Afternoon Tea at Peter’s Bar Peninsula Hotel Tokyo

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Super Strict Score [understand my S3]: 6
Smoked salmon + cream cheese focaccia: 7
Grilled maguro open crostini sandwich: 6
Fish & chips mini burger: 6
Vegetable curry puff: 5
Scones plain + raisin/clotted cream/apricot orange preserve: 4.5
Almond maple cupcake: 6.5
Mud cake walnut brownie: 8
Lemon meringue tart: 5
Vanilla panna cotta: 7
Hot chocolate: 7.5
Cinnamon + spices tea: 5
In 1 word: Lofty but hearty

Peninsula Hotel Tokyo official homepage

Afternoon tea at 24th floor Peter’s Lounge & Bar was off to a good start: helpful & efficient ground floor receptionist, seat availability confirmed in no time – as I didn’t have a reservation, I assented to a counter seat. Upon arriving in the sleek teak landing hall, I was picked up & delegated to my seat – not a counter seat after all, but a window seat with funky furniture in a tree themed interior that seemed like a spacey retro sci-fi extension of Hibiya Park, which the windows looked out on for a fantastic Tokyo view.

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Did I want a glass of champagne to start off my afternoon tea afternoon at Peter’s? No, but I gratefully accepted their offer to change it to something else & was awarded with

  • Hot chocolate
    Delicious. Both from looks as well as taste, I’d wager it was a Valrhona.

My no-meat request was instantly met with alternative suggestions which were promptly realized, followed soon after by the arbre de résistance:

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  • Smoked salmon + cream cheese focaccia
    The focaccia emanated a good, slightly yeasty smell & had the perfect chewy, not-too-fluffy-not-too-hard texture. Very good quality smoked salmon.
  • Grilled maguro tuna open crostini sandwich with pickles [olive black/green/gherkin/red pepper]
    The pickles went nicely with the maguro & were not too sour.
  • Fish & chips mini burger, tartar sauce, tomato & lettuce
    Served at a good temperature, it was scrumptious & not too greasy. I couldn’t tell where the chips component was supposed to be though. The sauce had attacked 2 other savories.
  • Vegetable curry puff
    Was a pie in my opinion. The dough was nice & crispy, the vegetables inside prepared in a sort of pleasant dry curry, not a curry sauce.
  • Plain & raisin scones, clotted cream, apricot orange preserve
    The scones looked good & normal size but upon cutting open, I could see at once that they were too dry. The yolk tops were very nice. The apricot-orange preserve was very good, quite bitter & an interesting substitution for the usual strawberry jam. The clotted cream was pleasant but hadn’t clotted enough.

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  • Almond maple cupcake
    Had an outstanding marzipaney taste which unfortunately was stifled by the topping but without, it was, as cupcakes tend to be, somewhat dry.
  • Mud cake walnut brownie, dark chocolate mousse, whipped cream
    Excellent mousse from very good quality dark chocolate with character. The brownie was nice & moist [mud cake anyone]. The toppings I deemed too much, especially the whipped cream was uncalled for.
  • Lemon meringue tart
    The meringue sort of fell apart upon the slightest insertion of the fork but I reckon that may well have been due to its standing in the sunlight for quite a long time. Its taste, & that of the lemon curd were good but the sucrée was somewhat mushy & it seemed to me the problem stemmed from short baking rather than from getting soaked, so should be easily fixable.
  • Vanilla panna cotta, cherry sauce, berries
    Contained real vanilla & was very good, with perfect texture.
  • Tea: cinnamon + spices
    Dispensed by cup. Very strong, delicious cinnamon smell as well as taste. I always drink my teas without any additives so it never even crossed my mind it might contain anything, but unfortunately, copious sugar amounts collected at the bottom. The first 2 cups were perfect until last few sips, 3rd way too sweet, 4th ok again. If one did away with the last few cls, the S3 would be closer to a 7 or maybe even higher.

Peter’s seems to be very popular for afternoon tea, but also as a lounge or bar – most seats were taken & that didn’t change until dinner time came calling. Very good food, impressive service, a unique interior, views to boost – a perfect afternoon is guaranteed. What considerably marred my personal experience at Peter’s had nothing to do with the establishment itself, but the fact that except for me, not a single person finished their afternoon tea; in fact, most people left behind quite substantial amounts. I find that a completely & utterly unacceptable behavior both towards people who’re lacking even their most basic daily requirements as well as towards the chefs at Peter’s. Compared to other afternoon teas in Japan, helpings were very generous but Japanese people always do lots of research before going anywhere, so everybody would know you get a lot at Peter’s. At least have the decency to ask for a doggy bag.

Lire en français | 日本語で読む

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4 responses to “Afternoon Tea at Peter’s Bar Peninsula Hotel Tokyo

    • Yeah, it’s quite unique!
      As for people leaving behind masses of food – it certainly can’t be the quality of the food. Give me French over American pastries any time usually but this shapes as my favorite afternoon tea location in Tokyo & I’m as strict as they get. I could imagine 3 things mostly – first, for an afternoon tea in Japan this is a LOT of food so maybe people coming after lunch will feel it’s too much to eat. That said, Japanese people usually do a looot of research on places beforehand so it should be damn obvious, should it not? Another thing is, well, eating behavior in this country is totally weird. I’ve been told at a soba [noodle soup] place that people ask for hot water to redo their broth after essentially finishing their dish because Japanese people don’t like to waste food but that’s a whole load of bull because I see Japanese people not finishing food all the time, it’s just habit with the soba broth. So maybe it’s for whatever engrained cultural reason that’s inaccessible to me. Last, afternoon tea is considered a luxurious thing so maybe people think leaving lots of food makes them look rich when all it does in my opinion is make them look like dicks – all Japanese people want to look rich, hence the staggering amount of top price range designer ware [I’m not talking Nike & Diesel but Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermès & co] being sold in Japan every year.

  1. Very informative! The presentation is pretty – too bad about the dry scones, I put a lot of weight on those. Maybe I’ll just go for the hot chocolate sometime.

    • 4 Seasons Marunouchi has the only decent scones in all of Tokyo IMO. So lame.
      Even so, I’d totally recommend Peter’s. You gotta adapt, right.

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