Tokyo, Japan (Shibuya Station)
Even though rainy season has finished for Japan, it was still raining because of the typhoons. So on a rainy afternoon, I went to the Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel in Shibuya for tea. The Cerulean is about 5 minutes walk from the main Shibuya Station, south of famous Hachiko statue and the Shibuya scramble crossing.
Up the escalator from the road, you enter the hotel through a hallway and at the end is the lobby. The Garden Lounge Zabou is directly in front with large windows and a rock garden for a view. I would suggest getting a seat by the window to avoid being seating in the middle of the lobby.
Different from most teas, there were a number of business meetings being held and very few people actually having afternoon tea. Since the ceiling is rather high and with the number of people, the lounge was a little loud for conversation.
The tea menu had a number of different options that you can try by the cup. While it’s nice to never have to worry about an over-steeped cup of tea, you do need to constantly keep saying what tea you would like to have next. If you’d rather not be disturbed too often, this might not be the best choice.
The best of the savories had to be the potato waffle. It was heavier than it appeared and had a distinct truffle flavor. The most disappointing was the edamame and tofu, which tasted exactly as it sounds. I like both ingredients, but it was a bland in comparison to the other savories.
The scones were clearly over-baked. There was also a funny incident with the jam. My friend is allergic to kiwi; so when we made the reservation, we told them to replace anything with kiwi. The waitstaff even confirmed our dietary requests when we sat down. So, we were pretty surprised when kiwi jam showed up. Being typical Japan, the waitstaff came back shortly afterwards and switched out the kiwi with marmalade. Also in typical Japan fashion, my friend, who is obviously not Japanese, was not spoken directly to by the waitstaff, who assumed he could not speak Japanese.
The sweets were pretty good. The cheesecake was the highlight; not too heavy or light.
We were able to try a number of different teas, munch on food, and struggle a little bit with the noise on a rainy afternoon in Tokyo. I wouldn’t go expecting high level food or quiet conversation. However, if you’re around Shibuya and want a casual break, this could be a good option.
Tea 4/5, unlimited, good variety
Overall 3/5 (rounding up)
Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel
daily (no times specified)