Over the weekend, I went to Urban Tea Merchant to give their Moon Festival Tea Service a try. My friend (Beth) wanted to give it a try so why not! Honestly, when I first saw the photos I was worried because I saw pork dumplings… uh oh… pork dumplings in a non-asian restaurant… this will be an interesting one.
I would strongly recommend taking the skytrain there if you are local or if you are a tourist. The reason is that downtown is never fun to drive in with lots of foot and car traffic. It’s a short 5-10 minute walk from the skytrain station and it’ll save you some parking money :)
We made reservations for there at 3pm and when we arrived, we were promptly greeted by their staff members, each welcoming us to their tea service. We were brought up to our seating area which was up the ramp. First thing I noticed were the chairs, they’ve changed it to bamboo chairs to accompany the Chinese theme they’ve re-decorated their space into. Reminded me of my basement actually :) Moving on! We were greeted again by our server who had a strong French accent (as told by my friend ;) ) I can tell this is going to go great!
We all took a look at our tea menu and there are surely over 100 kinds of tea in that little booklet. Teas from all over the world were in presently available even the expensive kinds like China’s Jade Dragon tea was there too and … the price tag, was also there :) I went with the 1837 Signature green tea, Emily with 1937 Black tea and Beth with her… Chocolate something tea.. she said it was..interesting. Lets leave it at that :P She’s quite the experimental one with teas… she tried a caramel one last time and to sum it up she said it tasted like cough medicine.
Boy, the menu is expensive! There are currently 4 sets, $28 (mini tea service), $38 (min two people moon festival tea service), $48 Haute Couture tea service and the $78 Champagne tea service. We wanted really the best of both worlds without going extremely overboard because these prices are eeeks on the high side. We went with two moon festival tea service and a single mini tea service.
Our first plate was the ‘petit-chou and “Weekend in St Tropez Tea” butter’ its essentially a puff with a lightly whipped strawberry cream butter on the side. It was extremely good. The flavored butter reminded me of the strawberry mousse that you sometimes get on cakes!
Not to defeat the purpose of this blog, but I’m not going to spoil how it tastes like because this is a limited service that they are providing! You really have to try this for yourself. In general, the platter is a mix of Japanese, Chinese and Western in one. Overall, its quite the fusion combo. At first I was thinking, this can’t be good because again, Chinese food in a western restaurant… but my gosh, it was great! Not going to spoil it. If you are not a fan of fish (salmon and sablefish) then I might avoid this set simply because two of the main items that I love had fish as an ingredient.
Petite Tea Service
What you get from the petite tea service is very standard. You have your mini savory sandwiches paired with the cone ( this is also an item in the Moon Festival Tea Service menu). Tier 2 is your scone and tier 3 are the sweets (fruits, a macaron, and a present almond cake dessert).
Not going to go into the highlight of every piece because some are quite the standard but I will go into a few exceptional pieces here.
- Scone. The scone was absolutely amazing, I would actually buy the scone separately if they can be sold. Its not dry, its just the right amount of texture and moistness in there. The cream as well was great, could be a bit stronger though. The strawberry jam was great as well. It’s really hard to come across a good scone nowadays I think… if you know of any amazing scone places in Vancouver, please let me know! I’d love to give it a try.
Thanks for reading this. I hope it helped a bit with you decision. I know I didn’t give it all away or… any of it at all but that’s whats great about reviews sometimes you know. What’s the fun in trying something if you expect it to taste like that already!
I have to forewarn you though that the price isn’t very economical… You would be spending around $45-$50 after tips and tax per person! Just letting you know but it is a once in a while treat and definitely different than your typical Chinese menu!
out of 5
Missing one G because of the price…