Tuesday, September 18, 2007

High Tea at Cafe Pacific in the Trump National Golf Club

At the beautiful Trump National Golf Club, there are 3 restaurants that you can dine at, but if you want afternoon tea, Cafe Pacific is the place to be. With its pretty painted ceilings, plush seating, a view of the water and the name Trump attached to this establishment, I had high expectations for a wonderful tea experience and for the most part, it wasn't bad.

When we were seated, we were first asked if we preferred champagne or orange juice, almost all of us opted to blend the two beverages and have mimosas. So far, so good. Soon after, out came individual tea pots and cups. Inside the tea pots was hot water. Hot water??? I was about to say something until I noticed the assorted tea bags in a silver container sitting in front of me.

Maybe, I'm just a tea snob, but it seems really cheesy to have tea bags for a "High Tea." I could do tea bags myself at home, after all. I don't think it was too much to expect brewed teas, especially for the $38 we each paid for this experience.

Ok, enough tea bashing, let's talk about the food, which consisted of a three tier tray with plates of the following:

1st tier - five different sandwiches:

. Cucumber Mint Cream Cheese on Sourdough
. Curry Chicken, Celery Mayonnaise on Croissant
. Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese, Roasted Red Pepper, Chives on Wheat
. Prosciutto, Swiss, Lettuce, Tomato, Grain Mustard on Sourdough
. Egg and Watercress Sandwich

2nd tier - mini scones with homemade strawberry preserves and fresh whipped cream:

. Pecan
. Apricot

3rd tier - five different desserts:

. New York Style Cheesecake
. Fresh Fruit Tarts
. Double Fudge Chocolate Brownies
. White Chocolate Mousse Cups
. Fresh Lemon Square

What was lacking in the tea department, at least you got it back in a fair amount of food with quality ingredients. In general, I thought the food was fine, although of everything I had, I found the sandwiches to be really lacking in flavor and originality.

For example, I didn't really taste any mint-iness in the cucumber sandwich with mint cream cheese. Also, how can you get any more boring than the prosciutto sandwich where the only ingredients were Swiss cheese, lettuce and tomato? At least there was some attempt to do something different with the curry chicken salad croissant, but I still found it to be kind of bland. Of the bunch, I only really liked the smoked salmon sandwich, primarily because of the addition of the roasted red pepper because it added a nice zing of flavor.

I actually wouldn't change anything about the scones. I liked the fact that they were small in size and in regards to the bread's texture, while they weren't cake-like which is my normal preference, they weren't so hard that they could be used as golf balls. Believe me, I've had my experience with hard scones earlier in the year at another tearoom and don't want to repeat it anytime soon.

As for the desserts, while there wasn't anything unique about them, they were prettily presented and they were enough to satisfy anyone's sweet tooth. Of the five, the lemon bar was the least successful simply because the lemony flavor was MIA. I really enjoyed both the fresh berry tart and double fudge chocolate brownie.

In general, this isn't a tea I'd go out of way to do again, especially considering that it's an hour drive from where I live. Even if I lived close by, I probably still wouldn't be a regular tea goer to Cafe Pacific. Having tea bags as opposed to brewed tea is something I find really ridiculous for a "High Tea" experience. Also, if I'm going to pay $38, I want food that is flavorful and a little more original and for me, this tea wasn't worth the price in that respect.

To see pics, go to:

Cafe Pacific
Trump National Golf Club
1 Ocean Trails Dr
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
(310) 265-5000

1 comment:

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