Sunday, October 20, 2013

Living a Rich Tai-Tai Life -- Just once...

We decided to splurge on a Sunday afternoon.

And so we went to the Ritz Carlton famous high tea buffet in Singapore -- Chihuly lounge. I really like the place and ambience of the lounge. It is spacious with a live classical music played to your ear. The staff is also attentive and friendly, which is expected of the service of a 5-star hotel. However, everything comes at a cost. We ended up paying $131 for 2 packs, which translates to about $58++ per person.

I am not entirely a desserts type of person because they are simply too sweet for me so I probably have known that I would be literally paying more to go there. But anyway, my wife wanted to try the high tea at Ritz Carlton and live a rich tai-tai life for once, so I complied.

Below are some of the food we have eaten. They are generally tasty but not a lot of variety. I guess it's high tea and tai-tai don't eat much so I have to lower my expectations of not expecting a lunch buffet with huge Alaska crab or something.

The 3 keytakeaways from today's big splurge are:

1.) High teas are designed specifically for Tai-Tai. 70% of them are Japanese while another 20% are Chinese. Only 10% are probably local.

2.) No matter how much you can eat, you will still ended up losing on the extravagant price you pay to them. Again you pay for the quality, service and ambience -- all of which made up the difference between what you consumed and what you paid. I guess this is what they called intangible cost in accounting terms.

3.) As a normal human being, we only live once, But that also means that we probably only try once to live a tai-tai life. It's time to go back to reality.

Chihuly Lounge
7 Raffles Avenue
Lobby Ritz-Carlton Millenia
Tel: +65 6434 5283
Timing for afternoon tea: 2.30pm – 5pm


  1. $58++ is super expensive for a high tea. I guess its more of paying for the ambience and the creativity of the food? The chef must have put in a lot of effort to craft out those designs. If the quality of the food is good then its alright ;)

    1. Hi SG YI

      The quality of the food is good but it is a little overpriced for a high tea. Opposite the high tea there was a lunch buffet at greenhouse and I think they are having the buffet at about the same price. Lobster are more expensive than cake right hehe. Have you tried any high tea elsewhere in singapore? Ill be keen to find out if you are willing to blog them at your site :)

    2. Hi B,

      Lobster is definitely more expensive than cakes. Haha. I'm not exactly the high tea kind of person. Honestly, I've never had any expensive high tea for myself before. Most of it is provided by my company. Hehe.

      I prefer to spend on lunch and dinner. I've blog about my travels so maybe I should blog about food too. :p

  2. It's worth spending the amount which you can easily redeem it back anytime from your investment. Just once? Every few years having it still okay say, 2-3 years; before your family starts growing.

    1. Hi MH

      You are right. Just once is probably an overexaggeration. If I enjoy it I hv no issue trying it again on our special occassion. But every week maybe no. The first experience is always the best experience dont you think so? ;)

  3. This one call expensive tai-tai high-tea meh ? Really frog-in-the well...just means your stingy and have not experienced the finer things in life that is all... why don't you try something like Joel Robuchon instead of blogging about something that I spend on when I was drawing a 2-3k salary in my first job as a matter of course.....

    1. Hey, why so hostile? He's just blogging his experience in a high class restaurant. Anyway, he can easily afford your "Joel Robuchon" anytime though.

    2. Hi Nothing Special

      Stingy and frugal always come between a thin fine line that is very hard to differentiate. I really think $58++ per person for a high tea is expensive, whether or not i can afford is another question. Even one of the blogger SG YI finds it expensive, so I guess I know im not alone. I'll be keen to try out on Joel Robuchon one day, just maybe not this month ;)

    3. Hi anonymous

      Thank you for your kind words.

      I have no idea how much is Joel Robuchon costs though. If it is a Michelin 3 star, then I honestly can't afford it ^^

    4. Joel Robuchon has set dinners priced at a range of $68-156. I saw from hungry go where that the average priced spend per person is $247. Everyone can afford that as long as you're working. Its just whether we want or not. If we can still save enough for our retirement after enjoying all these then by all means go ahead. Talking like a financial blogger now :p

    5. HI SG YI

      You sound like a food blogger now, experienced at enjoying good food at retirement age. Hahaha. $68 for a dinner is still fine but $247 for a dinner is way too expensive, unless its a 10-seater Jumbo restaurant :D

  4. Nothing Special, this is not exactly a food blog :)

    I'm sure B can easily afford 'Joel whateva' if he wishes it but there's no end to the good things in life.


    1. Hi R

      Thank you for your kind words too.

      Indeed there's no end to good things in life. It just keeps coming and human just keeps pursuing and it goes around in cycle. Glad that you brought that up to remind folks here.

