Saturday I went with a friend to high tea at the Hyatt in Jinan. The offerings had changed with the season, which is the mark of quality. I ordered darjeeling tea and my friend got a double espresso. It is nice that they let you order coffee.
While we waited for our high tea, smoke wafted through the room ruining the atmosphere. Smoking in restaurants has recently been banned in China, but enforcement is weak. My friend told the waitress the smoking bothered her, but this waitress had poor English. Soon we spoke with the manager. I’m surprised how the English skill of the Hyatt staff has gone down. Usually international hotels get staff with good English.
Clearly, the staff were uneasy, but the manager did ask the smokers to move. At first they moved closer to us, then they realized they made a mistake and moved away. It was rather confusing for a time. The manager gave us mango pudding and some macaroons on the house to make up for the smoking.
Our tea set arrived. We got a plate of fresh fruit, savories including seafood bruschetta, Parma ham and melon and tomato with goat cheese and oil oil. The pastries included a mini-pannacota, a small apple tart, a mango cheese cake bite and some macaroons. I did hope they’d include scones, which seem like a pillar of high tea, and some tea sandwiches. The seafood bruschetta I gave to my friend since I don’t like seafood. The Hyatt bakery sells scones so they can make them. A couple small scones would be lovely.
Last time we got small roast beef sandwiches but the bread was really hard. They did make new sandwiches. I think there’s a tendency to prepare the food hours in advance and let it sit, which isn’t the best route.
After a while another guest started smoking and Melissa opened a door to a courtyard. This man realized his smoke was bothersome so he went outside to finish his cigarette. From the way he dressed, he seemed a little more international and probably had some experience with non-smoking rules.
All in all, tea was good, and the Hyatt apologized and gave us a discount for the smoky environment. I would go back, maybe not on a weekend, to avoid the smokers.