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Afternoon Tea at Karma Sanctum Soho London

by Emily Healey-Lynham

The whole country is feeling inspired by Team GB athletes and their success in Japan in the Olympics and Paralympics and Karma Sanctum Soho London are spreading that cheer with a Japanese themed Afternoon Tea. Karma Sanctum Soho Hotel has for years attracted legendary musicians who seek an authentic, personal hotel experience. Rock N’ Roll and the pursuit of fun is still very much the ethos of the establishment. Chrissie Hynde’s paintings on the wall, skull artwork, stunning photographs of music legends like Amy Winehouse and Mick Jagger and the bright Jimi Hendrix stained glass window situated in the reception stirs the senses and is visually intoxicating.

At the Wild Heart Bar & Shokudo, situated inside the rock ‘n roll boutique hotel Karma Sanctum Soho London, on Saturday’s you can experience the tastes and flavours of Japan in Soho. We chose the perfect weekend to have the tea as it was Afternoon Tea Week and this means a scone, clotted cream and jam is a must have! We were greeted by the lovely Nadir who seated us in a comfortable booth with chic crocodile fabrics and Japanese gong style table with hues of red and elegant lighting, the Wild Heart Bar & Shokudo is a chilled location to have afternoon tea away from the hurly burly lifestyle of London just outside.

The tea started with a glass of Taittinger Brut and a perusal of the menu to anticipate the running of the tea to come. We started with the savouries of Aged Wagyu Beef Sliders and Chicken Katsu Sliders and Steamed Vegetable Gyozas, these were all served on Japanese style platters. Peidro recommended we try the chicken first and it was a good suggestion, the chicken was served warm, succulent and moist.  The chicken was full of flavour and deep fried to perfection, the little drizzle of sauce was yummy. Followed by the Wagyu beef slider, with the first bite it was a bold beef flavour counterpunch with fresh grassy notes that sent our taste receptors on a journey to Japan. The Steamed Vegetable Gyozas were served with a soy sauce with chilies and spring onions which added a kick to the taste, the vegetables were not over cooked and the thin dough was light to the bite.  

We continued our journey into the taste of Japan with more savouries and the sweet delicates which were uniquely served in a Skull stylish cabinet which held on different levels our next round of treats. We started with the marinated Tofu with ribbon cut vegetables in a lime and chilli dressing, this little dish would make a lovely compliment to a main dish. Interestingly with the chilli dressing the champagne took on a different taste with the punchiness of spices. Next the Salmon Tartar with a wasabi, coriander and mint dressing, was very light and fresh and melted in your mouth, a truly delicious taste which excites the palate.

The savouries were then over but the experience did not end there, the sweet delectation followed. We had a mochi ball, mini yuzu and red fruit tart, a matcha panna cotta and a warm fruit scone topped with orange blossom curd.  The mochi ball is a cute round bun made of soft and chewy rice, it has a sticky, stretchy, soft, and chewy texture. Mochi is very versatile with endless flavour possibilities and is used in a number of different Japanese dishes. Our mochi was a rich dark chocolate mousse with a powerful chocolate taste. The mini yuzu and red fruit tart had a biscuit base, very zesty and citrusy. The matcha panna cotta was the best panna cotta we have ever had! A smooth and refined taste, coupled with the rich colour of the freeze-dried raspberries it was delicious and we will definitely be back for more! Both of us are not normally fruit scone fans but the ones at the Wild Heart Bar & Shokudo were lush! They were served with jam, curd and clotted cream in cute little Kilner jars and the scones were fluffy, fruity and worked well with the preserves.

We went for Japanese tea to accompany our afternoon tea experience and we tried Hojicha a Japanese green tea, which has a mellow and nutty flavour and Matcha made from the leaves of the plant with a subtle sweet and bitter flavour. Both of these teas matched well with the dishes and it was no trouble to have more, Tamara kept checking if we needed anything and was happy to top up the drinks.

After tea we were escorted upstairs by Nadir to the rooftop which is the perfect al fresco spot to enjoy cocktails and relax on the comfy sofas with unique tables with skulls and mirrors. It is a residents and members only area but will accept advance bookings if tables are available. Nadir recommended a Passionfruit Martini which was a wonderful way to end our rock ‘n roll afternoon at Karma Sanctum Soho especially with the sun shining.

Forget cucumber sandwiches with this experience at Karma Sanctum Soho and race to the Wild Heart Bar & Shokudo to experience a flavour fest and exquisite service by an attentive and happy team. A big thanks to Nadir, Peidro and Tamara for making the Japanese inspired afternoon tea a gold medal adventure.

Afternoon Tea at Karma Sanctum Soho London
20 Warwick Street
United Kingdom

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