High Tea review: Ramon’s at Willow Pond, Canning Vale
Having lived in and around Canning Vale for quite a few years I’ve been to Ramon’s at Willow Pond several times. Despite the beautiful setting it has struggled with its food, which has been overpriced in comparison with Kelly’s Cafe not far away and even the nearby competition (and I use the word loosely) Nicholsons and The Last Drop. I’ve had breakfast, lunch and dinner there over the years, and was recently drawn back by its introduction of high tea. There’s plenty of places around Perth to have high tea at the moment – over the last few months I’ve been to The Hyatt and The George.
You can check out Ramon’s full menu here – you’ll notice the high teas right at the top, including an Asian version which is presumably their attempt to cash in on dim sum. The English high tea costs a very reasonable $26 per person and the Asian high tea only $17 per person. Each booking requires a minimum of two people.
The Asian High Tea includes vegetarian spring rolls, seafood dumplings, potato wrapped prawns, beef dim sims, Indian bon-bon sweets, Japanese mochi sweets and a pistachio, almond & cardamom flaky sweet pastry. It also includes prawn crackers, sweet chilli sauce and chinese loose leaf tea.
You have to book at least two days (and pay) in advance, and when I called I was told I could have high tea either before 11am or after 3:30pm. Presumably this is to fit it in around breakfast, lunch and dinner but this made me feel like I was being a nuisance. I was going with Renay and my parents, and we decided to go for an early lunch at 11am.
When we arrived there seemed to be some confusion about our booking, and it looked like it had been overlooked. There were only a couple of other tables dining so we decided to sit outside. My father is in a wheelchair and access was fine – we went there for breakfast a few years ago and they parked us in a corner with very difficult access which was a most awkward experience.
Our tea was brought out almost immediately, with one pot between two people. The pots were a little overfull, and we all ended up spilling tea over the table. There was only one strainer between four, which seems like a minor point but it was a little inconvenient. Our food didn’t arrive until some 25 minutes later, but we were glad to at least get something – we had visions of our forgotten booking causing chaos in the kitchen.
The chef accompanied our platters (one of these served two people) to explain the treats that lay in wait, which was a really nice touch. As you can see, the platters looked quite beautiful and very appetising. The selection of items was as per the online menu.
For savoury we had chicken & herb finger sandwiches, caramelised onion & goats cheese tart, smoked salmon & cream cheese profiterole, mini slow roast tomato, zucchini & parmesan muffins and proscuitto, leek & thyme tart. The sandwiches were nice, a little heavy on the parsley for my liking and three of the same variety per person was a bit much. The tarts & muffin were served warm, although the tarts were very crumbly and collapsed on the first bite which made for some geat photo opportunities, particularly the onion. The proscuitto, leek & thyme tart was the star here.
On to sweets. Now I’m not a huge fan of creme brulee – however it is my mother’s all time favourite dessert – but we all agreed that this was simply outstanding. The citrus tang was really nice without being overpowering. I see that this is on the main meal dessert menu, and I think I’d have trouble going past it. I found the scone very dry but others around the table didn’t find it too bad.
Heading for the home straight we have a chocolate brownie, custard filled profiterole, mini vanilla slice and coffee filled eclairs. The brownie was nice and nutty but a bit heavy for this plate. We were divided on our favourites amongst the others, but I favoured the coffee filled eclairs. The portion size was certainly generous, and we were all well and truly full at the end.
As far as other meals at Ramon’s goes, the menu looks a lot less complicated than it used to with most of its mains well under the $40 mark. All of us agreed that the high tea was outstanding value for money, and although the food (particularly the sweets) weren’t quite as good as at The Hyatt and The George, this was probably my favourite experience of the three thanks to its casual nature and the beautiful surroundings. Recommended.