Sunday, 7 April 2013

The Urban Tea Merchant - First High Tea Experience

Recently I visited Urban Tea Merchant. 
After a long time of "research",I chose the place as my first high-tea experience because of their seasonal Tea Services, which are for a limited time only every year.
I made the reservation on Friday, the day before Saturday, but the times were very full (during Easter weekend) and we had no choice but to go at 4:30 PM, but I guess that may save our dinner.
So reserve as early as possible is my best advice for high-tea places.

Urban Tea Merchant is located at a quiet area of Downtown, but very easy to find as it has 2 doors open on both West Georgia and Alberni. The place has lots of cherry blossom trees around it and looks very beautiful during flowering season :3

Sakura Westcoast Tea Service ($38 per person)

I can't deny but to admit that the savory dishes were delicious. 
Each piece is nicely garnished with careful details.
However, the plate in the picture above is basically $78, though nicely decorated, we all thought the food wasn't enough to call it a meal (probably because we barely ate before we came).

TWG Tea- Weekend in Venice
 ($8 or more per pot, included in Tea Service)

You will receive a giant tea menu when you arrive. Feeling confused in what to order?
The servers there are pretty good at recommending the popular teas, and the 4 teapots we ordered were all suited to pair with these tea treats.

However, it is a requirement that every person must purchase a tea, even if he/she didn't order any tea service. Though we get to try more tea, but we are also obliged to pay more.

Also, there's no re-fills for tea :(

Easter Signature Tea Service ($48 per person)

If I were to recommend, the Westcoast Tea service would be a lot worth it to order, even if it was $30 more than the Signature Tea Service. We ordered the Signature Tea Service for one person, and the plates (especially the 2nd plate) looked a little empty. 
The treats were basically the same ones as the Westcoast, and the special "Easter Petit Four" is basically little cake bars which can be found at almost any bakery.

"Sakura! Sakura! Tea" seared tuna tataki

Miso-maple glazed sable fish in butter lettuce

Smoked Salmon Ribbon with Ponzu Jelly

"Lapsang Souchong" Chicken Cone (savory in an ice-cream cone? Creative!)

Finally, the macaron.
All of their macarons are tea-infused. Compared to other macarons in town, Urban Tea Merchant's macarons are toward the softer, more chewy side. If you're a fan of softer macarons, then these are the right ones for you.

Unfortunately, mine was served with a broken one :( 

Tea-Infused Macarons

Just had to post this. The table next to us with a mother and her little girl enjoying high tea.
So cute! 
Now for the overall:
+: patient service, beautiful scenery and location, tasty savory food
-: pricey for the amount of food, no refills for tea, seating is a little crowded

I picked Urban Tea Merchant especially for my first high tea experience because I'm not a big fan of starchy stuff (ex. plain scones, lots of sandwiches, cookies, etc) but am a big fan of French macarons, so I decided to give this place a try. However the high tea here is composed of pieces from different parts of the world, more like a "fusion"-style high tea.

Next, I may go wonder off at some classic English afternoon tea place. 

Eat what you love ❤ - Papaya Crumpet

The Urban Tea Merchant on Urbanspoon

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