Afternoon tea at Annvita Tea Room

On Halloween 2015, Yuki and I decided to try the newest tea room near my place, Annvita Tea Room. It opened a few months ago but I never got a chance to visit it til now.

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Don’t let the grungy parking lot or the neighbouring chicken store fool you, it’s a pretty tea room inside.

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Here is their menu. Probably the prettiest but also the worst menu (read: overwhelming) I’ve ever come upon. It makes the mistake of having too much content. I love reading but I do NOT want to sit around reading through a menu. I’m not kidding. There are tabs on the menu and someone needs to come by and spend 10 minutes explaining everything for you to understand.

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Like most tea rooms, they do have tea leaves for you to smell but they have SO MANY teas to choose from that they have the samples divided per table.

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After navigating through that menu, we finally decided on afternoon tea for two which came to $90. The tier arrived before the tea which is not usually the case.

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FINALLY the tea arrived. This was actually pretty good. I mean, probably one of the better teas I’ve had to be honest. What’s the secret? They brew the milk IN with the tea. Blasphemous. But I don’t care, I’m not a purist. It was exactly the kind of sugary and creamy goodness I was looking for. 😛 It even came with a mousse with cracker.

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For the savory tier, we have a ham and cheese croissant, a chicken salad croissant, shrimp & salmon cracker, more ham, and pineapples wrapped with bacon. (Yo dawg we heard you like pork)
As you can see, they only gave us one of each sandwich which baffles my mind considering how much we’re paying for this. So I ended up with the ham. It was OK. I can’t comment on the chicken. The shrimp salmon cracker was also mediocre. I found the bacon too dry – saved by the pineapple. The ham slices were dry but ok for flavour.

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Now this is where they shine! Their scones were delicious. One was a regular scone the other a rose flavoured scone. The seafood puff tasted too seafood-ey. (Before you say that I’m picky, let it be known that I was a pescetarian for over 2 years so when I say something is seafood-ey, I mean it!) The madeleines were forgettable. Yuki said the kiwis were green/raw.

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Their tiramisu was delicious! But why is there only one?! The macarons were also soft so I was pretty pleased with that. I could have done without the other two desserts.

All in all, it was a decent tea room. Would I return again? Not if they continue to charge that much for half the portions!
However, if the downtown area is too far for you, Annvita is a decent option uptown.

Annvita Tea Room
annvita.com
5437 Yonge Street,Toronto, ON
(647) 505-5666

Afternoon tea at Tintagels Tea Room (Erin, Ontario)

Over the weekend, we drove to Erin, Ontario for a little day trip. We decided to try out Tintagels Tea Room & More for High Tea – again, it was actually afternoon tea as high tea is served closer to dinner.

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It had this really cute sign at front which is next to Annie’s Antiques and owls nest gallery. But I found the display of clothes at the window very off-putting. It made it look like a thrift shop.

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It was a very cozy place with displays everywhere!! And I mean everywhere.

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See what I mean? They had several displays of tea related accessories.

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And this!!! LOL.

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I found this neat book nestled in a book case next to me.

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And it contained photos!! So Tintagels is a place in the UK which makes sense since their tagline is English fare with a British flair. Today I learned that English only refers to things/people from England whereas British refers to things/people from the United Kingdom which encompasses Scotland and Wales, and what have you. But of course, they prefer to be referred to as Scots or Welsh rather than Brits.

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It’s like Le Neuf Cafe, they had this little counter where you pay also with cute displays of dessert and little trinkets. Oh, they also serve local(ish) beer!

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This is their menu. “High tea” was only $13.95. It came with cucumber sandwiches, Scone with Devonshire Double Cream or Lemon Curd, Butter, Rootham’s Gourmet Preserves and your choice of any Dessert & pot of Tea.

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As per usual, I got myself the Peppermint tea. BP got some exotic fruit tea (as always). You know what, normally the fruit teas are a bad idea but the one they had was pretty delicious!!

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Your only choice of sandwich was…cucumber but they were pretty tasty. One of the best cucumber sandwiches I’ve had. You could really taste the butter. (Pro tip: Spread butter on your sandwich so that the bread doesn’t get soggy) And that is one big scone!!! BP really enjoyed it. Since we ordered two sets, we were able to get devonshire cream, lemon curd and two different kinds of preserves.

