Adventures in Eating & Cooking
Tucked away within one of the small streets along Columbus Ave is the doorway to a slice of Lewis Carroll’s land of make-believe and tea parties called Alice’s Teacup. This cute little place is some combination of cafe, bakery, and shop that serves as a fun interpretation of what Wonderland’s incarnation should be.
Step into Alice’s Teacup and it feels like you’ve entered a boutique, which sells tea sets, books, fairy wings, and various other items that seem to have popped out of a storybook. Since the back cafe is packed (not surprisingly), Di and I waited for a while as we browsed through the paraphernalia for sale.
After a while, we were seated by a friendly, probably homosexual guy (he had the accent). The room had a female-to-male ratio of about 9:1, so I guess you could say Alice’s is rather girly. And based on the observation that our servers were either attractive young females or attractive gay males, I guess I would say Alice’s is very girly! That being said, I think Ewicka would love this place, and we should definitely take Oniichan here, bwahaha!
Di and I shared a pot of tea, which came with two scones. I was super-excited about the scones, since they’re my favorite baked breakfast items, plus Alice supposedly serves the best!
We got the goat cheese/basil and pumpkin scones. They were both very delicious, although I’m not a big fan of the goaty flavor in the goat cheese. However, I’m sure for those who love the taste (like my dad), this would be the perfect savory scone. The basil scent deepened the flavor and complemented the cheese. As for the pumpkin scone, I absolutely loved it! It was warm, fluffy, not too moist (scones tend to be on the drier side, or else they become muffins), and above all delicious. There was definitely a nice blend of autumn spices working their magic in the scone that balanced its light sweetness.
Di and I also each got a sandwich. She got the cucumber & watercress sandwich and I got the lapsang souchong smoked chicken sandwich. Since they came with de-crusted and cut in half, we traded halves. I really enjoyed both sandwiches. The lapsang was savory, with an amalgam of delicious flavors smoked into the thinly cut layers of chicken. Slices of Granny Smith apples added a crisp zing to each bite, and there was a light creamy goat cheese spread on the bread that wasn’t too goaty. I was quite impressed.
Di’s cucumber sandwich was on the lighter side, which made me feel clean and crisp as I ate it. It’s strange because I had initially feared that the lack of flavor in the sandwich would make it bland, but that wasn’t the case at all! The light lemony buttery spread on the whole wheat bread and clean-cut veggies gave the sandwich a very delicate flavor, a perfect dish for sipping tea with.
And my, was the tea lovely! The sandwiches were enjoyable and the scones were amazing, but what really makes this place Wonderland is the marvelous (or should I say marvellous) tea. There’s a whole book of various teas to choose from at Alice’s, and we decided on the special house blend: Alice’s Tea. It’s a mix of Indian vanilla black tea and rose petal Japanese green tea, which is quite a beautiful combination. It was light but aromatic with soft serene scents. I definitely tasted the hint of vanilla, a bit of floral-ness, and soft natural bitter leafiness, as I drank in my cup. Our waitress also gave us some milk in a small intricate pitcher and a bottle of Clover bear honey, so we could tweak our cups to our own respective tastes.
It was not only a pleasant meal, but overall a pleasant experience. I would love to come back to sample more tea and scones, and maybe some brunch menu options, but most of all I would love to come back here to escape from reality for a bit. The atmosphere is cozy and conversational, but also pretty quirky and childish. It’s a lot of fun, capturing the feeling of a little girl’s tea party except this time around you can share it in the company of real friends and not just imaginary ones you used your stuffed animals as. (Oh, and the bathroom is wondery too; there’s a Cheshire cat smile on the mirror, teehee!)