I love Afternoon Tea; it’s one of those English customs which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed from the days when I was still living in Hong Kong. This afternoon delight seems to have gained much popularity here in Vancouver; gone were the days when there were limited offerings of this service as in recent years quite a few unique tea houses have sprouted throughout the Lower Mainland; it is a wonderful way to spend an easy weekend afternoon with girlfriends.
Two weekends ago on a rainy Saturday afternoon, I shared a very unique high tea experience with three lovely ladies (Thanks Deb M, Jo Jo and Mavis) at the Indigo Food Cafe on West 16th Avenue (and Trafalgar Street). The idea of trying out a raw vegan meal is definitely a novelty for me; this experience was ultimately curiosity driven! As I’m not familiar with vegan dining, I can only tell you my overall impression and what I’ve enjoyed at this quaint and wholesome little place.
Deb M made reservations (recommended especially on weekends due to limited seating) and pre-order our Raw High Tea Sets. Listed as extra service on the menu, it must be ordered and confirmed in advance. The set is a great way to get a taste of their menu, just as regular high tea offerings at other establishments, we each choose our tea from their organic and fair trade loose leaf teas selection.
The bite size delicacies were served in the traditional three tiers: with the savouries on the bottom and sweets on top. When the owner presented our food, we were taken back! All the items, especially the desserts, do not look raw at all! Visually they are very pretty as the colours are vibrant, and the play on texture shows a lot of thought has been given to the entire creative process. We enjoyed the whole foods in their natural state; overall the use of ingredients and combination of flavours are sharp yet tasty.
We had kale chips (picture not shown), my favourite savoury items were the buckwheat crepe (the only cooked item) and the stuffed mushroom;
As for desserts, I could have done with a bit less and finding most of them too sweet for my liking (it’s a personal preference). However I did enjoy immensely the coconut cream pie (picture in header) and their fresh in-house made fruit and yogurt cup.
The service was very attentive, the owner also took her time to explain each item and describe the ingredients (actually listed on menu), they truly took pride in their work and they should! Afterwards I chatted with the owner briefly to obtain more information on their classes which are taught on site (schedule available online); I am definitely looking into attending a class (Jo Jo Let’s go!) sometime in the future.
I went with no expectations and the overall experience was filled with pleasant little surprises; perhaps this was the first time I didn’t feel guilty after having “cheesecake”..(OO)
Indigo Food Cafe – 2589 West 16th Avenue (at Trafalgar), Vancouver, BC.
Dairy and Gluten Free, Diabetic and Vegan Friendly; Reservations recommended and required for Afternoon Tea; Metered parking available on West 16th, free parking available on side streets. Attentive service, pricing for tea service is comparable, reasonable portions. Open Tuesday to Saturday 11am to 8pm, Menu, cooking classes information and pricing available on their own website (http://www.indigofood.org/)