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Archive for the ‘Tea’ Category

Tea lovers can find Walini Tea, a household Indonesian tea brand since 1998, in the International Foods aisle of 500 Loblaw locations across Canada, including the Real Canadian Superstores in Metro Vancouver. Currently, four flavours from the Walini Tea Bag collection are available in-store: Black, Jasmine, Green, and Lemon. The Tea Bag collection is perfect for those who are looking for an affordable, convenient option to experience Indonesian highland tea while still reaping the health benefits of the quality product.

Made from tea leaves grown at 800-2000m above sea level, Walini Tea products offer strong flavour, distinctive character and excellent taste. Walini Tea has its own tea plantation and processing operation that sees the tea leaves be processed directly from the farm into the finished product. It ensures consistency in quality and standards, as well as the preservation of the freshness and health benefits of the tea, including catechin and other polyphenolic content that are powerful antioxidants.

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Being Chinese, we celebrate Mid Autumn Festival 中秋節 every year. It is always on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar, promising the roundest, fullest full moon of the year. Part of the tradition is to eat mooncakes月餅, a baked pastry with fillings. The most popular versions we used to get in HK are with lotus seed paste or mixed nuts filling, plus salted egg yolk(s). Over the years, mooncakes have evolved. Bakeries have introduced other flavours of fillings such as red bean and lava custard; and some places sell a version called “snow skin” where the exterior is not baked and is made with glutinous rice flour.

Origin of Mooncakes

Do you know the origin of mooncakes? The one version that is forever stuck in my head is that it was created by rebellions in the Yuan Dynasty, who hid secret messages inside baked pastries, and distributed them to plan a revolt to overthrow the ruling Mongols, leading to the fall of Yuan and the rise of Ming Dynasty.

Buying Mooncakes in Vancouver

This year, Mid Autumn Festival lands on September 21, 2021. If you are interested in making your own mooncakes, check out Mama Lam’s recipe for Baked Chinese Mooncake with Salted Egg Yolk Custard Filling that I shared last year. Otherwise, if you are looking to support local businesses and buy some at a store, here are some ideas for you.

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As we continue to hunker down with no dining-in service available this year, it looks like Mama Lam and I are going for another afternoon to-go at home this year. If you are looking for something similar with your mom, here is a round-up of to-go afternoon tea available in Greater Vancouver. Pre-order is required but deadline is different for each place. Delivery may also be available.

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Looking for afternoon tea options for Mother’s Day 2021? Click here>>

It’s a yearly tradition that I would take Mama Lam out for either afternoon tea or brunch for Mother’s Day. I can’t believe we’re only one week away! Planning for this year is a bit different since there’s no dining in service, so we’re resorting to to-go offerings and they don’t require reservations weeks in advance.

If you are looking to do something similar with your mom, here is a round-up of afternoon services available as to-go this year. Pre-order is required but deadline is different for each place. Delivery may also be available.

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For Mother’s Day, I took Mama Lam to afternoon tea at Origo Club. They offered a special menu for the weekend, but surprisingly, it was at its regular price of $45 per person. Good on them for not raising the price on this special day because many places do. The number of items was the same as usual but with a different line-up of desserts.

Afternoon Tea at Origo Club

Food

Here is what we had for savoury items (starting from the left):

Savoury Items, Afternoon Tea at Origo Club

Tarte aux Épinards – tart shell, spinach, coppa, gruyère, egg. One of my favourite items in the line-up. The tart shell was buttery and there was a lot of spinach in the filling. The filling was well-seasoned too.

Canard à l’Orange – seared duck breast, orange coulis & segments. Another fave of mine. The duck breast was tender, smokey. I wish there were more pieces of this.

Chou au Foie Gras et à la Truffe – choux pastry, duck foie gras & truffle mousse. (more…)

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