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  • Writer's pictureMonch Weller

[3] On Luxuries One Train Ride Away: TWG Tea, Shangri-La Plaza Mall

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

This review was originally written November 8, 2013. This branch of TWG Tea, the first in the northern area of Manila, closed down sometime during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. While its old space at the East Wing of the Shangri-La Plaza Mall remains, a different business now occupies it.


Shangri-La Plaza Mall in Ortigas is always my last stop whenever I visit the Ortigas area as it is connected to the Shaw Boulevard station on the MRT3 line. Now, I have another reason to visit: TWG Tea opened its first northern branch there! No need to go all the way to Makati. I decided to pay the new branch a visit on a Saturday morning - right after a whole 8-hour graveyard shift and an after-work hangout with colleagues. I took the northbound bus to Shaw Boulevard and arrived at Shangri-La Plaza at around in the afternoon, walking straight to TWG Tea's location. It was similar to the Rockwell Power Plant Mall branch with glass partitions lending an air of privacy to diners, but this branch occupies a larger space. I entered and got a table for one, checked out their weekend menu, and settled for the Aviator Brunch Set. It consisted of the eponymous Aviator Salad, scones or muffins with tea-infused jelly and whipped cream, a pot of tea, a glass of either apple or orange juice, and a tea-infused dessert. It was a fitting choice as I did not have lunch yet and the last meal I had was a light snack hours earlier.

The Aviator Salad headlining this set consisted of tomatoes, romaine lettuce, croutons, grilled chicken, cheese, and a soft-boiled egg crusted in seaweed and flour. This medley was tossed in a light, spicy sauce infused with one of their signature teas. I liked this meal as it had the right amount of vegetables and protein from the chicken and egg, with the croutons providing extra crunch. The soft-boiled egg was also a contrast of textures -- the egg yolk retained its soft texture while the outside remained firm and crunchy. I'll definitely order this again if given the chance.

I won't say much about TWG Tea's scones with tea-infused jelly and whipped cream as I have mentioned them in my previous reviews. I have no questions about the quality of their scones as the consistency of their baked goods is maintained in other branches. The Singapore Surprise, however, is a wonderful one. It was basically a caramel dessert with strawberries with a graham cracker crust. Think of it as a mix of creme caramel with strawberry cheesecake. Its sweetness made it a perfect accompaniment to tea, though the strawberries used had a slight medicinal taste.

A meal is never complete without drinks to wash everything down. The freshly squeezed apple juice delivers once more, but I found P180 for a glass too much. I tried the New York Breakfast Tea for this trip and this time - I managed to taste the chocolate this brew is much known for. As with breakfast teas, this pairs off well with milk. After this first tea ran empty, I ordered the Chocolate Tea which was more straightforward. This second tea paired off rather well with the Singapore Surprise dessert. Third time's the charm as they say - and it summed up my TWG Tea experience so far. Never mind the usual damage of around a thousand pesos for each meal, service charge included. TWG Tea is one of those restaurants that give you the best value for your money. Thankfully, the tea purveyor opened this branch up north - which is but one train ride away from other public transportation hubs along the MRT3 line. Visit TWG Tea's website to find out about their latest promotions. Until then, bon appetit.


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