A tart named Maids of Honour, carrying 500 years of histories. What say you? It is now available in Newens Tea House, Starhill Gallery KL, perhaps the only place in Malaysia selling this legendary tart.
History of Maid of Honor Tart….
500 years ago, in the 16th century, it is believed that, one day, Henry VIII, King of England from 1509-1547 came across Anne Boleyn, second wife of the Tudor King, eating a cake prepared by one of her servants, whom at that times, called Maids of Honour. He was offered one too and upon trying, he was impressed with the taste, saying that it was the best, finest tart he had ever tasted.
He then confiscated the recipe, demanded it to be kept secret in an iron box, placed it at the very heart of the palace. At the same time, the Maid of Honor who baked the tart was imprisoned within the Palace grounds, and ordered to produce the delectable treats solely for the King Henry and royal household.
The years passed by the early of 18th century, recipe for Maid of Honor was disclosed to a bakery in Richmond and the little dainty pastry became one of the features of fashionable Richmond through that century and beyond.
Then, first Original Maids of Honour shop was born, on the corner of Hill Street in Richmond under the ownership of Mr John Billet. Here a young lad called Robert Newens served an apprenticeship and went on to open his own premises, first in King Street and later at No 3 George Street, and so the tradition of making and selling Maids of Honour in Richmond continued.
Of course, there are a lot more stories happened in between, but recipes are passed down for generations. Today, Newens is getting more popular with their Maid of Honor tart, having business getting from strength to strength.
Coming back to present…
We had a visit to Newens Tea House in Starhill KL few weeks ago, taking a try on a tart prepared from 500-year-old recipe. Cozy cafe appears in English royal style design, certainly a good place for English High Tea after some shopping at Pavilion KL, Fahrenheit 88, and malls within the vicinity.
Menu in Newens is pretty simple, putting together pastries, cakes, tarts, sandwiches and long list of tea to pair with your sweet treat. If you are not into three-tier high tea set, go for Cream Tea for Two- four scones served with clotted cream and preserves, plus a pot of tea at RM60nett. Or, our more recommended set – The Original Maids of Honour, as it comes with two original Maids of Honour, freshly baked scones with clotted cream and preserves, plus a pot of tea at RM60nett.
For us, we couldn’t help but to order the classic triple tiers English High Tea Set at RM120 nett. Savoury sandwiches at the bottom tier, followed by Maids of Honour and freshly baked scones at the middle tier, and finally delicious cakes and macaroons at the top tier.
Since we just had our lunch, attention went straight to the Maids of Honour. A lovely tart, slightly crisp and mildly savoury outer layer, holding mellow soft and sweet filling. Like a cross between our Coconut Tart and Portugese Egg Tart, but more buttery, more delicate in texture.
Apart from Maids of Honour, desserts at the highest tier of our English Hi-Tea set were surprisingly delectable. We especially like the pink colour, mousse like dessert, a bit chewy and puffy, filled with jelly like jam in between. Appetizing sweet-tangy concoction.
Tea menu in Newens is extensive, covering classic earl grey, organic tea, mint tea, English breakfast tea, Darjeeling tea, Japan green tea, China oolong tea, Nepal Nilgiri Blue Mountains and more. Wine, beer, champagne, cocktail are available too.
Guests who seek for savoury selections may order Oriental Afternoon Tea for Two to enjoy morsels like steamed siew mai, har kau, yam puff, spring roll, deep fried mango roll, pumpkin seed sesame bun, custard bun and so forth placed over three tiers tray. Else, you can get some light food from Fisherman’s Cove, Shook!, Al-Halabi or Tarbush.
Newens Tea House Malaysia
Indulge Floor, Starhill Gallery
181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contact: 603 – 2719 – 8550
Daily: 10am – 11pm
Friday, Saturday, Eve of Public Holiday: 10am – 12am