MO Bar’s new afternoon tea gives savory and sweet nibbles a black and gold makeover

Photo: Coconuts Media
Photo: Coconuts Media

Almost a year has passed since Mandarin Oriental’s MO Bar opened, and it’s heralding the occasion with a new black and gold afternoon tea in September. The colors, taken from the elegant interior, are reflected in most of the sweet and savory treats, resulting in creations that look a lot fancier than your usual bite-sized morsels.

For two months, the menu will be served at MO Bar on weekday mid-afternoons, along with two seatings on weekends.

Starting with a pot of Malacca Gold BOP TWG tea, the first plate to arrive at your table is a gleaming golden tin brimming with what looks like caviar. Alas, it’s not the expensive roe delicacy, but tiny coffee spheres that burst in your mouth. The bubbles of caffeine are nicely balanced by the smooth pear purée hiding on the bottom layer.

The tin of coffee spheres and scones. Photos: Coconuts Media
The tin of coffee spheres and scones. Photos: Coconuts Media

Next up, a crab pastry with cured and smoked hamachi on a seaweed rice cracker with dots of yuzu. When you’re ready for more, the two-tiered tray is stacked with savory nibbles like Boston lobster roll, wagyu pastrami with Japanese pickle, and ebi shrimp with Sriracha aioli — all dressed in black, of course. Except the golden brown batter of the crustacean.

Impressively, the black and golden color palette blankets all the desserts, from the dulcey puffed rice with a chocolate caramelized banana sphere to the citrus confit with yuzu cream to the black sesame sponge with coconut ganache. But the highlight of the sweets is the chocolate pâte sablée, a pastry filled with gooey caramel and dark chocolate mousse, ending the grazing session on a decadent note.

Photo: MO Bar
Photo: MO Bar

Hold up though, we’re not done yet. Save some stomach space, ’cause the carbs will soon follow, in the form of vanilla and black sesame scones. At this point, the meal gets surprisingly filling, but you’ll want to at least try the black sesame ones — in a welcome departure from standard flavors, the nutty bakes pair well with clotted cream, but you can also add on dollops of strawberry jam if you’d like.

Crab pastries and hamachi cracker. Photo: Coconuts Media
Crab pastries and hamachi cracker. Photo: Coconuts Media

Before you wrap up, each diner will get servings of Muscat grapes (sadly, only two pieces) and chocolate pralines for a sugary finish.

P.S. The watering hole is already thinking of overhauling its drinks menu for its one-year anniversary. But before that happens, if you haven’t yet had a classy cocktail sesh here, its signature Rough Waters by the Coral Sea comes highly recommended. The beautifully earthy, intoxicating glass of herb cognac wine goes down smooth as butter, and comes with an “edible coral” garnish of squid ink tuile.


MO Bar‘s Black and Gold afternoon tea is on from Sept 1-Oct 31; Mon-Fri 3pm-5pm, Sat-Sun 12:30pm-2:30pm & 3pm-5pm at Mandarin Oriental, Singapore.
$48/person or $88/two people, includes one pot of coffee or TWG tea; $65/person, includes one cocktail or mocktail; $68/person, includes one glass of champagne.
MRT: City Hall/Esplanade/Promenade

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