When we were kids, my friend Jillian and I loved to have tea parties. We’d sit primly in our chairs, sip tea from proper cups and saucers, and help ourselves to small plates of cookies set out by our mothers. We also had a favourite sweet technique; we’d spoon three or four teaspoons of sugar into our cups, and leave it unstirred. Once we’d finished the tea, there would be a thick layer of sweet, Earl Grey-flavoured syrup waiting for us at the bottom. Scrumptious.
We’ve (supposedly) grownup, but we still love our tea parties. They’re just a little bit different now; instead of eating straight sugar, for example, we consume it in the form of crepes and cheesecake, and our mothers are no longer providing the snacks. That’s done by Ida, owner of la salle de thé Tea Room.
Taking Jill out for tea was my very belated birthday present to her, and we’d originally intended to try Café Savoureux. As so often happens, however, we discovered it to be closed – they’re on annual holidays until November 27th.
Instead, we headed south to Alexandra Road, where we knew we’d be able to find something. Google suggested la salle de thé Tea Room, which is on the east end of the street, across from Haroo. It’s newly-opened after being closed for a year, and was quite quiet when we arrived – another group came after awhile, however.
Unsurprisingly, the Room of Tea’s specialty is tea; there’s a large menu with black, green, rooibos, and tulsi varieties, as well as a smaller food menu with sweet and savoury crepes, pancakes, and cheesecake.
Knowing I’d need to stay up later to write, I chose caffeine! I went with the Pacific Sun, which had black tea, orange peels, rose blossoms, cornflower blossoms, marigold blossoms, and vanilla pieces.
Jill had the Ice Age, with rooibos, lemon grass, lemon peel, mint safflower blossoms, and orange blossoms. Both teas came in individual pots, with honey on the side so we could adjust the sweetness to our liking. Both were $7 each.
Because I think pancakes, syrup, bacon, and peanut butter are one of the best combinations running, I requested a side of PB to go with our savoury pancake. It was a good call.
The pancake was covered with bacon bits, and I definitely would have preferred real bacon. With the peanut butter and syrup, however, the dish was still pretty satisfying. It tasted like Sunday morning breakfast, after all! There was even sliced apple.
The cheesecake arrived looking like a sundae; it was served in a parfait glass with a crown of whipped cream, and topped with chocolate syrup and orange marmalade. The cheesecake itself was quite soft, almost mousse-like, and not too sweet. I liked it, though it’s certainly different from the tall, dense New York style.
The tea at la salle de thé Tea Room isn’t cheap, but it IS good quality. Neither of us added any honey, as they were both delicately flavoured and well-balanced. The tea room also has a liquor license, so if you’d rather enjoy a glass of wine with your cheesecake you go can right on ahead, provided you’re 19, of course.
I look forward to the many more tea parties Jill and I have ahead of us. Maybe once we’re really old, and back to not knowing any better, we’ll take up our old Earl-Grey-flavoured-sugar habit again. That sounds nice.
Vegetarian options available