Monday, November 12, 2012

A filling Afternoon Tea at Soirette

Soirette Macarons & Tea on UrbanspoonSoirette is a very small store on West Pender, with very few seats (and a couple of outdoor tables) -- their popular "High Tea" can really only seat 8 persons around four tables inside. The counter features very few items, mostly a wide selection of macarons and a few creamy cakes.

The macarons themselves have a bit of extra effort to them with the addition of a bit of decoration on top, whereas many places simply just leave them monotone. The various creative uses of macarons in the store displays are also worth a look as well. (pictures)

In addition to macarons, they also have a selection of interesting teas if your palate is fine enough to appreciate the differences. Not the same huge selection as, for example, at Shaktea or The Urban Tea Merchant, but at least you do get a decent selection to go with the afternoon tea service.

2012-Nov-10 Soirette High Tea Menu

The afternoon tea seating is more or less 60 to 90 minutes, which can be very tight if your group is 6+ and you're all distracted with chatting (a very afternoon tea thing to do) instead of focussed on eating.

As far as afternoon tea services go, you do get quite a few types of items here, and the serving can seem deceptively small, but if you pay attention you'll see at least one small bun the size of a dinner roll on the bottom tier; a scone in the middle; and a bit of grilled cheese sandwich. These can add up, and we saw quite a lot of leftovers from the afternoon tea patrons who were on the seating ahead of us. All in all, the tea service could make for a light brunch or possibly a light lunch if you have a smaller appetite -- which makes $27 a really decent price for what you get.

The menu items are basically nicely done, though without a special touch to warrant top marks. However, for the price point it was a good deal. Some of the standouts in the menu were...

  • Tandoori chicken cucumber cup
    • Some people cut this is half to savour it more slowly, but I felt it was bite-sized enough and just popped the whole thing. The refreshing juiciness of the cucumber merged very nicely with the curry flavour to give an interesting sensation in your mouth.
  • Rose-Scented Butter
    • An awesome idea. Strong, clear rose aroma, but not as pungent as rosewater, which is typically a turnoff for me.
One of their macarons is an adventurous wasabi-pineapple which is definitely worth a try. Only a whiff of wasabi, so it's not going to clear your sinus.

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