Hyatt hosts the Erawan Tea Room, a favorite ladies’ afternoon gathering point for us. I usually order the Thai tea set for a fat rate of 220baht plus incidentals. Their set team menu includes a sampling of classics such as khao niew memuang (mango sticky rice), kanom krok (crispy rice pudding dumpling), satay moo (pork satay). And a few fusion items such as scones with chiang mai strawberry jam. The menu looks long but it really is just one piece of each item, which collectively make two small plates of finger food. Given that tea at the Oriental Hotel is easily almost US $100, the Erawan offers a great bargain and a full meal.
One mustn’t forget the tea when talking about afternoon tea. They too offer a wide range of teas, from the traditional English teas to local fruit teas to their own Erawan blend dark teas. I’ve lost count of the number of times I went out for tea only to be swerved a Twinings tea bag which I could have brewed at home. Their tea comes loose-leaf style in a pot that they can refill with hot water. For coffee drinkers, the set menu comes with a coffee option.
The ambiance is the extra whipped cream on top of the already affordable delicious place. The chairs are lounging style without losing the support one still needs when sitting up for a meal. The furniture is a blend of tables that look like the belong on a patio with chairs that one would expect on a sundeck, all without being too wicker-ish. The advertised glass walls overlooking the Erawan Shrine is a bit overblown. Perhaps, if you were sitting right up at the wall, you’d see both the shrine and the chaos of one of the biggest intersections of Bangkok. For most of us, we are set further in the restaurant, enjoying a room with a lot of sunlight, light traditional Thai music background, and a low hum of conversation.