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Afternoon Tea with Beta 5 Chocolates

22 Mar

413 Industrial Ave
Vancouver, BC
V6A 2P8

T: 604 669 3336
www.beta5chocolates.com

A few weeks ago I saw a tweet from Beta 5 Chocolates announcing that they would be hosting a limited-seating afternoon tea. I jumped at the chance to attend because, if you didn’t already know, Beta 5 is one of the top chocolatiers in the city and they don’t host afternoon tea regularly (I was told the last time they held one was Mother’s Day 2013). I made it my mission to secure tickets to the event, which was held today, so that I could see how a chocolatier approaches afternoon tea.

Beta 5’s space is an industrial, yet contemporary, warehouse in a somewhat secluded part of town. After a quick walk-through their working kitchens, we were taken upstairs to a space that was elegantly decorated with ambient lighting, beautiful flowers, and stacks of cook books.

The setting for afternoon tea.

P1080555Who doesn’t love a beautiful bouquet of flowers?

Beta 5 showcased their modern approach to afternoon tea with an absence of traditional scones and mini-sandwiches, and instead we were given “An Afternoon in New Orleans”. On the menu was brioche with yuzu marmalade, a pecan pie cream puff, a café au lait beignet, bananas foster ice cream sandwich, and two tiny lemon tea cakes, all served with your choice of tea from a selection of four different teas. After we had finished this part of the tea, we were served a small tray of chocolates (some praline pecans and a cocoa nib truffle), although we were so full by this stage we took them home with us.

Tea and flowers…how delightful.

The selection for afternoon tea.

P1080552

Chocolates to finish.

I thoroughly enjoyed our experience and, although the menu wasn’t what I would associate with traditional afternoon tea, I liked it. I prefer when the choice is taken away and you are able to experience different tastes and flavours that you might not typically order (I have a tendency to stick with what I know). I had been told that the afternoon teas were likely to be happening more regularly so I’m looking forward to returning and sampling their other afternoon tea menus. Tickets were $25 and I booked them through the store.

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Weekend Round Up – April 2013

21 Apr

Like most people, I tend to get caught up in returning to my favourite restaurants/cafés/bars time and time again. Let’s be honest, it can be difficult to continue exploring new places when you know exactly where to find your favourite pizza/burger/pasta/whatever. It is a habit I occasionally slip into and so this weekend I made an effort to visit some places that I’ve had on my radar but hadn’t managed to get to yet.

Beta 5 (Industrial Ave/Main Street)

I have been wanting to visit their location for months and I finally made it there. As I’ve already tried their chocolates before,  I was keen to visit them more so for their fresh baked goods. Their baked goods absolutely did not disappoint – in fact, I returned today for another pastry hit. I sampled their butter croissant and their vanilla cream puff, which was texturally very interesting. It was similar to the cream puffs that Beard Papa sells however this had a firmer, crisper shell, which provided a really interesting texture to the bite. Just look at that bite…

Vanilla Cream Puff

Beta 5 makes some tantalizing pastries, such as their chocolate croissant and their twice-baked croissant, but I had to go with the original butter croissant. At just $2.50, this is incredible value. There was a lot of butter, a lot of layers, and many flakes – just how I believe a croissant should be. I would definitely recommend their baked goods (and their chocolates). I also picked up one of the Snickers-inspired peanut and nougat bar, which was well-worth the calories.

Butter Croissant

Hawkers Delight (Main Street)

This is a hole-in-the-wall on Main at King Ed and they do cheap (super cheap) dishes from Malaysia and Singapore, which happen to be some of my favourite cuisines. The restaurant is quite small and was an absolute mad house when I visited, which added to the charm of the place. With all the yelling and chaos I felt as though I could have been in humid, exotic South East Asia (for a few minutes anyway). I ordered the mee goreng, which is essentially fried noodles, and I was surprised at two things. 1/ The price – only $6.50 and 2/ They were really good! The reason why this place is so busy would come down to the value for money – serving sizes were huge and the prices are cheap.

Mee Goreng

Harvest Union (Union Street)

I’m really starting to love that stretch of Union Street that is home to The Union, The Parker, and Harvest Union. I visited Harvest with one thing in mind; green onion and cheddar waffles with bacon and a fried egg. It is one of the items on their brunch menu, however, once I got there the ramen with pork shoulder and candied bacon somehow managed to persuade me. Harvest is super cute inside and they have a simple menu (mostly ramen or udon) with a focus on local foods. Their small store also sells local products, such as Earnest Ice Cream and Beta 5. I really enjoyed the ramen, particularly with the addition of some chilli oil, which gave it a great kick. I’ll be returning for the waffles.

I love exploring new spots and this weekend reminded of how many great new places pop up in Vancouver and why I should continue to keep exploring, even when sometimes I just want something familiar.