When I was in London with my friends, we were checking out Covent Garden, which is a shopping site/marketplace. I knew there were several locations around London, but I didn’t know there was one at Covent Garden. While we were wandering around, my friend spotted a Ladurée restaurant and my excitement level escalated immediately! Ladurée is known to be the inventors of the French pastry, macaron. They are known to have one of the best selling macarons in the world. Of course, I had to buy them.
I was trying to find Laudrée at Harbour Grand, and I was so short on time in Hong Kong, I deeply regret not being able to go to one of the most renowned macaron places of all time. Despite that, I did see another macaron store at the mall, which is Jean Paul Hévin. Never heard of him before, but I had to get the macarons anyway. These macarons are very expensive compared to Vancouver – $25HKD for a macaron- and I bought a box of 5 for $125 HKD – which is equivalent to $15.90 CAD for 5 macarons, or $3.18 CAD each!
The box holding the treasure is very important too!
These macarons weren’t wildly coloured, but they were one of the best macarons I ever tasted. I got 5 flavours – coffee, dark chocolate, crème brûlée, fig, and mango coriander.
The first one I ate was the dark chocolate- it had the perfect combination of dark chocolate’s bitterness and minimal sweetness. I love dark chocolate ganache.
The coffee macaron was moist, like a molten cappuccino; but it was still airy with a crunchy exterior. The coffee macaron had a white coffee biscuit and creamy coffee ganache.
The winner out of the five was definitely the crème brûlée macaron for me. It tasted exactly like the dessert, not too sweet, and it also had the caramelized sauce when I bit into it. Hello heaven!
Sorry for the blurry picture- had to take a quick snapshot of the inside fast enough without spilling it everywhere!
The mango coriander macaron was very delicious as well – it had two layers of flavour and it packed a lot of mango flavour in it. The mango coriander macaron had an orange biscuit with mango juice cream with coriander.
Last but not least, was the fig macaron. I didn’t take a picture of it. The fig macaron has a deep purple and dark chocolate shell with chocolate and fig ganache. I’m not sure how fig actually tastes like, but I did taste a lot of dark chocolate (yummy!) and a bit of weird tarteness of the fig- it wasn’t a bad macaron; I just didn’t know what to expect of it!
The macarons at Jean Paul Hévin are definitely one of the best I ever tried. I am a bit sad I didn’t get to Laudrée but then I would’ve never had such a delicious crème brûlée macaron!
Have you had macarons from Hong Kong or anywhere overseas that surprised you? 🙂
One of my latest food adventures is due to The Red Pocket which had a coupon I bought a month ago- $38 for Deluxe High Tea + Chocolate Fondue for Two at Capstone Richmond. The coupon included
- Afternoon High Tea Set
- Chocolate Pot
- Fruit Dish
- Assorted Pastry Dish
- Ice-cream Truffles
- 4 Toppings for ice-cream
- 2 drinks
There are two locations, and the coupon was only valid for Capstone Tea and Fondue in Richmond. It is located on Capstan Way, so commuters may have a harder time arriving there, but there’s lots of parking space for drivers!
Reservations had to be made, and luckily we weren’t in trouble for being 20 minutes late. All we had to do when we arrived was order the drinks, as everything else was already pre-pared. My friend ordered a matcha frappe, and I ordered a Fresh Fruit Sparkling Tea- Blueberry Fruit Tea.
I was extremely thirsty, and this drink quenched it! It was so refreshing, and it wasn’t sweet. The sparkling bit was delicious and the various fruits mixed in made this a very, necessary drink for my thirsty self.
Then the edibles came!
The pastries on the left are banana bred, sponge cake (fairly dense and yummy,) and matcha cookies. Then for fruit we got bananas, pineapples, green apples, grapes, and strawberries. They all tasted fresh (I skipped on the banana cake and pineapple though, not my favourite foods) and tasted better dipped in chocolate!
My favourite part are the ice cream truffles. We only got 6 to share- the flavours were coconut, mango, and raspberry (I think.) The coconut ice cream was a dream!
Along with fondue, my friend and I each got a high tea set – a three tier tray of savouries and sweets.
There were two flavours of sandwiches, ham and cucumber salad. I preferred the cucumber salad one better, the ham one tasted a bit too ordinary. The rest were mini croissants that weren’t too outstanding, although they were cute. The tiny chocolate croissant was delicious though.
I do wish there was a bit more variety- doesn’t high tea need scones? They could’ve taken a croissant/danish or two away.
This little mini green sweet was delicious because it tasted like a fererro rocher- hazelnut and chocolate is the best combination ever!
If you have been following my blog, you know I love my macarons. I was surprised to find that Capstone had fairly decent macarons, albeit the taste was a bit artificial. However I liked the soft, chewy texture and it was decent sized as well. The coffee macaron was divine!
I prefer the ice cream fondue over the high tea set for sure. Their ice cream truffles never fail to disappoint me. If you’re interested in trying the afternoon tea set, it is $14.95 + includes a drink!
Overall, I enjoyed my meal at Capstone. There was a lot of food, and I couldn’t finish it all. They do not have boxes for carry out, but the server kindly gave me plastic cups (for to-go drinks) to put my extra croissants away. Additionally, the service was great! Perhaps there weren’t a lot of people when we went on a Thursday night, but the two people were working there were very attentive and came to ask if we were enjoying everything. It was also nice and quiet so my friend and I enjoyed our meal in peace.
