Airplanes & Tea @ Fairmont Vancouver YVR

Recently there was a group voucher fury over the afternoon tea special at Fairmont YVR, but I missed out! Fortunately, someone found that there was a coupon on this issue of the Richmond Review, page 20! It expires April 30, 2012, so you have a few more days to go try it! So I still managed to get a buy 1 get 1 deal.  Since it was still a bit expensive at $36 for two people, I saved it for a special occasion -- Mama Leung's birthday!

Since we were quite early (2pm, sharp!) and it was a Monday, we were seated by the window, where we could see the airplanes.  From that table, we could kind of see them take off -- well, actually only the beginning part.

Service here was really good (whereas you might recall we got absolutely no service at Van Dusen.  After we were seated, we were promptly offered a variety of tea leaves to see and smell before picking.  There were a lot, including some sweet teas, black teas, green teas and herbal teas.

My mother chose the maple maple, a sweet tea, whereas I chose the jetsetter, which is the Fairmont YVR's signature blend.  I preferred my maltier tea, whereas my mother liked her sweet tea.  We were also brought a timer for the teas -- it was recommended that the maple maple steep for four minutes and the jetsetter for five.

Before the tea tower, we each got a light and refreshing palate cleanser with strawberries, a blackberry, and a mint leaf. 

Afterwards, the afternoon tea tower arrived! Compared to Van Dusen, there was not a lot of food, but I wasn't worried about not having enough food since the pots of teas were huge.

We started on the bottom tier -- the sandwich with white bread was the aged cheddar and apple with fresh basil sandwich.  The apple slices were very thing and went well with the cheese.  I didn't really like the croissant filled with the egg salad because it was a bit dense, where as all the other breads were much fluffier.

The brown rye sandwich was filled with smoked salmon, cucumber and horseradish.  Even though it had cucumber, it was sliced very thinly and the smoked salmon and horseradish made the cucumber taste (I loathe cucumbers) negligible.  I actually liked this one the most. The most interesting one (though not my favourite) was the curried chicken and mango on the baguette slices.  We didn't really notice the mango, but the curry flavour was quite fragrant.

The scones on the middle tier were amazing! I guess my standards (thanks to Van Dusen) were fairly low, but these ones had cranberries and a slight lemon zest to them.  They weren't warm, unfortunately, but they weren't crumbly at all and quite soft.  We ate them with a general heaping of the Devonshire cream, which was incredibly smooth and amazing.  The strawberry jelly was alright, but we preferred the cream more.

After we both finished the first scone, we were already quite full, but of course, there was always room for sweets.  The lemon tart was delightful.  I love lemon tarts! The chocolate and hazelnut tart was really rich and smooth.  Not the biggest chocolate fan, but the small portion of intense rich chocolate was bearable.  The cream puff was also quite nice since there was a generous amount of vanilla filling inside and the choux was quite fluffy.  It reminded me of the choux pastries I made at home last year.  The honey cheesecake was alright -- it was quite soft and creamy, but didn't have a lot of rich cheese flavour to it.

For $36 per person, I probably would not go back, but $18 is somewhat more reasonable.  Still expensive though, since it's not something that is entirely that filling.  That isn't to say we weren't full by the end of it, but afternoon tea go-ers are paying more for the ambiance and service anyway.  Still, I thought the food here was quite good, service was good, ambiance was okay, but like most other fancy schmacy restos here, if you notice the decor, you can tell that there are lots of unfinished and rough edges.  Regardless, it's a nice environment with all the airplanes and huge windows.

Globe @ YVR
3111 Grant McConachie Way   
Richmond, BC 
(604) 248-3281  
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I think their portions shrank even more than before. I went back again last week and the sandwiches were tiny. But service was great and the waiter gave me lots of extra jars of honey to bring home. And he gave me a couple of buy 1 get 1 free coupons again LOL...

@krispy: did they get tinier!? hahaha yeah I got the extended b1g1 coupon as well. I was going to ask if you wanted it when I saw you next time! haha

In my many years of travel, I've never grown fond of airport food. This looks like something that might be worth the hassle of waiting though.

@David: Yeah the food options at YVR are not that great! Mostly fast food. Airplane food is also horrid, so I usually buy food outside and bring it on the plane with me :)

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