Royal York High Tea
Nelson @ Library Bar: What do you think of when I say High Tea? Snobby British people eating delicate pastries? Instead, think Kitty's Birthday and an Asian with a camera.
First, the tea itself. Kitty had the Kyoto Cherry Rose, delicate notes of rose and cherry weave sweet layers through the grassiness of premium Japan style Sencha. Pale, light infusion. I thought that it tasted a lot like jasmine tea with a hint of rose. I had the Montebello Apple Spice, rustic heirloom apple pie in a refreshing tisane reminiscent of autumn apples blended with sweet and piquant notes of spice. This tea was really sweet, almost too sweet with strong flavours. Not exactly the taste I familiar with for a tea, but it was novel.
The sandwiches came first (I threw in a pic of the available jams and the honey):
Nova Scotia Lobster and White Truffle Salad, Saffron Aioli, Cabbage Cress. This was my favourite sandwich (at the top), but it could use a little more lobster. Very tasty and visually appealing.
Brian Fanning's locally smoked salmon, capers, dill creme fraiche. The dill was a little too strong for my liking. I can take a little, but this had just a tad too much for me. At least it tasted really fresh.
Roasted Ontario turkey, Niagara apples and home-made cranberry jelly. This one pictured with the white bread I liked because it reminded me of Thanksgiving. The turkey taste and the cranberry jam tastes come out strongly in this sandwich.
Port poached Ontario figs, Stilton cheese mousse, candied pecans nuts. Overall great balance of tastes, with the fig not overpoweringly sweet.
The Choux Pastry Swans (Chantilly cream) looked really nice and had a surprise inside of a raspberry. Fairly light tasting, but quite good.
Mincemeat Streusel Tart (on top near the swan) is surprisingly sweet with a crunchy topping and insides full of a sweet paste. Not what I was expecting, but still good. The Fresh Fruit Tart also on the top plate was fairly typical but also well done.
The Lemon Almond slices were the best because the fresh flavours of the lemon just explode sweet and tartness, all wrapped together with a crunchy bottom.
The Flourless Chocolate very sweet, but only ok. The texture was nicely light and fluffy though.
Royal York White Chocolate Madeline's were made well, but not that unique. it has a very strong vanilla flavour, which I liked.
House baked Royal York cranberry scones with Harmony Dairies organic cream and preserve. They had a great moist and paradoxically crunchy texture that tasted very rich and buttery. The clotted butter is not oily and I felt I could eat a lot of this with feeling gross or feeling too heavy.
So if you ever come here, come really really hungry and make sure to skip lunch and plan on a late dinner. Really great attention to detail and quite a few unique items here. They had a musician playing modern pop songs reimagined for a soft acoustic guitar. Pretty cool. I recommend it, especially for the ladies who I think would enjoy this type of meal more than most guys.
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