As fairly experienced enjoyers of afternoon tea, we were looking forward to our reservations at the Tiffin Room. It turns out, the best part of the process is making the reservation online which was quick, easy, and painless.
The tea, however, was forgettable.
Never mind the fact we were seated and then ignored for about 8 minutes (at least the harpist was enjoyable) before someone came to find out if we were interested in having tea (?!) with our tea (I won't address how long it took to actually get it . . . ); never mind the birds that flew in and alighted on the food and buffet table, taking small tastes of what looked good while I wondered when the "bomb" might drop; never mind the table was unsteady and required not one, but two sugar packets placed by my husband to prevent the capsizing of what (we hoped) would be our tea . . . the true disappointment was the utter lack of attention (and hence the reason my husband took action instead of waiting for a staff member who never appeared . . .).
The Tiffin Room itself is beautiful and it certainly delivers in terms of providing a "colonial" feel; however, the staff are woefully overworked--in large part because EVERY group wants a photo. It was nearly impossible to get service, when it came it was somewhat hurried and always half-hearted, and it appeared as though taking pictures of guests trumped all other services. The only person who stayed on task was the man who came around with the scones--but he didn't also come around with the clotted cream, so after we used ours up with the two scones initially brought to us, we couldn't even benefit from his work!
The management would be advised to hire a few "photogs" who could help take photos of tourists and free the servers to do their jobs so those of us looking for substance aren't sacrificed for style. The food was good, the tea was adequate (although there were very few choices--no lavender!), and the presentation of the buffet appealing. At almost ~$200 for the two of us, however, I expected more in terms of service, care, and overall atmosphere.
If you only have time for one tea while you're in Singapore, skip Raffles and go to the Singapore Flyer where they have service and hospitality to spare.