The bookworm buzz around town has all been about Hysan Place’s Eslite Bookstore – three floors of books and magazines in prime position in Causeway Bay’s newest mall. But what has been kept quiet is Eslite’s Tea Room – tucked away in a corner of the bookstore on the ninth floor, it’s easy to just pass by this comfy little spot. But for those of you who want a quiet place to sit and enjoy cakes and tea, this is the perfect place to get away from the crowds and noise of Causeway Bay.
Rach and I stopped by around lunchtime, and were surprised to find that the Tea Room wasn’t too full. There were a few people reading their books and sipping tea, and a couple in the corner with their kids happily wolfing down some cake. Prices here are quite reasonable given the comfortable atmosphere and spacious seating (especially if you time your visit to coincide with one of the set menus). It was definitely much more pleasant here than out in the crowds trying to fight for a seat during lunchtime!
The menu boasts a long list of different teas, coffees, hot chocolates and juices; there is also a lunch or tea set and a selection of cakes at the counter. After much staring of the cakes and sifting through the drinks, we each ordered one of the Monbana Chocolate drinks (which come infused with different flavours) and picked out two desserts for a mid-day nibble.
Rach’s hot hazelnut chocolate came with a square of dark chocolate, and was comfortingly warm, milky and full of rich hazelnut flavour, but without stinting on the chocolate part either. Meanwhile, my Iced Orange Chocolate was quite the opposite – perfectly cooling with just a hint of orange that would be just right for a hot summer’s day (or to cool off after a sweaty last-minute Christmas shopping session!).
As for the sweets, the opera cake looked pretty enough, with a small gold flake resting on top of layers of chocolate ganache and sponge cake. Looks proved to be deceiving here though – the sponge was a little too soft and the ganache a little too dense.
We were particularly excited about the caramel tea brulée with roasted pineapple and vanilla ice-cream and again, this looked gorgeous, with a slice of roasted pineapple sitting on top of the scoop of ice-cream. Sadly, the crème brulee didn’t have anywhere near the crunch we were hoping for, although the tea flavour was pleasant and went well with the vanilla ice-cream. Alas, the pineapple seemed to be merely there for looks too and was impossible to cut!
Although the food wasn’t spectacular, I definitely enjoyed the Monbana chocolate drinks, which are something a little bit different than those at most cafés, as well as the lovely cosy atmosphere. So if you’re ever looking for some peace and quiet in Causeway Bay, the Eslite Tea Room is a neat find – a comfy spot to plop down with a good book, take a break from shopping and have some girl talk over sweet treats!
Eslite Tea Room 9/F, Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Rd, Causeway Bay