It has been a couple of year since Mama Lam and I went to Fairmont Hotel Vancouver for its signature Afternoon Tea. Back then, it was still at the 900 West Lounge on the ground floor. This year, as they are giving the ground floor space a face lift, they temporarily turned the 15th floor ball room into The Roof, continuing its service of breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. I thought, why not taking afternoon tea to a new height?! I decided to take Mama Lam there for a Mother’s Day celebration.
We went on the Saturday instead of Sunday. Believe it or not, a day difference equals $10 difference in price. The Afternoon Tea is priced at $49 per person where on Mother’s Day it’s $59.
As usual, we were given an extensive tea menu with a variety of black, green, white and herbal tea. This time I chose the Lovers Leap, a floral black tea. Not super fragrant on the nose, but as you drink it, it had a lot of floral note on the palette.
Interestingly, the afternoon tea was more than just the typical tiered tower of scones, finger sandwiches and pastries. We first received a Honey Yogurt Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries. You can see the vanilla bean seeds in the panna cotta; the panna cotta was creamy with the right texture and the fresh berries made a good pairing.
And then there’s more! We also got an Asparagus Tart and Apple & Chicken Roll. The Asparagus Tart was a bit light in flavour, which was probably a good thing because asparagus could have a strong green, grassy taste. The Apple & Chicken Roll reminded me of sausage roll, but a healthier version. It wasn’t very oily and the puff pastry was light and fluffy.
Here comes the tower! The first tier were finger sandwiches: Chicken Curry, Smoked Salmon & Egg Salad Caviar, Smoked Gouda and Ham, Cucumber Truffle Cream. They were the classic finger sandwich selections for afternoon tea, except these were elevated with ingredients such as caviar and truffle cream. The flavours were all on point and very enjoyable. I especially liked the Smoked Salmon Egg Salad; they put two layers of smoked salmon so the flavours were a lot more prominent than the usual ones.
On the pastry plate, we had Raspberry Tart, Lemon Meringue Tart, Chocolate Truffle, Cassis Macaron, Chocolate Vienetta. They were all of perfect bite size, and presentation was definitely better than our last experience at the 900 West Lounge. My favourite was the Chocolate Vienetta, which was like a chocolate mousse cake, decadent without being too sweet. The Cassis Macaron also had good flavours, and chewy, nutty texture. The lemon curd in the Lemon Meringue Tart could be more tart; it was still a bit too sweet for my liking.
Lastly, of course, the scones: Plain Butter Scone & Apricot Scone, with the classic Devonshire Cream & House-made Blueberry Jam. The Plain Butter Scone was buttery yet light, and it was just a perfect combination with the Devonshire cream and jam. The Apricot Scone was a surprise; it had a nice citrusy flavour combined with dried apricot pieces throughout the scone. It didn’t work with the jam, but definitely a good match with the clotted cream.
Overall, I was really impressed by how much they’ve changed, for the better, since the last time we went. The food looks much better, and it feels like they’ve put more care and thoughts into putting them together, which is very consistent with the Fairmont brand.
In the end, this was actually a lot of food. It was basically lunch for us and we still couldn’t finish everything. We went home with some scones, and other customers also left with some pastries and scones to take home.
Because of the unique view and setting at The Roof, and because it’s Mother’s Day, many of us were taking pictures like crazy. The servers were very friendly and frequently offered to take pictures for us and other customers. Don’t be shy about taking pictures here – this space is only open for a few more months!
Two years ago it was $36 per person, and I thought a $13 jump was a bit much. But then, when you look at the amount of food you receive and the location you are at, $49 isn’t so bad. Mom approved of the view and food, and was super happy that I took her there. They not only elevated the location of the restaurant, but also the food quality and presentation. The Roof is only a temporary restaurant as they renovate the ground floor – so I recommend you to go check it out soon. The view of downtown Vancouver is pretty spectacular especially on a sunny day!
The Roof at The Fairmont Hotel
900 West Georgia Street, Vancouver