Thursday, November 19, 2009

Salon de Thé de Joël Robuchon: Still Like Old Times

When we were young, we used to all sit at Connaught Garden and stay and gossip about all sorts of random stuff over cups of hot coffee and a spread of food. Then the Star Ferry moved somewhere else, the coffee shop people we used to say “Hi” to all left. And we all grew up and moved away.

Back to present day.

Earlier this week, I decided to take full advantage of the beautiful pre-freezing cold weather by deciding to make it “picnic lunch day.” And wanting to relive the lovely days I spent in Central Park with Bouchon Bakery’s delicious goodies in hand, I hopped on a cab to The Landmark (by the way, loving the Christmas décor!) and escalatored up to Salon de Thé de Joël Robuchon for my picnic provisions.

(Flakey Almond Croissant)

After perusing the offerings at the salon, I settled for two cups of hot coffee ($40 each), a salmon and dill quiche ($32) and chicken mushroom quiche ($32), an earl grey tea cake ($40), on the friendly server’s recommendation, and a small almond croissant ($17). All to go. They wrapped everything neatly into a beautiful red paper bag and off I was, toting Robuchon goods in one hand, a hot coffee in the other and tottering my way to meet the Nelson at the old spot.

And things haven’t changed. Well, save the time constraint, Kenj being still in Australia, and that Robuchon coffee is about twice as expensive as Starbucks (which is already twice as expensive as any other place). We still mindlessly gossiped about unimportant things which were important to us though, and we still had a good time. As for the food – the quiches had a nice crumbly crust but alas, should have asked them to reheat it (duh, me). But the sweets were so delish. The earl gray cake made us fall in love with it a little, with its delicate sweetness and subtle layering of textures. And my almond croissant? Very flakey on the outside and nutty sweet on the inside. Still can’t compare to that Godsend of a croissant from Bouchon Bakery, NYC though but that REALLY set the bar and this is a close enough second for me. I was happy.

(Earl grey tea cake: our new love)

Too bad they didn’t have too much of a selection left by the time I got there. I was actually aching to try the crabmeat with avocado and tomato confit. And maybe I’ll try the sandwiches next time… or better yet, make a meal out of their pastries and desserts :) Ah well, to be honest though, it’s all about the feeling. It’s about sitting there, being happy, and feeling young again.

(An impromptu picnic)

FOOD: 3.5/5

Salon de Thé de Joël Robuchon ($$)
Shop 315, 3/F
The Landmark
16 Des Voeux Road Central

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