Review: Café Cristal's Mother's Day (Afternoon) Tea, Ottawa, Ontario
Once you step inside, you're transported to an enchanting venue with beautiful hanging flowers and stonework.
The inside dining area of Café Cristal
Lots of pretty teaware lined the entrance walls, along with the Eiffel Tower
The Tea Offerings:
There wasn't a selection of teas that were provided to us once we sat at the table, but the tea that was brought out in the teapot tasted like Earl Grey tea; it was delicious nonetheless.
Really nice Bombay blue teacups and teapot
The Scones and the Main Event
For this Mother's Day afternoon tea, we weren't provided with a menu at the table so we didn't know exactly what we were eating per se, however, the server did come and explain each item. We found a copy of Café Cristal's generic menu at the café and it did list the following items under their tea service:
- Chicken Chipotle Sandwich
- Chicken Italiano (Pesto) Sandwich
- Cucumber and Cream Cheese Sandwich
- Steak with Red and Yellow Peppers on a Mini Tortilla Cup*
- Ham and Cheese Sandwich*
*These were presented as specials from the chef for Mother's Day
- Chocolate Truffles
- French Dessert (Macarons)
- Chocolate Cake
- Strawberry and Vanilla Cake
- Lemon Meringue Squares
The tiered cake stand with the savouries, scones and sweets
The tea sandwiches were nearly all made with chicken, which while presented in unique ways, was a bit uninspiring
The scones were made with blueberry and white chocolate and were dusted with powdered sugar. They were also served with blueberry jam and Chantilly cream. It was tasty, but a bit too sweet for our palates.
The yummy blueberry and white chocolate scones
The scones also came served with another pastry, topped with the Chantilly cream, blueberry jam and an edible flower
Cake. Cake. Cake!
Café Cristal's Mother's Day (Afternoon) Tea was a delicious treat. The sandwiches, sweets and the scones were tremendously tasty, however, with this being a café it's unclear if all of the items were made in-house or if some were purchased elsewhere at a bakery. The lack of a menu at the table was also challenging because it was hard to know what you were eating (Note: for those with allergies, we recommend you ask in advance for an ingredient list). For instance, the menu we found listed the sweets as "French dessert and 2 mini sweets", which is vague to say the least. We also didn't get a chance to select our own tea, which was disappointing. In terms of the price point, at the time of this blog the average cost per person for a multi-person party was around $73 CAD (including tax and tip).
☕️ ☕️ ☕️ / ☕️ ☕️ ☕️ ☕️ ☕️ [3 out of 5 tea cups]
We give Café Cristal's Mother's Day tea service 3 out of 5 tea cups. While the food was very delicious and beautifully presented, it didn't overcome some of the missing key elements that are common with a full afternoon tea experience in a restaurant - such as receiving a tasting menu with descriptors and selecting your own tea. Additionally, some of the food was overly sweet (e.g. scones that were made with white chocolate and blueberry and topped with powdered sugar), or lacking in dimension (e.g. there were several varieties of chicken sandwich). At a price point of $73 CAD per person, it's a bit pricey for the level of service that's offered, however it's a nice, laid-back atmosphere should you wish to try out a more casual afternoon tea experience.
For details about booking this afternoon tea service, you can reach out to Café Cristal at: 1-(613) 843-8989.