The Indonesian chapter of the Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge came to a striking culmination at the JW Marriott Hotel Jakarta on the 26th of March amidst the astonishing array of tea-inspired delicacies. It was Shangri-La Hotel Surabaya that carried home the title National Winner which will in turn see them be a part of the Real High Tea Global Challenge in Sri Lanka this July.
The challenge was to create a quintessential 21st century high tea and Indonesia embraced it. 23 teams competed neck to neck in the toughest tea challenge in the world for the most sought after title. The result was a breathtaking variety of tea-inspired treats and innovative high teas that were as delicious as they were easy on the eye. However, it was Yuli Hariyanto and Arie Yulianto of the Shangri-La Hotel Surabaya who stood out amongst them all, emerging as the national winners of the competition, having completely blown away our hard to impress judges Chef Vindex Tengker- WACS certified judge and past president of Association of Culinary Professionals Indonesia, Bernd Uber – Black Hat Chef and one of the most respected WACS (World Association of Chefs Societies) judges and Dilhan C. Fernando – son of Dilmah Founder Merrill J. Fernando.
A truly flavoursome array of tea pairings with inventive tea cocktails and tea were, to say the least, matches made in heaven. The Golden Fried Egg Tofu Arancini, Cherry Tomato Coulis paired perfectly with the bright and sparkling notes of Uda Wattle Single Region tea while the clean flavours of the Orange Marinated Salmon in Vodka Foam was complemented by the green grassy notes of Jasmine Dragon, a concoction created out of Dilmah Green Tea with Jasmine petals. The Hazelnut Surprise paired with the mocktail Lady Rose incorporating Dilmah Rose and French Vanilla tea was a mesmerizing experience for the judges.
Their tea inspired cuisine incorporating Dilmah Ceylon Spice Chai and Dilmah Pure Camomile Flowers created a perfectly orchestrated harmony upon the palate on an enchanting canvass of the noble herb of tea. Pan Seared Scallops in Ceylon Spice Chai Tea was undoubtedly a delightful high tea fare with the tea singing in the background while the Chamomile and White Chocolate Mousse came as quite a surprise with the delicate floral notes of camomile shining through the creamy white chocolate, bringing out layers of flavour that were completely unexpected.
Yuli Hariyanto and Arie Yulianto will join 20 other national winners to battle it out in the Toughest Tea Challenge in the World this July at the Real High Tea Global Challenge in Sri Lanka. So far they’ve impressed the judges with their innovative creations and their outstanding understanding of tea. How many more surprises lurk under their sleeves as they go head to head with the crème de la crème of the culinary heavyweights who have mastered the art of tea?