New Restaurant Alert: Crystal Lounge at City of Dreams, Parañaque
Luxury tea time we love at Crown Towers
G/F Crown Towers, City of Dreams, Parañaque
Open daily from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m.
(SPOT.ph) It could've been the fact that we ordered both high tea sets, but a problem immediately raised itself the moment the servers starting rolling out the four-two for each set-multi-tiered trays of one-bite snacks: Where do we begin?
The smoked salmon-stuffed roll from the Traditional English High Tea (P1,180/person) or the crab sandwiches from the Asian High Tea (P1,080/person)? The thumb-sized raspberry cheesecake or the blueberry-crowned green-tea financier? The softest madeleine or the red-bean macaron?
Tea is always a lovely experience, and it's extra delightful in the gilded, high-ceiling space of Crystal Lounge. If Crown Towers is the proverbial crown of City of Dreams' triad of hotels, this free-for-all eatery is the unassuming jewel behind the enormous gem (in this case, the gustatory Tasting Room). Opulent in a way only gold can seem but not obscene, Crystal Lounge is essentially a high-end hangout where tea-time treats can come with cocktails and cocktails are smoky, showy tableside performances.
Classic Smoked Salmon
Delicious Roast Beef
Sweet little bites
There's no set menu for the high teas. Crystal Lounge general manager Marlene Cruz says they like to keep customers on their toes by switching their items around, and you can only hope that they have intriguing Szechuan pepper-topped brownie or the petite roast beef sub for the day. But no matter what you get from the lot, consistency in quality is something to expect. You can have a more dependable relationship with their range of premium TWG teas where you'll find a new favorite in the Apple (P150), a not-so-common brew that flaunts a pleasant earthy sweetness with every soothing sip.
Dessert setup for the Traditional
Apart from the Szechuan-pepper brownie on top, we love the red bean macaron and the green-tea financier.
As exciting as three hours of tea sounds, there are other excuses to spend time in this exquisite setup (one of the few lounges that allows smoking indoors). Breakfast starts at 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.-a boutique buffet of continental favorites and a la carte service ends which lasts till 1 a.m. the next day.
Crystal Lounge also serves pass-around food, like these flaky pork-filled buns.
Where else can you find goji berry jam?
Smoked Whiskey Sour
Then there are those cocktails to speak of. The old-fashioned Smoked Whiskey Sour (P950) is a blend of Laphroaigh 18, lemon, whites, and bitters and an aromatic apple-chip smoke that manages to seep into the flavor of the drink. On the side, maraschino cherries to cleanse the palate. The Perlini Paloma (P580) is a heady and distinct mix of Patron Aenjo Tequila, lychee, pink grapefruit, lime, and Himalayan salt while the Crystal Daquiri (P580) is a secret blend of rare aged rums with lime-both are shaken tableside.
From breakfast to a nightcap to the in-between, Crystal Lounge is your all-day, all-night affair, where you can be as happy whiling away by yourself (the WiFi is free) or catching up with friends over gossip and good post-dinner drinks.