Sinmei Tea 川善茶居


As I had some girlfriends visiting from out of town, I arranged a gathering for 4 of us at Sinmei Tea as I was attracted by the matcha desserts here and thought it would be a great hang out spot for us to catch up! I had made a reservation for 3pm on Sunday ahead of time, and when we got there, we still had to wait 15-20 minutes for the people sitting at our table to finish up. It was not a big problem except that the elevator area we were waiting in was really hot and stuffy, and this was already in the winter. Finally the waitress had to ask the people to leave as we were waiting. Thank goodness!

Once inside, the cafe was quite airy as partition to the balcony was open. There were some random decorations of traditional Chinese tea pots and tea cups all around while the furnitures were mismatching and haphazard. For example, our table was a coffee table instead of a dining table so it was low in height and we had to hunch over to eat. One side of the table had a Chinese wooden bench with a back while the other side had two tiny stools which were the same height as the table. So two of us had to sit on those stools for the entire time we were there, which was hardly comfortable and relaxing. 

On the plus side, the cafe has a cat so it will roam around while you eat! It was sleeping on a regal-looking chair when I got there so it looked quite majestic. The poor cat got awoken and kicked off when new customers arrived though.

Onto the matcha drinks and desserts - both of which I was quite looking forward to trying! There was an array of hot and cold matcha drinks on the menu but the names weren't really that descriptive so we had to ask our waitress to explain. She just told us that basically all the drinks had green tea and milk with different proportions, which wasn't all that helpful. 
The dessert menu only had green tea chocolate fondant on it while the rest of the cakes were apparently at their counter. When I went to check it out, there were only 2 selections left which was the green tea loaf cake and banana toffee pudding! When I asked about their angel cake and cheesecake, I was informed that they had run out of angel cake. Bummer! That was the one dessert that I really wanted to try. Since there weren't many dessert choices, we ended up ordering all that they had to try. 

Matcha Soul ($32) - this hot drink looked very pretty with sprinkles of almond, osmanthus and honey. It was quite sweet with hints of green tea and milk flavor, but nothing special as the flavors didn't blend together that well. [3/5]
Matcha Snow White ($42) - this drink was pretty disappointing. It was supposed to be green tea and milk with ice cream on top. When I took a sip, the bottom layer was bland and watery with little matcha flavor. The ice cream did not mix with drink at all until the very end after it finally melted towards the end of our meal. I didn't know whether I was supposed to just eat the ice cream or try to mix it into the drink. I did take bites of it but it was just like eating vanilla ice cream. [2/5]
Green Tea Chocolate Fondant ($78) - the dessert we were all looking forward to! The fondant was baked perfectly as the outside was slightly toasted while the insides spilled out like a lava. The flavors were rich with matcha flavor but not too sweet while the vanilla ice cream was a nice enhancement to the flavors of the fondant. A very good dessert overall! [5/5]

Green Tea Cheesecake ($40) - the cheesecake was really tiny! It came with layer of meringue on top. The cheesecake was really dense and hard to eat. I prefer my cheesecakes to be creamier and richer. The flavors were just okay as the matcha flavor wasn't that strong and the meringue didn't go together with the cheesecake that well either. [2.5/5]
Green Tea Loaf Cake ($29) - I found the loaf cake to be a bit dry and tough while the flavors were not memorable at all. It was neither fragrant or moist, and the whipped cream did not help either. [2.5/5]
Banana Toffee Pudding ($38) - ironically, we thought that their best dessert was a non-matcha one which was their banana toffee pudding. The pudding was very chewy and moist while it was fragrant with the smell of banana and toffee. The flavors were rich with the right amount of sweetness which went well with the ice cream. [5/5]
Verdict - I found my experience at Sinmei Tea to be a bit mixed with their food and drink as well as the environment. Some of the desserts were quite good while others were just average. I was just not that impressed with the overall quality of their food. The cafe was also not as cozy and quaint as I'd thought it would be. I thought it would look like a traditional tea cafe, but it didn't quite pull it off with the random-looking chairs and tables. It wasn't really comfortable either, especially if you had to sit on those stools for hours. 

Sinmei Tea
5/F, CS Tower, 50 Wing Lok Street,Sheung Wan
3690 8238

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