Sunday, July 29, 2012

High time for tea at Le Maître Chocolatier

Do you realize that whenever someone tries to imitate a British accent, their back suddenly goes ramrod straight, their hands imitate the dainty posture of holding a teacup, and their first inclination is to ask - in an altogether posh, but decidedly not British accent - something like: "Would you like some tea?" Because, I guess, that's how we think all Brits behave - like the royal family.

Well, if you do want to feel prim, posh and proper for an afternoon, you can do so at Le Maître Chocolatier. A chocolate shop on the ground level and a tea room on the second floor, Le Maître Chocolatier serves High Tea from 2pm to 6pm from Tuesdays to Sundays.

I know I've been neglecting my blog, but that's because I've been on vacation for the past month or so. I'm still not back home yet, but have a previously prepared blog post to share with you all! And once I get back, I'll have lots of interesting food pictures to share with you all. :) Anywho, on with the post!

Accessibility - Grade: A
Le Maitre Chocolatier is located on on Sherbrooke street, near where it intersects with Guy. From Guy-Concordia metro, it's around a five-minute walk.

Service - Grade: A
The service here is very good, but it's to be expected with an establishment where the experience is a major selling point. Our waiter was a very sweet and soft-spoken gentleman, who made sure to check in on us often and explain everything to us thoroughly. I've never seen anyone apologize so profusely for having brought us the wrong pot of tea before.

The ambiance is very nice. The decor is in the style of an English tearoom, with lots of porcelain and china decorating the walls and tables, and each table seems to have its own teacup set. It is a very dainty and elegant venue, so if you're dude who is concerned about your macho image, this might not be your scene. After all, most of the customers seem to be women or elderly folk.

Food - Grade: B-
To be honest, there isn't anything particularly special or impressive about the food. As I mentioned earlier, the selling point is really the ambiance and the experience, especially if you've never had High Tea before.

Red fruit tea

After you're settled in, the waiter will bring you a tray with samples of different teas for you to choose from. Each person can choose their own flavour of tea, since everyone gets their own pot, and if ever you finish your pot and want to try another flavour, you can do so with no surcharge.

High Tea for three
As you can see from the picture, the bottom layer consists mainly of sandwiches and salty finger foods, the middle layer has scones and the top layer has pastries and desserts. Usually, you move from the bottom layer to the top layer, but if you're a desserts first type of person, then hey, nobody's judging.

Each person gets two cucumber sandwiches, one smoked salmon shortbread, one egg-salad sandwich, one foie gras pastry and one goat cheese and cornbread cake. The salty layer isn't all that impressive. Overall, I found the bread in the sandwiches to be very dry, but other than that there wasn't anything that particularly stood out to me. The cucumber sandwich had plenty of spices on it, so it wasn't as plain as I expected. 

The second layer contained some pineapple scones, with fig jam, strawberry jam and vanilla crème fraiche. I've never had pineapple scones before, but these were quite good! The scones are buttery and fluffy, and by themselves, they're not very sweet, but with the pineapple pieces and the jam, it creates the perfect level of sweetness. They give you two scones per person.

The top level has some pastries and their store-made chocolates. They have one pistachio cupcake, one shortbread cookie with chocolate icing, one chocolate-covered ginger candy and one coconut ball per person. I thought the cupcake and the coconut balls were a little too sweet, and I'm not much of a ginger fan, but the shortbread was very good. I was expecting the chocolate icing to be very sweet, but it was really more bitter with just the right amount of sweetness. The texture of the icing had a fudge-like consistency to it, and seems to be more a mix of chocolate and whipped cream than icing.

Price - $$$
The price for one person is $32, before tax and tip. Luckily for me, I had a coupon that was $32 for two people. We had one extra person with us, so we had to pay full price for him. For the quality of the food, $32 is definitely not worth it, even if you are paying partly for the ambiance. If you can come across a coupon, though, High Tea is worth trying at least once.

Final Grade: B-
Like I said, if your goal here is the food, then look elsewhere, because there isn't anything particularly noteworthy about the food here. However, if you're looking for a new experience, or just a quaint place to hang out with friends (with a discount coupon in hand), then you might want to visit High Tea at Le Maître Chocolatier. What made the experience worth it for us was the nice waiter, the beautiful weather, and the warm ambiance of the tea room. Also, keep an eye out for the coupons on livigsocial; they come around fairly often.

How do we feel?

Le Maître Chocolatier
(514) 544-9475
1612 Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal
Le Maître Chocolatier on Urbanspoon


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