with Eton Mess. This English dessert is traditionally served at Eton College’s annual cricket match against students of Winchester College. The dish is meringue topped with cream and strawberries. The combination is both beautiful to behold and eat with the sweet crisp meringue balancing the taste of the tart, juicy strawberries and rich cream.

Another English favourite is Sticky Date and Toffee Pudding, The Marmalade Pantry serves theirs with Vanilla Ice-cream. The warm cake-like pudding with an oozy centre paired with the ice-cream is infinitely comforting. There are few places that offer Banoffee Pie so take the opportunity to try it here. This English pie has a toffee filling with slices of banana that is then slathered with generous amounts of cream and dusted with coffee, a heavenly combination. The gooey sweetness of the toffee and bananas plays off perfectly with the slight bitterness in the cream because of the coffee and the crunchy pie bass. It is bliss with every bite.

Drinking to All Things English

In the spirit of the English pub culture, pop in at the Beer Market to sample some interesting selections like the award-winning Frϋli and the smooth and rich Hobgoblin
In the spirit of the English pub culture, pop in at the Beer Market to sample some interesting selections like the award-winning Frϋli and the smooth and rich Hobgoblin

The English are known for their pub culture and along with that, their beers and ales. If you want to recreate the pubbing scene of London, try the Beer Market. This sports bar works on the concept of the stock market where beer prices rise and fall according to demand which is determined by the number of orders of that type of beer per half hour. It is a fun way to find out which beers are the preferred choices from the nearly 30 different types of beers including blonde beers, ale, draughts and malts available.

Some more interesting selections at the Beer Market include the Hobgoblin, a smooth, rich beer flavoured with chocolate and crystal malts combined with the bitterness from Styrian, Goldings and Fuggles hops. Another winner is Frϋli, a Strawberry Belgian fruit beer that was voted “World’s Best Fruit Beer” by judges of the World Beer Awards in 2009.

Indulge in the English tradition of pub crawling at The Pump Room with its freshly brewed beers
Indulge in the English tradition of pub crawling at The Pump Room with its freshly brewed beers

If you like something freshly brewed, The Pump Room has its own microbrewery on site. The four in-house craft beers - Pump Room Lager, Pump Room Scottish Ale, Pump Room India Pale Ale (IPA), and a rotating Brewmaster’s Reserve Beer - are made from products imported from Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and the US to showcase the array of flavours possible in beers. No chemicals or flavouring are added to the beers so you are guaranteed an all-natural drink.

If you cannot decide which beer to try, the Pump Room Lager is a good pick. This light-bodied beer is a best-seller. The light malty sweetness, and the sweet fruity flavour and floral aroma from the European noble hops used in the brewing balances the moderate bitterness of the beer, making this a thirst-quencher. Another beer to try is the Brewmaster’s Reserve that changes every season according to the brewmaster’s inspiration. Currently, the Golden Ale, a light pale ale is being offered.

As the London craze rages on, you do not have to be left behind. Have your own celebrations right here by eating English.

The Pump Room
3B River Valley Road
The Floundry
Clarke Quay #01-09-10
Singapore 179021
Tel: (65) 6334 2628 / 6338 0138
www.pumproomasia.com

TWG Tea Salon & Boutique
2 Orchard Turn
ION Orchard
#02-21
Singapore 238801
Tel: +65 6735 1837
www.twgtea.com

The Marmalade Pantry
2 Orchard Turn
Unit 03-22
ION Orchard
Singapore 238801
Tel: 65 6734 2700
Fax: 65 6734 2279
www.themarmaladepantry.com.sg

Beer Market
3B River Valley Road
Clarke Quay
#01-17/02-20
Singapore 179021
Tel: +65 96618283
www.beermarket.com.sg

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