Capstone Tea & Fondue (Robson)

April 13, 2012
I bought a Groupon for Capstone several months ago, and it was somehow forgotten until I realized it'd be expiring in a few days. So I hurriedly checked the online reservation system and noticed that all time slots for the day were available (or so I thought). When I arrived, the place was packed and I was told that they were fully booked until after the Groupon expiration date. After a somewhat lengthy discussion with a very accommodating waiter, he promised to give me a table in an hour. So I headed to Blenz down the street for a matcha latte ($2.99 between 3-11 pm until May 10, 2012) as I waited.

An hour later, the place seemed less busy and I finally got to sit down. We started with a chocolate fondue for two ($22.95) which came with fruits (strawberries, pineapple, banana, green apple, grapes), pastries (banana bread, lemon cake, mini shortbread cookies), 6 ice cream truffles (green tea, vanilla), and 2 fondue dips (almond rocher, coconut flakes). The presentation was really nice and I think just looking at the food would cheer anyone up. I don't have many comments regarding the food since you can't go wrong with fresh fruit and ice cream. The pastry items weren't spectacular, but the cakes were soft and moist, and the cookies had a rich buttery flavour — good enough for dipping in chocolate. The coconut flakes were tasty, but they were also extremely sweet.

The cheesecake fondue for two ($24.95) came with creamy cheesecake chunks, the same pastry items as the chocolate fondue, 8 ice cream truffles and 4 fondue dips including graham crumbs, roasted peanuts, caramel crumbs and rainbow sprinkles. The cheesecake was served cold, but just like the ice cream, it started to melt after a while and became difficult to pick up with the fork. My favourite fondue dip out of all six was the salted caramel crumbs. They were sweet and crunchy with a hint of smoky savouriness. After comparing the chocolate and cheesecake fondues, I think the chocolate fondue is much better value. But maybe that's just because I'm not crazy about chocolate-covered cheesecake.

We each got an individual pot of gooey semi-sweet dark chocolate heated by a tealight that kept it warm throughout the meal. It wasn't overly sweet like I had expected and there was more than enough for dipping all the food. The chocolate was velvety smooth and rich without being overbearing. It didn't turn solid after cooling (or I just didn't let it cool for long enough), so it could be messy since the excess chocolate dripped everywhere.

Overall it was a decent experience despite having to wait over an hour for a table. I was happy enough that I managed to redeem my Groupon on time. It was partly my fault for leaving it until the last minute and not making a reservation. Though I have to comment that apart from that one waiter who offered to squeeze me into their fully booked schedule, the rest of the staff had a bit of an attitude. I guess I got lucky since almost every other walk-in customer was turned away. And in reality, at least 2-3 tables were empty during the time I was there, so I don't understand why they claimed to be "fully booked". In terms of value, it was an excellent deal with the Groupon. At regular price, I'd probably go for all-you-can-eat ($14.95/person or $9.95/person with purchase of tea).

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