Capstone Tea & Fondue in Richmond is great for friendship bonding and chatting over ice cream and a pot of chocolate. Your sweet tooth will definitely be satisfied here!
Highly recommend stuffing yourselves with chocolate coated ice cream truffles.
There was a time when I went to Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie Cafe in downtown Vancouver for couple weeks in a row and gorged on a lot of delicious treats. Enjoy the pictures of some of my desserts! 🙂
A mini tiramisu. The picture looks big, but it’s about the size of my palm. SO DELICIOUS! It had dark chocolate pieces on the side, perfect for dipping into the extra mascarpone.
Macarons! Admittedly, not the best in the city. They’re a bit too big, and they have a bit too much cream.
My friend’s mini blueberry tart.
A very chocolately cake.
My friend’s savoury croissant. It had ham swirled around inside.
Hope everyone had some delicious desserts! 🙂
Hi everyone, today I’m going to review my two experiences at The Urban Tea Merchant. I want to talk about their Macarons and their Moon Festival Tea Service which I was invited to for food blogging on behalf of VancityBuzz. VancityBuzz is a growing blog that aims to share news, fashion, food, entertainment and more to Vancouver. The Urban Tea Merchant is a classy retail store and tea salon- serving quality and luxury teas. Some of their teas can be $18/100g or even up to $295/250 g of tea. That’s a pair of Marc Jacobs shoes right there!!
I cover “Macarons in Vancouver” for a Vancouver blog and I also was invited back to The Urban Tea Merchant to taste test their new Moon Festival Tea Service that they are offering from September 1- 30. To see my article on VancityBuzz, click here!
The Moon Festival Tea Service did a good integration of Asian cuisine within their tea service, while still sticking to their concept of tea.
Due to my recent re-infection with H. Pylori, I had a Choco Mint Truffle tea to accompany my meal, rather than teas (that had caffeine) that were made specifically for the tea service. I loved the tea, it was a bit sweet and had an African aroma to it. It was a roobios tea, so caffeine free! For starters, I had a petit-chou. Inside a glass cup, there were several balls of very light and fluffy bread balls- sort of like a cream puff but without the cream. Additionally, it came with Weekend in St. Tropez tea infused butter.
Time to move on the main course! There was a lot of food, and I couldn’t finish it. Inside the steamer basket were 4 multi-coloured, tea-infused pork dumplings! Delicious! I can taste the herbs (cilantro I think!) in them. It came with spicy ginger dipping sauce too.
The smoked salmon on the open sandwich, with ponzu jelly and some wasabi sauce was delicious! The wasabi sauce definitely made my hungrier as I ate. And as a lover of smoked salmon, this was pretty delicious. Too bad these were so small.
Next, I dug into these tiny “Lapsang Souchong Tea” chicken salad cones. It’s like chicken ice cream, and as delicious as ice cream. It’s a very fresh chicken dominated salad, and that sauce was amazing! There were only four of these little guys. I could have ate a mountain of these.
There were also small round pieces of sable fish on butter lettuce, with little garlic crisps on top. This was delicious, and you’re technically supposed to eat it as a mini wrap. However, I failed at wrapping these soft things, so I ended up downing the fish first, then eat the lettuce separately. Awkward…
After eating all the meaty stuff, I dove into the fruits, truffles, chocolate covered strawberries, and the mooncake!
I had the Pagoda mooncake- infused with Moonlit Night tea in the lotus paste, and it has dried mango dazzle inside (aka dried mango bits?) This was definitely a unique mooncake. It was very big and dense, and of course, I did not finish it. Out of the four tea-infused mooncakes The Urban Tea Merchant has to offer, only one has the one with a salted egg yolk in the centre. Wish I got to try that one…I love salted egg yolk- screw calories! Nevertheless, this was delicious! I brought it home….and ate it as a snack before dinner..then my brother and I shared the remaining bits as a midnight snack.
Did I mention- those flowers in the picture, they are edible too!
This was a scrumptious meal, and the presentation of this was absolutely beautiful. I thank The Urban Tea Merchant continuously for sharing this with me, and VancityBuzz for giving me the opportunity! If you’re in Vancouver, try the Moon Festival Tea Service to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival in a different way! It is a bit costly- $38 per person, minimum two people. But, this is a limited edition service, and The Urban Tea Merchant only started to offer it this year.
Also- I had previously visited The Urban Tea Merchant to try their macarons. My friend and I were macaron hunting around Vancouver and she said we have to try this place. They had eight different flavours of tea-infused macarons that are flow in from Singapore. These macarons are infused with the luxurious TWG tea. I guess that is why these macarons were at a whopping $4 each. Four dollars. Probably one of the most expensive in Vancouver so far. To prevent my wallet from being too light, I bought one macaron, and my friend bought another one, and we shared them with each other.
My friend bought the purple macaron on the left: The Grand Wedding Tea macaron. It is a black tea with notes of passionfruit. There were also coconut shreds within the filling. I had the Bainds de Roses Tea macaron, which is the pink macaron on the left.
These macarons were very, very, very soft, delicate, and fragile. Hold them too hard, and they start to become a pile of mush. These were yummy, and I love the rose aroma of the Bains de Roses Tea macaron. I would’ve bought more if they weren’t $4. Apparently, the chef used to train with Laudree, which is where the original macaron came from. I never had a Laudree macaron though, hopefully one day I can try one!
Thanks for reading about my long post on this food adventure!