Is the Mad Hatter here?

My best friend’s daughters referred me to this place. In my enthusiasm to come here, I called up to book a table for four, then went to ask colleagues to come along. So six of us came.

The place was in an old cluster of shophouses dating back to colonial times. The cluster now mainly consists of eating places, some of whom are very reputable. Coming here was like going back in time to another era. I almost wanted all of us to dress up like we were going to Mad Hatter’s tea party but the closest we came to it were frilly blouses and umbrellas. It was raining cats and dogs when we arrived and the frilly brollies really added to the occasion. Dressing up would certainly have been fun too.

Because this place is an old colonial building, there was no lack of space and the folks here did up this place vintage style, making it very cosy. It is certainly inviting to spend an entire afternoon here, reading or chatting.

The hi-tea was generally good. There was enough variety. The selection ranged from the tiered tea cakes to miniature skinny pizzas which made up the bulk of the savouries. Herbal tea and ginger tea were served in old hot water flasks — those that I grew up with, for an old feel which I thought was a great idea.

The hi-tea is only served on Thursdays and Fridays, 3.30 to 5p.m., and it is hugely successful. The cafe has a lot of space and therefore seats, and the staff were very attentive, changing our plates frequently. Whoever came up with this concept is simply brilliant! And no, the Mad Hatter was not here.

“It’s always tea-time.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

House Dempsey, 8D Dempsey Road, SINGAPORE 249672. Tel: 64757787.

Seats in the verandah

Hi-tea spread within the place

Four different miniature skinny pizzas

Miniature burgers. I didn’t really find out why the bread is black though.

Multi-tier cakes

Spoilt for choice

More cakes. This was nice and sharp, taste-wise.

These were meant to be eaten with bread. I took a slice of raisin bread and placed three toppings on it — thai chicken, mushroom ragout and tuna and pineapple.

Bite-size bread with tuna toppings.

Duck topping

More duck topping

The label says it all!

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