How Peruvians do Tea Time (Series): Social

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Tea for two? Count me in! The latest on where to Tea Time in Lima (series).

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(Photo: Monique Loayza/Living in Peru)
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The tea hour at the Social Restaurant and Bar at the Hilton relies on refined, yet modern touches that bring the traditional dining concept into the 21st century. While the tea service at many other hotels will force you to pick among a less than palatable selection of reheated buffet samplers, some which wouldn’t be out of place at a Superbowl party, the Hilton’s goes a little further.

The courses come out served on beautifully minimalist tiered trays. This might not seem groundbreaking, but it’s nice when you don’t have to battle it out with fellow diners for your next bread roll. I felt taken care of, instead of feeling like I was milling about the breakfast buffet at a resort in Florida.

The decor also speaks to a distinguished feel, one more modern than that offered by other hotels. While elegant yes, the dim lighting and modern furnishings remind you that the restaurant is used more often as a lounge, instead of another stuffy banquet hall. As you begin the service, no earlier than 6 pm, you might find yourself more in the mood for a strong cocktail than an herbal tea and delicate bites of food.

(Photo: Monique Loayza/Living in Peru)

The “mocktail” I received was tart and delicious, featuring fresh seasonal fruit. Did I wish it had a bit of pisco or vodka tossed in? Sure I did. But I can forgive them for this. I can’t forgive them however for still using the term “mocktail,” unless you like being reminded that your fresh juice is pre-teen- friendly. By contrast, I had no qualms about the tea. Served delightfully from a contraption similar to a cafetiere, the tea was made with only fresh leaves (I ordered mint). As eye-catching as this display was, I was just happy that it produced a nicely balanced cup of tea.

And how about the food? There’s more attention to the food at the Social overall relative to similar spots in Lima. You are provided with a selection of sweet and savory items, but then you have the option of ordering a full plate from their menu. This enables you to get the best of both worlds – enjoy samples of their menu in small amounts but then order a larger portion of something more substantial, either salty or sweet.

While some might prefer the unlimited selection offered at a buffet, you might perhaps appreciate the higher attention to quality, which might also justify the S/ 49 price tag. But really, after the tray of petit fours, tapas, and entree, you will be more than satisfied. And perhaps that’s fitting for a tea hour that typically requires a level of restraint from its clientele – this isn’t an all-you- can-eat affair.

(Photo: Monique Loayza/Living in Peru)

Out came the tiered tray, one with 3 savory items and another featuring 3 sweet items. Out of the sweeter items, I didn’t mind the fruit cocktail. In the best way possible, it brought to mind childhood memories of Del Monte’s canned fruit selection, although a more grown-up version with fresh chunks of fruit and Greek yogurt. The chocolate truffles, one dark and one white, were rich morsels, each filled with a luscious passion fruit cream. The chirimoya meringue, however, was the clear winner for me. It looked more like an everyday mouse, but the deliciously simple delight that the chirimoya fruit brings to everything – whether ice cream, smoothies, or on its own – is what elevated the meringue cream to another level.

Out of the three mini savories, I would say the pulpo crostini, a mini bruschetta essentially, was the best executed and most appetizing item. But then again, I love octopus in most culinary forms. The butifarra wasn’t particularly exciting and neither was the pastry filled with lomo saltado, but both were certainly above the average standard of savory offerings I’ve sampled at other tea hours.

(Photo: Monique Loayza/Living in Peru)

For our individual selection, my friend and I decided to get one more sweet and savory item each. The quiche wasn’t anything spectacular, but it was considerably better than many I’ve had before. Crustless and tender, I much preferred it over versions which insist on having a crust yet don’t insist on having one seasoned or well baked.

We also ordered the french toast. It was a stock dessert item, a guilty pleasure that I normally wouldn’t want to order in front of others with discriminating tastes – alongside chocolate molten lava cake and crepes with bananas and Nutella. But I was very glad that I trusted my base instincts on this one. The brioche was soaked in a cinnamon scented tres leches style egg and milk bath and grilled perfectly. Filled with creamy mascarpone, it was rich, yes, but a compote made of sauco and aguaymanto, tart fruits native to the Amazon region, drizzled over the bread slices saved it from becoming a dense cliche.

I would like to say we ended our tea on a high note with just that dessert. But we were in a very nice bar after all, and while I enjoyed my mocktail, we were happy to cap off the end of our tea hour with a selection from the Social’s excellent cocktail menu. I would suggest you do the same.

What’s included? For S/49…

Bebida / Drink

Mocktail or jugo de temporada

Plus unlimited tea or coffee

Three savory tapas (menu below varies)

Crostini de pulpo y tomatines

Sanguchito de butifarra casera con aioli de mostaza

Enrollado crocante de lomo saltado

A plate of your choice (menu below varies)

Waffles de quinua con manjar de lucuma

Crepes de naranja con manzanas salteadas, y helado vainilla

Brownie de chocolate

Tostada francesa rellena de mascarpone y salsa de frutos exitosos de la selva

Quiche de pollo con vegetales salteadas

Mini pizzeta de vegetales con queso Grana Padana y prosciutto di Parma

Three Petit fours (menu below varies)

Frutas de estacion, naranja, menta y greek yogurt

Trufa de chocolate relleno de maracuya

Merengue de chiromoya

Social Restaurant & Bar
Hilton Lima Miraflores, Avenida la Paz 1099, Miraflores

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Discussion2 Comments

  1. Natasha Clay

    Hi Darla,

    I cannot confirm if there is, but I am sure if when you call the hotel of your choice they can tell you if they offer anything for diabetics.