I’ve always wanted to try afternoon or high tea. It always looked so classy, posh, and delicious. Any time I see desserts beautifully plated, it wins me over and I want it. Now, afternoon tea tends to be very pricy. It’s usually minimum $30 per person. Some prices even go up to a whopping $70 each. I’m sure the high end tea places have much more luxury desserts and teas, but it’s totally out of my budget. Luckily, I found a Groupon for afternoon tea for two at Ruelo. How much was it? Only $30 for TWO! What a deal! So you know I definitely took the chance and bought a ticket.
This place is really busy. I never expected it to be as busy as it is. To start, you have to make reservations. If you’re making reservations week of, there are very little time slots available. I recommend you book a week ahead of time. However, it may only be as busy reservation- wise because of the Groupon. There were many others who were also enjoying afternoon tea when we went.
Our reservation at Ruelo was at 2pm on a Friday. When we initially walked in, it was packed. The line for take out desserts was lengthy and every table was full. It made us nervous that there were no reservation signs set out, but the table turnover was high, it wasn’t a problem. It seems like macarons are really popular at this cafe because everyone in the line was purchasing large and small packages of the rainbow coloured treats.
After about 5 minutes of waiting, we were lead to a bunch of tea samplers that we could take a swift of for scents to choose what tea we wanted. After about 10 minutes, we were seated and served our tea.
The strange thing about Ruelo is that they charge $0.75 for ice or honey. Honey makes sense, but ice?! Not to mention it’s an extra $0.25 for more hot water from what I’ve heard from reviews. I never asked for extra water because I was content with how much tea I had, but it was strange to me.
The desserts were beautifully plated. My friend and I started from the bottom plate and worked our way up. This was our first time at an afternoon tea place, so we took a guess that it was organized in a way that went from savoury to sweet as you go up the plate ladder. As you can tell, I’m pretty excited to try the treats. I was so excited, I picked a matching geometric top to match with the colourful desserts. Crazy? NAW.
Savoury Ruelo Treats
Mini Atlantic Smoked Salmon Sandwich on a Scone
This is my FAVOURITE of all the treats It’s so good, I want the recipe so I can make it at home. You would assume the bread is really crunchy from first glance, but it was actually quite easy to bite into. From my guess and assessment, I would assume it is a scone, dijon mustard and mayo spread, spinach, and smoked salmon. Pretty straight forward, but so pleasant. I haven’t tried anything like this before. It definitely tastes like a luxury treat. I think this would be great for a girls’ night in. Good job Ruelo!
Mini Shrimp Salad Sandwich Served on a Crispy Crouton
I love the mix of textures for this treat. The softness from the mangos and shrimp mixed with the crispy crouton. Unfortunately, I don’t have much to say for this. It tastes very much like something I’d make at home. It just tastes average to me. It has a beautiful plating and set up though with many vibrant colours.
Italian Prosciutto Wrapped Grilled Pepper
This treat reminds me of something you’d find at a banquet hall or event as small finger foods. You can definitely feel the olive oil in your lips after eating this. It’s not overwhelming or excessive, but I think this would taste good with a small thin slice of bread or crouton to balance out the moisture. You could taste a mild saltiness from the meat and then the beautiful, rich flavour of the grilled pepper on the inside. It also tastes like it has a hint of sun-dried tomato inside. This was quite pleasant, but definitely not something I’d expect from Ruelo. When I think of Ruelo, I think of bread and carb- heavy desserts. This was an interesting way to balance it out.
At first glance, this made me think of egg tarts. I honestly thought this was an egg tart with an onion in it. The onion definitely threw me off. But obviously, this isn’t an egg tart, so an onion really isn’t that strange. The puff pastry base was very flaky and nice to bite into. The quiche had a mild sweet taste to it. This dish has a very mild taste in general. As for the onion, I didn’t taste it at all. My friend on the other hand, did taste it.
Scones with Devon Cream and Kusmi Jam
Ruelo gave us 4 scones in total. You can see them pictures in the photo. The danishes are hiding in the back. They had raisins or blueberries baked inside them. These are really good as appetizers. They are crunchy on the outside, but light and slightly soft on the inside. They’re easy to break apart and are just the perfect amount of sweet-ness. We tried it with the Devon cream and Kusmi jam but found it tasted much better by itself. The Devon cream reminded us of cream cheese while the Kusmi jam tasted exactly like standard strawberry jam.
This danish honestly tasted like any other danish. I do like how it was small in size, making it easy to eat. It was sweet and flaked nicely as you bit into it. The sugar from the glaze helped hold all the layers together. A slightly messy snack, but very average.
Mango Cake (Daily Dessert)
I’m honestly not a huge fan of mango cake. To me, cakes shouldn’t be tangy- tasting, period…. Unless it’s pear flavoured.
I was disappointed by the creme brulee. The one I had at Sweet Note was much better. I had high expectations because Ruelo is a highly rated dessert cafe, but in terms of Creme Brulee, it’s a let down. The top was too burnt and you could really taste it. It’s the first time I’ve ever had to peel off the top layer because of the bitter taste. The sad part is, that’s one of my favourite parts about creme brulee.
Salted Caramel Macarons
I also had high expectations of macarons seeing as everyone goes to Ruelo for Macarons. I’m not a macaron expert at all. I don’t know the correct terms or details to rate and judge the macarons, but I have made them before and have consumed a fair share before. This is my personal opinion: It was too chewy. Yes, the outside was crispy, but the inside was so chewy, it made it very hard to chew. You could really feel it sticking into every nook of your teeth. It literally felt like you were biting into a low- quality chunk of caramel. The filling also oozed out as if it was over- buttered and greasy. I felt like the consistency wasn’t thick enough. This macaron was definitely a let down.
The savoury dishes were amazing. The smoked salmon was the highlight of this whole trip. The desserts on the other hand, a let down.
What’s your favourite dessert?