Friday, September 06, 2013

Dauphine Bakery - Afternoon Tea


On my perpetual hunt for afternoon tea (aka high tea) in Edmonton, I discovered Dauphine Bakery, a well-guarded "secret" that is hidden away in an underground location on 104 St (and Jasper). Afternoon tea is not advertised on the menu and is not available for walk-ins, although you're welcome to enjoy the pastries on display and other menu items without advance notice. In order to secure an afternoon tea set ($25/person), you must make a reservation 48 hours in advance and leave your credit card number on file in case of no-show.
If you are interested in other afternoon tea places in Edmonton, you can check out my posts on Fairmont Hotel Macdonald and Hotel Selkirk.


According to this large blackboard in the store, all food products are made by hand in small batches with no preservatives, stabilizers, dough enhancers and artificial flavours. In addition, locally sourced and organic ingredients are used when possible.


When we arrived, a table had already been set up for us. We were offered a list of 9 teas with complimentary refills and the option to try multiple teas with no extra charge.


I tried most of the teas on the list, and my favourite by far was the Vienna Opera Ball, a smooth blend of black and green tea with a delicate hint of jasmine.


The meal started with a small serving of tomato soup and a savoury choux pastry with cracked pepper and cheese. The soup was flat in taste and smelled a bit fishy, but I appreciated having something warm to start. The pastry was mild but still had good flavour, and it had a light and fluffy texture.


Tea Sandwiches:
cucumber with creme fraiche, smoked salmon and capers with creme fraiche, egg salad and dill on pumpkin granary bread, brie and apple strawberry jam on baguette.
I really liked the pumpkin granary. It was loaded with wholesome seeds but was still very soft and fresh. The savoury brie and sweet jam was also a good duo on crusty baguette. I didn't enjoy the cucumber and smoked salmon as much because I felt that the large amount of creme fraiche dominated the flavour.


I was expecting a plate of mini desserts to finish off, but then a platter of scones arrived, followed by a full 3-tiered dessert tower! Talk about good value for your money.
The blackcurrant-dotted scones were soft and moist with a refreshing lemon scent.


Desserts:
creampuff with vanilla bean cream, lime tart, almond meringue, lemon cream sandwich cookies
I was shocked when this tower arrived; I wouldn't call these mini desserts at all. The most impressive item was the lime tart. Tarts really are a specialty here; there's a reason this place used to be called Queen of Tarts (before they changed their name due to a trademark issue). The shortbread crust had the perfect balance between butter and sugar, and the texture was satisfyingly firm and crunchy. The filling was citrusy but not too tart. As for the other items, the creampuff and almond meringue were standard, but the sandwich cookies were overly soft and not buttery enough.


On a second visit, the food items were completely different. The staff told me the food in the afternoon tea set changes depending on what ingredients are available and what the chef feels like making. I really enjoyed the chicken salad on baguette because of the fresh juicy grapes. (Those dark chunks are not olives!) The lemon tart did not disappoint, but the surprise was in the delicious florentine cookie loaded with glazed nuts and dried fruit.


These scones were not as nice as the lemon blackcurrant ones. They tasted a bit doughy and lacked flavour.


Not all items in the afternoon tea set are good, but $25 is an awesome price to pay for the amount of food you get. This is a place I can see myself coming back to time and time again.

Dauphine Bakery and Bistro on Urbanspoon
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5 comments:

pyaria on September 07, 2013 9:46 pm said...

Now THIS looks absolutely delicious. Great presentation, everything looks carefully crafted, good attention to detail, a nod to food aesthetics, etc, etc. =)

krispy on September 08, 2013 2:25 pm said...

I brought my coworkers here and they were really impressed too.
But what are you comparing to when you say "Now THIS looks absolutely delicious"?

pyaria on September 08, 2013 6:23 pm said...

The other (mostly recent) photos you have of food.

Unknown on March 25, 2014 5:46 pm said...

Are they still in business, as this is 2013 review? Thanks.

krispy on March 25, 2014 7:05 pm said...

@Unknown: Yes Dauphine is still in business. According to their Facebook page, they had a temporary building issue a couple weeks ago and was closed for a few days, but they reopened on Mar 15.
Please make sure you call 48 hours in advance if you want to try the afternoon tea!

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