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The desserts came on their own. I ordered my butter tart. Delicious! They had such wonderful choices, I had a hard time but I settled on a tart.

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BP on the other hand ordered a triple berry crumble. If you like warm cooked fruit then….this is the way to go. I wouldn’t recommend it though. Mind you, their clientele were people over the age of 50 so… maybe they like that?

I would definitely recommend the tea room IF you’re up for a day trip in Erin, Ontario. Otherwise, you can always find other places closer to home for afternoon tea. Please check out my afternoon tea ratings page. Since Erin is not really considered part of the GTA, I will not include it. Next time, I’ll make it to the Old Curiosity Tea Shop in Markham Village.

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Tintagels Tea Room & More
Website
50 Main Street, Erin, Ontario, Canada, N0B1T0
519-833-0019

Lunch at Fancy Franks

Well, we were on our way to Patois for brunch but then realized too late that it was not open for brunch on Saturday. Since we were already downtown, we decided to check out Fancy Franks.

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It’s a small-ish place on College and it had communal seating – which seems to be a trend nowadays. Rub elbows with a stranger! Well, since it was a hotdog place, I didn’t really mind.

At first, you are overwhelmed with a big selection of different types of franks. I ended up ordering the Fancy 90210 which is bacon, avocado and tomatoes on a frank. BP ended up ordering the chili and poutine.

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You are also able to customize your franks with these toppings.

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The Fancy 90210 was delicious. And if you go there hungry, make sure to order a side because that one frank is not going to fill you up. As heard from my neighbour, he could eat another one! The franks taste like the meat in sausage rolls.

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The poutine was delicious but tasted like regular poutine. To me, poutine is..well…poutine. The only time I would ever notice a difference is when the poutine uses different potatoes instead of fries or they use shoe string fries (don’t do that!!). They also have different types of poutine you can order.

The chili was also good but again, it tasted like chili to me. It was very meaty – not too liquidy which is good. I ended up using the leftovers in mac and cheese.

All in all, it was a good place to go. I don’t have a mouth big enough to eat those fancy burgers but with franks, it’s small enough to fit. Haha.

Fancy Franks
Website: fancyfranks.com
326 College Street, Toronto, Ontario
416-920-3647

Visit their website for their other location

Winterlicious 2015 – Byzantium

Yesterday was the last day of Winterlicious 2015 in Toronto. I should have posted this post right after dinner on Monday but I honestly didn’t know anyone else going (to benefit from my review) and I didn’t want to recommend this place to anyone either. Sorry, Byzantium. You weren’t even my first choice. My group wanted to go to Trevor but they were closed on Mondays!

In terms of service, it was pretty good. The server we had was actually the manager and he was quite friendly. However, sometimes that’s not enough. The food at Byzantium was lacking. Disappointing even.

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Prior to dinner, they gave us a bread basket with flat bread and other things. The flat bread and hummus may have been the highlight of the dinner. That says a lot.

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We all had the poutine for our starters and it was not bad. It tasted pretty good despite looking kinda blah. It could use more cheese though!

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For the main, the group (except for BP and myself) ordered the lamb but according to my friend the main dish “got progressively worse. It was not worth the effort”. According to another friend, it was “aiite”.

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But I have to say, despite my friends’ comments, I think my pasta of the day (bowtie pasta with chicken) was worse. The chicken surprisingly didn’t taste dry and was not too bad but the sauce and the entire dish was just bland.

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BP was a rebel and ordered the macaroni and cheese from the regular menu. It was the best dish of the night, I think, despite looking like death.

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For dessert, I got the chocolate cake. The presentation was worse than grocery store-bought cake. It tasted on par with store-bought cake. And that stick of chocolate it came with? What even is it? Does not taste like what I thought it would be. It looks like a wafer with chocolate hazelnut inside? Nope. Nope.

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I tried the keylime pie and it tasted like lemonade to me. I don’t eat keylime pie so I cannot judge. To quote my friend, “It ended on a sour note”.

Would I come back again for food? Most likely not.

I believe there’s a DJ after a certain time. I still wouldn’t come back for that. Their women’s bathroom smells horrid! I gagged several times.

If you’re interested in checking out…. cause I mean it seems some people like it, then here’s their info:

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Byzantium
Website: Byz.ca
499 Church Street, Toronto, Ontario
416.922.3859