Monday, June 30, 2014

Globe @ YVR, Afternoon Tea at Fairmont


Vouchers from Groupon, SocialShopper or Travelzoo may be considered risky to purchase because some of the restaurants are not that great, hence the need to promote themselves. However, when I noticed SocialShopper offering afternoon tea for two at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport, I quickly snatched it up! Hotel Vancouver is one of my favourite places for tea because I love their scones. And, well, that is about it... other than for the professional and attentive service along with the cute antique table setting. However, I have never been to the Fairmont Vancouver Airport for tea or even dinner.

There is an entrance from outside (as pictured above) and if coming from the airport there are escalators which lead to the restaurant. The SocialShopper voucher we purchased includes afternoon tea for two along with two hours of parking for $49.00. Additional parking starts at $4.50 which we found out later on, since we were ten minutes past the two hours while waiting in line to leave the parking lot.

Walking in, we walked up to the host and despite making a request on Opentable that we were willing to change the time as well as date for a window seat, it was overlooked. After seating, the host explained the menu and mentioned our server Josephine would be with us shortly. When Josephine arrived, she introduced herself and explained the menu to us again. In addition, she mentioned the restaurant also offers chai and maple maple which is a black tea that is not listed on the menu.

The interior has a high ceiling along with window wrapped walls and the seating arrangements are not tight. As for the service, the staff was very professional in the beginning but disappeared after. Throughout the tea service, we were left with finished plates on the tier and no one checked up on us. Although to be fair, service is not that big of a deal during afternoon tea because as long as guests have what they need, it is really fine. 

However, at a fine dining restaurant and with Hotel Vancouver to compare (where there is always perfect service), there is an expectation of finished plates to be removed from the tier and the tier to be taken away when there is only one plate left with food. In our case, all three empty plates along with the tie, stayed on the table throughout the tea service.

TEA MENU ($42.00), JUNIOR TEA ($18.00).

Genmaicha Akaike (ancient tea of the samurai, grassy, vegetative character is perfectly balanced by warm, full-bodied oaky notes that are almost chewable) and Japan Sencha Fukujyu (clean and refreshing cup, exceptionally fresh nose cup offers crisp notes of grass, light touch of honey and faint moss).

The genmaicha akaike is a light green tea and has a nutty hint of a burnt rice flavour (in a good way). The tea was actually steeped for a bit too long and we wanted to have some hot water added but could not get ahold of anyone. Genmaicha is best when the tea has not been steeped for too long and has a nice light color.

As for the sencha fukujyu, the tea is lighter than the genmaicha and has a hint of sweetness. Actually, the green tea is the same type that is served at many restaurants. Some nicer Japanese restaurants use a higher quality too.

Roasted Striploin (dijon marinated sliced beef sirloin, caramelized onion, mayo and sourdough), House Smoked Turkey (cranberry mayo, mini croissant), Caprese (vine ripened tomatoes, bocconcini, fresh basil, lemon drizzle, served open face on ficelle), and Smoked Salmon (cucumber carpaccio, freshly grated horseradish, dill cream cheese, rye bread).

Starting with the smoked turkey croissant, the mini sandwich tastes generic which is fine because I usually make stuff like this at home. The croissant has pretty much generic turkey deli meat along with mayonnaise and is served cold. As for the cranberry mayo, we could not pick up the taste. Following, the smoked salmon has moist slices of rye (not stale) and a refreshing taste from the cucumber. The smoked salmon along with the cream cheese is also a perfect pair as always. If anything, we could not pick up the grated horseradish. Continuing along, the caprese is served on a soft baguette which tastes similar to Finch's and not an open face ficelle like stated on the menu (which does not matter). The baguette does not taste dry or too chewy, and the slice of tomato as well as bocconcini taste generic (although there was not much of a lemon drizzle or basil taste). Up last, the roasted strip loin is very basic along with the rest. The roast beef tastes slightly dry and there are no flavours of the dijon or caramelized onion.

Scones - Cranberry and Orange Zest.
Strawberry Jam and Clotted Cream from Devon.

The only reasons I am here are 1. to try the afternoon tea at Fairmont Vancouver Airport, 2. for the scones, and 3. to compare my experience with previous visits at Hotel Vancouver. The voucher was just a bonus, a really good one! Carrying on, the scones are pretty much properly made and have a crisp exterior. The scones are dusted with icing sugar and taste moist, soft as well as very crumbly (in a good way). In addition, although there is a slight sweetness, a couple of the scones tasted very sweet because there were too many cranberries. 

As for the orange zest flavour, the taste is very subtle. And for the clotted cream, it tastes heavy, slightly sweet and of course paired well with the scones. The clotted cream is always a better choice so I pass on the strawberry preserve and if anything, I like that Hotel Vancouver provides tiny jars of jam.

Salted Caramel (chocolate cone filled with salted caramel and caramelized apple), Chocolate Mint (chocolate layered cake with creme de mint whipped cream), Lemon Tart (sweet tart shell filled with lemon curd) and Cheesecake (Fairmont Vancouver Airport Honey, fresh strawberries).

Starting with the cheesecake, there is a light creamy cheese flavour along with a soft crust. The consistency is very smooth, not too soft, and tastes pretty good. In addition, rather than a strawberry, there were fresh ripe raspberries. Moving along, the chocolate mint cake tastes very moist as well as light, and has a hint of liquor. Usually I am not a fan of chocolate cake, ice cream or milkshakes, and this one was not bad. The mint whipped cream did not taste too sweet or heavy and help cut down some sweetness. If anything, the cake could have been more decadent and rich.

Further on, the chocolate caramel cone tastes extremely sweet. The exterior has a nice bitter chocolate flavour but the light creme filling tastes too sweet that the both of us left them behind. Last up, the lemon tart was quite good. The shell is properly made, has a light crunch and melts in the mouth. As for the lemon curd filling, it tastes very sour and has a smooth consistency.

TOTAL: $49.00 + TAX $2.45 + TIP $13.55 = $65.00.
Original Price: $102.90.

Overall, the food is very generic and similar to Hotel Vancouver's. Furthermore as I mentioned earlier, I only come here for the scones. As for the price, Fairmont offers one of the highest prices for afternoon tea and although some may think the food is either worth it or not, the atmosphere is a big part of that. In addition, having visited Hotel Vancouver at least a dozen of times, the service here is not comparable. There was no service after we received the tier and of course if the restaurant was busy it is understandable. But, the restaurant was not busy and we waited quite a while just to find someone for the bill. All in all, afternoon tea at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport is worth trying, especially for those who find a voucher or a coupon. However, I rather head to Hotel Vancouver for the same price.

- Them scones
- Modern atmosphere
- Restaurant offers "2 for 1" afternoon tea vouchers for next visits
- Professional service at the beginning (explanation of menus and introduction of names)

- Not much service
- Pricey without a voucher
- Tea quality could be better (considering it is the Fairmont)

- Revisit post on Globe@YVR for Afternoon Tea [here]
- Only here for the scones (which are not even the best, I just like them. A lot)
- No sugar, honey or milk offered or provided unlike at Hotel Vancouver (although we did not need any)
- Tables are not properly sanitized. As the host was clearing a table to seat a couple, he brushed off some crumbs with a napkin and there were still chocolate markings left on the table. At a five star hotel? He also grabbed the table setting from another table and did not double check anything. A diner actually switched cups from that table setting because it was dirty

Food: 2.5/5
Service: 2.5/5 (for the class of restaurant 2/5)

Globe@YVR on Urbanspoon

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...