    2. Give me a teh tarik, roti telur and a copy of BT and I'm happily savouring life while the world rush me by... :)

      Keep on sharing ^^


  5. Sorry if I sounded hostile but just get riled when is such an everyday expenditure level for the upper middle class (Not even upper /rich class) to be described as "tai-tai" experience. This is DEFINTELY not a tai-tai(or rich people) experience. And those who say the Joel Roubchon got the set menus below 200 SGD, sorry you are referring to the "lower class" Joel Robuchon L'Atlier NOT the fine -dining Joel Robuchon.

    Of course you can always go the fine-dining Joel Robuchon and order a glass of water and eat their free bread and say it is even cheaper LOL. Typical SG nit-pickers =) Am SG born and bred , in case you going to plant the FT tag on me (PS I only employ SG citizens in my company as well).

    Could have posted this as a once-in-a while weekend treat instead of saying as a "tai-tai" experience . Anyway just my opinion and most of the financial blog stuff here is great =)

    1. Hi,

      It seems you do have lots of experience with fine dining. I'm nowhere near that stage. Still building up my foundation one step at a time. Me and B we're both starting out our journey. Still got lots to learn ;)

      I guess you're right. Those really rich tai tai will have far better dining experience than what we can afford at the moment.

  6. B,

    The last 3 pics showed it was worth it ;)

    Ritz Carlton is a 6 star hotel that prides itself as Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen.

    Of course sometimes they get boorish customers who are super rich but limpeh this and limpeh that.

    And next time you go to such places see if you can spot wannebes too - those desperate to be seen there; rather than to enjoy the food and experience ;)

    How we carry ourselves and speak echoes volumes on our upbringing and education.

    Oh! Ladies and gentlemen are kind and courteous to the service staff ;)

    I had to add that in. Retail and Hotel are cousin industries. You never know. One day you may be served by a bald middle-age waiter ;)

    1. Hi SMOL

      That advice would come from someone experienced in the industry. Are you currently in the hotel industry at the moment? I've always been curious to see the working life of the people in the hotel industry. If I happen to see you, I would grab to take a photo with you immediately. Hahaha...

    2. B,

      No, I'm back working weekends in the retail industry.

      Once upon a time, there were 2 boys with O' levels. One goes to retail; the other to hotel industry.

      When you see me at chilling out at Marina Bay Sands or Shangri la Sentosa, they were free gifts from the other boy to me ;)

      Working in the service industry, we see all kinds. Those who can, very discreet, very humble, no need to drop names or "labels" one.

      I never worked as a waiter yet. Who knows I may switch next year to "experience" life a bit?

      A bit of vested interest. LOL!

  7. I think that it is alright to have such indulges occasionally.


    1. Hi Ben

      Definitely it's wise to do that once in a while on a special occasion :)

  8. Hi B,

    I am not ashamed to admit that I have never been to Chihuly lounge or even heard of Joel Robuchon. Am I a frog-in-the-well? Maybe. On the other hand, not many people even know about the existence of the Mesopotamia civilisation or the Nairobi massacre, right?

    My take is that the finer things in life shouldn't be measured by how much they cost. I for one, am pretty confident that I would feel happier drinking tea-o and having kaya toast with you (if you don't mind) at a hawker centre rather than fine-dining with a vulgar and crude person.

    1. Hi HWW

      I hope your wife won't start asking you for fine dining after reading this :)

      And I am still awaiting for your invitation for your hawker kopi tea talk :D

      You are right. It's the companion that matters irregardless of the place, food, ambience, topic.

  9. Hi B,

    It's good to read about your high tea - we should all have such indulgences once in a while just to chill out and relax! The food looks very delicious and the ambience at Ritz is also very pleasant.

    I myself have never heard of this high tea or even the fine dining places but it doesn't really bother me - we should enjoy what we want to enjoy without caring about what others think. The problem with the world is that many people have preconceived notions about what is "good" or "high-class"; and this coming from people who struggle desperately to define themselves as people and who may feel insecure. As long as it is enjoyable and it makes your day, I think it is a good activity to indulge in (and with your loved one as well).

    Looking forward to read more of your posts......

    1. Hi MW

      Thanks for pointing out.

      Even sometimes we are guilty of self-conscious indulgence, we should let it out once in a while and not perceive notions as only the rich can go here and the poor would go there.

      Like SMOL said, just enjoy chill back and keep enjoying life ;)

  10. Keke... The danger is that what is "once in a while" becomes "a need" over time ^_^

    I am surprised to see mr and mrs B in this post. Probably this is something which your generation will do and are quite used to doing. My generation will probably shade face with some black pixels. Haha.

    Anyway enjoy the "tai tai" life. I am sure this will be one of the many to come. Haha. Don't stinge on such little
    pleasures in life, it will keep you going in the tough corporate world and you only live once.