The Urban Tea Merchant

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My friend and I wanted to do something a little bit special on Christmas eve so we decided to go to The Urban Tea Merchant. As a afternoon tea addict I have been wanting to go here for a while however, due to the high price it took a while to finally come here. I made reservations at 1:00 on Christmas eve and I do recommend you to also make reservations if you plan on coming here. We were seated On the first floor near the tea selections. I was pretty confused because I thought it was going to be a restaurant like place. I did learn after that the actual tea salon was on the second floor though. I wish we were seated there instead as there were people constantly coming in and out of the shop to buy tea on Christmas eve but I guess it wasn’t that bothersome. Urban tea merchant is located in downtown, a 10 minute walk from pacific center mall.

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The tea set comes with an $8 tea, if you wish for a tea priced higher than that you must pay extra. There were teas that were $8-21 and also a few teas that were $150-250 ish I believe, something that is way over our budget. My friend and i decided to just stick with the $8 tea as the afternoon tea here was already pricey. We choose two teas to share. The passion fruit tea and the red chocolate tea. Both were pretty good and flavourful, and we got refills on both teas free of charge. I would also like to mention that if you are cannot decide on what tea to get, you may always ask them for recommendations, however they might try to recommend the more pricey ones…

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 We both got the West Coast Tea service, this is the portion for two people at $38 per person. It may not look like alot however it did fill us up quite well. I do wish that there were more sweet items as there was only three sweet items.

miso-maple glazed sable fish in butter lettuce
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The server recommended us to start with this first as it was still warm. I thought I was not going to be a really big fan of this since I eat fish quite often at home and got a little bit bored of it, however this was different. the fish was nice and warm, and melted in your mouth. The little crunchy bits and lettuce gave a nice crunchy texture. The miso maple glaze enhanced the flavours of the fish more. This was delicious and was one of my favorite item from this tea set.

wasabi and smoked salmon with ponzu jelly
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This is something I also really enjoyed and is also one of my favorites from this tea set. The smoked salmon was placed on top of a brown bread and the smoked salmon had little drops of the ponzu jelly and a green on top. Everything well well together and the green added a small crunch to the dish. The ponzu sauce really enhanced the flavours of the smoked salmon, and the smoked salmon itself was nice and smooth. It really reminded me of sushi for some reason.

Dignitary’s Tea chicken cone
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 I thought that it was very unique and creative idea to put chicken in a cone instead of the usual chicken salad sandwich. the greens added a fresh flavour and crunchy texture to the dish. The cone was a little bit sweet and was also quite crunchy. The cone has black sesame seeds in it which helped bring a little bit of a more savory flavour to the cone. The chicken was super moist and delightful. It was creamy, well seasoned and it was packed with flavours. I do wish the cone was not sweet at all and just savory, as I’m really not a big fan of savory and sweet items together. It was kind of like eating chicken ice cream during my very first bit as the cone was a bit sweet. I did get used to it and enjoyed it more after the first bit or two though.

Tokyo-Singapore Tea seared tuna tataki
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This was tuna tataki on some type of biscuit and I believe tea flavoured cabbage. perhaps my least favorite out of all the savory items surprisingly. I really thought It was going to be my favourite as I really like tuna tataki. The tuna tataki itself was good, it was nice and soft however it did not taste very good together with the biscuit and cabbage. the biscuit was sweet and had nuts and cranberries in it, it was a little bit soft and chewy. The cabbage was oddly sweet as I think it was infused with tea. It was like eating sweet cotton candy cabbage, really odd. I had the take apart the whole dish and ate the lettuce,tuna and biscuit separately. I wish they would have just served the tuna by itself or just left the cabbage as a savory cabbage instead of a odd sweet cabbage.

Coconut madeleine
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 I’m usually not a big fan of Madeleines because I find that they are just boring plain sponge cake however I did enjoy this. The outside was nice and crunchy while the inside was soft and moist. It was slightly salted and sweet at the same time however it was not a bad flavour, I enjoyed it. Very different from the Madeleine at Patisserie Fur Elise. I believe their coconut tea was infused into it however, I could not really taste any tea or coconut, it was very subtle.

chocolate-dipped strawberry
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This was good, however its just a chocolate dipped strawberry, nothing special of course. It’s something I could easily make at home. I do find that the chocolate dipped strawberry was good for refreshing and cleansing my mouth from the seafood I just ate though.

TWG Tea macaron
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there was one macaron for each person however we decided to split each macaron as we wanted to taste the two different flavours. The macarons are infused with a type of tea from their tea collection. The brown one was “Earl Grey Fortune & Chocolate” while the blue one was “Vanilla Bourbon Tea & Kaya Macaron”. The inside was very soft and creamy while the outside was only a little bit crispy, it was mostly soft. They were delicious macarons however I don’t believe they were extremely  special. I would not come back here just for macarons as they were $4 each, it is not worth it for me. I am glad that they were part of the tea set though as I did enjoy them.  I also did discover something interesting though, while I was reading some articles on their macarons, it says that “To cater to the Asian palate, the sugar in these jewel-toned confections has been painstakingly reduced by a third, making TWG Tea macarons unique in the market, tastier and healthier than their counterparts” Which may be good news to some people.

Macaron selection
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Tea shop photos
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Overall Rating: 9/10
Overall I did enjoy this place and perhaps would come back one day, but not soon due to the price.  The food was good however I believed it was over priced, but I guess all tea places are over priced.. I do recommend Urban Tea merchant though and I really want to try their signature afternoon tea one day.

Extra Notes:

  • At first we were going to get this minty chocolate tea however they ran out so our server recommended this other tea that they just got that was not on their menu. She didn’t tell us the price either, so we didn’t want to get it as we were afraid that it was over our price budget and we didn’t really want to ask what the price was. I am assuming that it was over $8 though, so I recommend being really careful while taking their suggestion as i feel like they might try to sell you the more pricey teas.
  • Service was just alright, the servers were professional however I wish they checked up on us and payed attention to us a little bit more. It took a little while to be able to ask for refills.
  • perhaps ask them if you could sit at the actual tea salon if you decide to come and if you don’t wnat to see people going in and out buying tea.
  • check out their website, they unfortunately do not have the tea menu listed but they do have the list of tea sets menus on there.
  • They have many different tea sets at the price of either $28,$38 or $58

The Urban Tea Merchant on Urbanspoon

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2 thoughts on “The Urban Tea Merchant

  1. Pingback: Secret Garden Tea Company | Sakurasweets

  2. Pingback: Xi Shi Lounge At Shangri La | Sakurasweets

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