After a number of attempts, I finally made it into Café Savoureux. It’s a small tea and coffee house in Union Square, just down from Liu’s and Richmond Sushi. The first time I walked past it, I was drawn in by their quaint display, so well done on the window dressings, C.S.!
The interior of the café looks sort of like a doll house. I don’t mean that it’s terribly kitschy, just dear; the various seating areas are separated with little barriers, there is a lot of dark wood and floral patterns, and the walls are decorated with faux-shuttered ‘windows’ with shelves for tea cups. The space has been meticulously decorated, and the overall feeling is cozy. If a few friends and I settled into one of their front corner booths, I think we could easily spend the afternoon there.
Drinks dominate the café’s menu, and most of the foods on offer are sweet. They specialize in syphon coffee with beans from various locations, including Kenya and Jamaica, and also do gourmet tea, which I opted for.
My ‘Sleigh Ride’ tea had bits of apple, hibiscus, grapes, rose hips, citrus peels, cardamom, almond, coriander, pink pepper, and bourbon vanilla. It was rosy pink, and served on a stand with a tea-light to keep it warm. The flavour was nice – not nearly as sweet as the colour suggested – and drinking it out of a proper teacup reminded me of my Grandmum. For her, drinking tea out of a mug was practically sacrilege.
Since they were out of waffles, I ordered a ham + shredded pork sandwich. It had 3-layers of toasted white bread like a clubhouse, as well as cucumber, tomato, a bit of mayo, and a layer of rousong (shredded pork floss), which I now know tastes darn good in a sandwich.
It was also the ingredient that made an otherwise British-style sandwich very Asian.
For dessert, there were plenty of options: cookies, croissants, crème caramel, chocolate lava cake, cheesecake, and sundaes. I couldn’t decide between the white chocolate cheesecake and salted caramel sablés, so I got both. The cookies came in a portion of 3, so I figured I’d have one and take the other two to go.
I ate all three RIGHT away. Sablés are a type of round French cookie, and Café Savoureux’s version was incredible. They tasted like a cross between shortbread and sugar cookies, with small chunks of chewy, buttery caramel throughout. The tops had been sprinkled with just the right amount of salt, and they were perfect. PERFECT. I really hope they make these every day, because the world would be a better place for it.
The cheesecake was smooth and creamy, with a thin graham-cracker crust. While it was excellent, I still prefer baked New York-style cheesecake over this lighter, Japanese version, which usually uses cornstarch instead of flour and a bit of cream of tartar.
The service was as friendly as can be, so for a casual, afternoon-tea-style experience, I’d totally recommend Café Savoureux. Especially the sablés – the sablés!!
Vegetarian options available