Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Urban Tea Merchant

A few weeks ago I had high tea for the first time at a place called The Urban Tea Merchant (UTM). The store is located in downtown Vancouver by West Georgia and Alberni St. and they feature imported tea from the Singaporean company TWG. 
On this visit I tried their seasonal Mid-Autumn festival service, and I must say it was pretty satisfying. Along with indulging on delicious food, I also drank their tea, hence the term high tea. More specifically I tried a tea called "Brother's Club" and it was really good black tea. According to their site, the tea contains a blend of nutty black tea, citrus fruits, and berries.  

Now for the food, I don't recall every specific item that was included but it did have the following:

  • miso-maple glazed sablefish in butter lettuce
  • “Lapsang Souchong Tea” chickensalad  cone
  • wasabi and smoked salmon with ponzu jelly 
  • pork dumplings
  • mooncake
  • assorted fruits infused in tea
I know you may be thinking that mooncake and pork dumplings sounds a bit odd for high tea, but it was definitely a nice twist. For one thing, I normally don't like mooncakes, nor do I eat them, but the one they made was definitely an exception. It did not taste like the ordinary mooncakes that so many are accustomed to. It was sweet, but in a different way, especially since it had been infused in tea. Furthermore, I don't remember the specific flavor of the mooncake, but it was one of the four they offered. Obviously the description above does not do justice on how well it tasted, so maybe the following pictures will help.
Mid-Autumn Festival Service

Close up of the smoked salmon

Close up of the dumplings

Close up of the mooncake from TWG
And lastly some pictures, showing the decor of the place. They had a unique water fountain that featured teacups and teapots. If you ever get a chance, I do recommend giving this place a try. It is true that I haven't been to another high tea store to compare it to, nevertheless I'm sure they won't disappoint.