Update: This restaurant is closed.
For the month of August, The Urban Tea Merchant is offering a petite afternoon tea service for $20 per person. Now afternoon teas are never enough food for a guy so I made Fannypack go experience this with me.
The regular price for this service is usually $28. Now I’m not actually sure that the promotion is really a promotion because you actually lose an item from the regular petite afternoon tea menu, the item being a macaron. And FYI, each macaron will run you $4 here. That’s probably the priciest I’ve seen in Vancouver so far.
However, having tried the macarons in Hong Kong, I’ve come to decide that the macarons made here do NOT do the intended flavor justice. On that note, I’ve decided not to eat macarons in Vancouver anymore. Having said that, I was not too sad about losing that from the menu.
Upon entering the store from the W. Georgia side, we were welcomed by a nice looking tea shop. We waited a little while for a server to seat us. And when he did, we were led to the back of the store towards the tea salon. I would’ve rather stayed outside in the shop as it looked nicer.
While we were looking at the menu, we were brought a drinkable amuse bouche – Mango and Cucumber chilled soup infused with Alfonso tea (a black tea with rare mango and flowers).
It was very refreshing and a nice mix of mango and cucumber flavor. A little bit of sweet, and a little bit savory. The “infused” part though I felt was just the sprinkling of tea leaves on top. Fannypack and I both decided that it was a rather licorice-y flavor.
Their tea menu is indeed extensive. There was so much to choose from. Fannypack and I read from front to back a couple times before deciding on a tea each. The price of the tea set actually includes $8 towards a tea. Which means anything above is extra.
We found one that was $78. It was a Hawaiian Oolong. I wonder how many orders of that they get a year.
For my tea, I decided on the Weekend in Moscow. It is a blend of green and black tea with rose petals, bergamot and sweet almond.
Fannypack chose the Orange Blossom Oolong, with notes of orange blossom obviously.
When the teas arrived, they were poured for us in a circular manner into our respective cups. When mine was poured, we immediately smell the aroma of roses and vanilla, which I will attribute to the sweet almond. It was very pleasant and I was very satisfied with my choice.
However Fannypack’s was less exciting. In fact, we couldn’t smell the scent of orange blossoms at all. Plus we felt her tea (or both for that matter) could’ve been steeped a bit more. We did not have a choice as they were steeped in the kitchen for us.
Our mini tiers arrived a short while later. The bottom held the savories and they were:
– Cucumber & watercress tea sandwich
– “Indian Night” curried egg salad sandwich
– “Lapsang Souchong Tea” chicken cone
– Glazed ham with peppered piperade flatbread
The middle tier held a scone served with creme and jelly infused with their signature 1837 Black Tea.
The top tier had the sweets. They were:
– “Sakura! Sakura!” Nanaimo Bar
– Chevron strawberry
– Seasonal fruit
Of the bunch, the “Lapsang Souchong Tea” chicken cone was our favorite. The Glazed ham with peppered piperade flatbread was my second choice but I did think it ran a tad bit sweet.
It turns out that we had different scones each. Mine was a raisin scone while Fannypack received a orange and ginger scone. We found the scones to have a texture more like shortbread cookies though. I thoroughly enjoyed the jelly, because it was not overly sweet which was a surprise. The creme was thick and rich.
Our least favorite item was unanimously the “Sakura! Sakura!” Nanaimo Bar. Way too sweet and I didn’t not get hit with the aroma of cherry blossoms as the name of the tea would have me think. All I got was sugary sweetness.
I really cannot recommend coming back even though nothing really went wrong with our visit. We just find that the prices really are not friendly compared to other places that offer the same service. We also were not especially wow’ed by anything either.