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Best alternative high teas

Teatime’s no longer the exclusive domain of fancy hotel lounges. We pick out five new midday meals worth skipping lunch - and ruining dinner – for

La Pâtisserie au Sofitel

After closing his Tanjong Pagar sweets shop, chef Pang Kok Keong again sets his imperial sights on the business district with a new Antoinette outpost at the Sofitel So.

Unlike his other outlets, this one stocks his full collection of viennoserie daily, and not just on the weekend. Also exclusive to this outlet is a swirl of pastry with an aromatic satay sauce slathered between its coils ($3.50). Other baked goodies include a sugar snow-dusted raisin kouglof ($4), pear danish ($3.50), croissant ($3.50), and Antoinette’s gorgeous cakes ($9.50). Diners can choose a pot of Betjeman and Barton brew ($8), or the hotel’s signature orchid flower tea ($8) to go with their bites.

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Telok Ayer

The Black Swan

Teatime is a magical slice of the day to take in The Black Swan’s magnificent interiors. Serenely quiet, the restaurant puts out a menu of snacks on weekdays from 2pm to 6pm.

Plump sandwiches ($25) of corned beef, smoked salmon and furikake-studded Japanese cucumber take care of savoury cravings, and we enjoyed punctuating conversation with bites of biscuity scones ($20) that come with a great strawberry preserve. The assortment of French pastries ($25) offers nibbling portions of tarts, cakes, panna cotta and a chocolate eclair with a jolt of brandied cherries. Tea’s a selection of boutique Comptoir Français blends including a salted caramel oolong ($8), but why not order a cocktail ($19-$21) to kickstart the evening?

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Raffles Place

Do.Main Bakery

After putting its best food forward for this year’s Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge, this East Coast pastry powerhouse continues to offer its value-for-money competition set for two ($32).

And although the bakery didn’t take home the big prize, we still like its selection of savouries that includes a rich mushroom bruschetta, egg cocotte served in its shell with a confit of tomatoes, and a whole wheat croissant with curry chicken and mayonnaise.

Sweets further show off Do.Main’s owner Frederic Deshayes’ – he was the former At-Sunrice head of pastry – mastery, with a financier, chocolate royal cake, a slice of apple tart and macarons. Dilmah’s teas water the proceedings.

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