Escape the summer heat and relax in refined elegance as you enjoy afternoon tea at Sugarholic Café.
On a particularly balmy afternoon, my mother and I went for the ultimate leisurely treat. I adore afternoon tea so I was curious to try Sugarholic’s version, especially since a recent trip to the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon in London was a major disappointment ($80 for mediocre pastries, ouch!).
Sugarholic Café opened up in Aberdeen Centre mall around Christmas 2014. (PHOTOS: TARA LEE)
We both found the interiors of Sugarholic charming, with its sparkly chandeliers, floral accents and display case showcasing their desserts. Our server was very friendly and attentive when we asked her questions, or needed any assistance.
After selecting our teas (choices included Earl Grey, French lavender and honey chrysanthemum), we didn’t have to wait long for the arrival of our three-tiered stand of savoury and sweet goodies.
Unlike the traditional afternoon tea with tea sandwiches and scones, Sugarholic offers their own Asian-influenced take on the experience. While I did miss having scones with clotted cream and jam, their menu was solid. We started with the middle tier and the crisp potato and corn katsu (panko coated and deep fried) with a tomato aioli, before moving onto two puff pastry squares, one topped with spinach, imitation crab, tamago (sweet egg omelette), and wasabi sauce; and the other topped with spinach, tuna salad and mayo.
From left: In the metal tin is the crisp potato and corn katsu, the puff pastry square to the right of it is topped with spinach, imitation crab and a sweet egg omelette (large yellow slab), and to the right of that is another puff pastry with spinach, tuna salad and mayo. (PHOTOS: TARA LEE)
The top tier consisted of fresh raspberry custard tarts dusted with icing sugar, and lemon macarons. They were each polished off in two or three (somewhat) lady-like bites.
The bottom tier offered a generous assortment of more substantial desserts, which were light and airy, and not overly sweet. While the crème brulée was as you would expect, a three-layered dessert of white chocolate, mango, and green tea mousse was lovely, with the trio of layers contrasting each other beautifully.
Tasty three-layered mousse of white chocolate, mango and green tea looked as good as it tasted! (PHOTOS: TARA LEE)
Another dessert that stood out was the lemon blueberry, matcha, and passion fruit mousse cakes. The mousse itself was silky, and the layers of sponge finely textured. Out of the three, the passion fruit was my favourite since I liked its tropical, sweet-yet-tart flavour.
On the left, match mousse cake, on the right, the passion fruit mousse cake (the winner). (PHOTO: TARA LEE)
Meanwhile, the Japanese-style cheesecake was a dessert highlight. This was certainly not your usual dense New York cheesecake. Instead, the dessert tasted more like a soufflé, with an exceedingly light, almost fluffy consistency.
There’s more to cheesecake than New York style—Sugarholic’s is more like a soufflé. (PHOTOS: TARA LEE)
By the time we had tried our last dessert, we were truly full, and satisfied. We had sipped steaming tea, indulged in decadent treats, and whiled away a couple of pleasant hours together. I remembered again why I love afternoon tea so much.
Location: In Aberdeen Centre mall (4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond), Unit 1008 on the bottom floor, right next to the fountain in the central atrium. Price: $29.95 for one person, $49.95 for two people.