Friday, 24 August 2012

PPP: Lash Cafe - High Tea

My social functions are always disasters, maybe they're disasters because I call them social functions? In any case, if I invite ten people to something, a party, heading out to lunch, I would be lucky to get four people coming over, and that would include my close friends. I think this has something to do with the fact that shift workers require a month's notice for anything to happen, since we're so tightly bound to our work roster.

Another reason is that my friends frequently get sick, which is far enough, and some of them are flakes. You know who you are, you're that friend of mine who never calls me or RSVPs to tell me they're not coming, who falls sick last minute, who forgets we're going on the day, who has to go to something else last minute, who can't find a free day in their entire month despite working less than full time or working fixed shifts.

So high tea was supposed to be a repeat of my  high tea last year. I had gone to Stamford Hotel's high tea with NZ-A. and NZ-H, just the three of us out of almost, I can't remember the number but it was a lot. I booked it for six people from memory, and that's the only people who turned up despite having almost a month's advance notice. It was a lot of fun, we all dressed up nicely, chatted for about four hours on the waterfront whilst drinking tea and eating tiny sandwiches and desserts before going bag and tea shopping in Queens Street Mall.

Later at work, I was approached by many people who had found out and told me that they would be happy to go again in the future because it was "their cup of tea". Long story short, no one turned up. Except L., cause she is a solid friend and JGirl who lives on the rich north side.

It was bad from the get go. I had a 1pm booking and I had to leave home at 11am due to the long commute. I already had a bad feeling about the whole thing and this was only confirmed when I began texting people. Some people were sick, some forgot it was on, some were out of town and some never replied. My only pair of heels snapped and I was talking to a friend and I had to go to that damn tea party. I got lost in Morningside, went the wrong way twice, couldn't text L., about where I was, couldn't get through to the cafe via phone to move forwards my booking and life was just terrible.

Found you sucker.
That being said, the cafe held my booking until I got there almost half an hour late, L., and her fiancee D., were there and I managed to wrangle J.Girl to come by as well. Its hard to find! Its bordered by a car wash station, a one way road, a cemetary and is its own little slip street. Even JGirl had trouble finding it and she lives within walking distance.

Oooh pretty, shiny everythings.
Its a super cute cafe. Designed by women. For women. No boys allowed. Its almost disgusting how cute it is. Its a very airy, brightly lit shop with super cute buyable art, jewellery and treats everything. The furniture made me squeal, that's how cute it is. I would happily have this entire shop transported into my house.

I would steal these chairs if I thought I could
The view from our spot. Cute cute cute.

Love conquers all sign. Super fucking cute
Cute jewellery that is super expensive

I didn't manage to get a picture of where we were sitting, as I didn't want to shuffle D., and L., out. This was the area opposite us. I really liked the iron framework of these chairs, although they don't really look very comfortable. They are very pretty though. We have the same table as they did, except higher and squarer, a small garden type table against a full sized coffee table.

Am I in Japan? Everything is so cute.
Here is our GF and normal diet high tea! Accompanied by our menus! The GF was marked with a skewer of wood with the burnt words GF on it, and the bread is noticeably fluffier and has seeds in it.

GF side

GF side turned around :>

Flour food :D

The menu!

I think the display from the other high tea I went to at Stamford was a lot prettier, this looks like an industrial cake display. I also felt the garnishing is a bit cliche with the dusted icing sugar and mint twig. While the savoury layer has some ancient branch like rosemary decorating it. The proportions looked small but boy were we wrong! I'll explain what's what when I go through individal bits, I'm pretty sure I had one of everything hahaha.

Cream cheese and smoked salmon sandwiches! A chicken and filo pastry with a blob of some super tasty tomato relish! We spread that bad boy on everything, we scraped the dishes dry.

Tomato relish and a chicken filo pastry!

Classic smoked salmon and cream cheese

This is the juice I got, I was super tasty but I had just been walking around for an hour in a black dress. I had a sip at the very end and it tasted super sour I dunno why?
I will try it again! For science!
A potato frittata and a chicken sandwich from the GF side. The chicken looks a bit scary on second thought, a bit too pale pink. This was the first time in ages I've had GF bread and I found it to be quite good, fluffy with the seeds providing a good textual crunch. However, they seemed a bit dense and cakey almost? L., adored all the GF food, she kept peeling off the bread and making D., eat the filling hahaha. Those tasty little pepitos really made the bread!

Gross looking stuff.
My peppermint, lavendar tisane, I was the only one to actually have tea at high tea. Although JGirl did have a pot of green tea later on, once VGirl arrived.

Mmm herbally.
I didn't get any cucumber and mayonaise sandwiches cause JGirl admitted to later eating them all. There were egg and mayo sandwiches too, they were tasty as anything.

These are the normal caramel macademia slice, walnut brownie and the raspberry slice. The white chocolate was like licking a block of sugar, it was so tooth jarringly sweet. The brownie was very dense and dark, not quite as sweet as the other desserts. The raspberry was very crumbly, nicely balanced.

Top, going clockwise
Caramel macademia slice, walnut browning and raspberry and almond slice

These were the GF ones I picked. Same as the above with the addition of an apricot and date slice. I didn't find there was actually much different between the two which was a nice change for GF readers.

As above with the gross date slice.
This is what was left over. The thing on the skewer is a really bland vegetarian frittata, the egg was not seasoned, the carrot was 50% of the piece and it was all precariously held together by a toothpick.

We forced ourselves to eat everything in this picture.
We left the garnishes though.
At some stage we ate the little Lash Cafe signs, they were made of sugar plaques as well as the little cupcakes which were just plain butter cupcakes, heavily tinted with dye.

My sister's mocha and lemon slice, also GF. She said they were quite good.

When we were almost done with our meals, I had started to whine a bit about not receiving our scones when a waitress appeared with lots of apologies, saying we had been neglected. They arrived piping hot straight from the oven. The raspberry jam on the GF side was a winner, sweet, tangy and just tart enough to be a nice contrast to its sweetness. The strawberry jam was average, despite being homemade, a good consistency but just nothing fantastic.

Plain scones with strawberry jam and double cream

GF scones with raspberry scones.
The scones are a bit ugly and mismatched though, is my only complaint. The GF ones taste terrible, but L., liked them, they reminded me and D., of badly done scones where it gets all lumpy and floury.

My other major complaint about Lash Cafe is the hit and miss service. I've definitely had worse service, don't get me wrong, but we were sorta left to our own devices with not much interaction going on. We sat down, ordered our drinks, which was a bit weird because we were offered no drink menu and it was hidden away in the newspaper pile. There seemed to be no liaison between the front desk and the kitchen to get our high tea organised, no one came to reassure us that the food was coming, or that my vouchers had been accepted. We waited about 20 minutes before we received anything.

During the high tea, the cafe was constant but not busy. There were frequent times when the front counter was unmanned. While we were eating, I kept hearing frequent little murmurs from other parts of the cafe, the group that sat down beside us of about 5 older ladies, were apologised to on their second round of coffees. Apparently, the waitress who had been serving them had gone home and forgotten to inform anyone that they had wanted some more coffee. The same thing happened to us after an older lady took our order, and then she came back with a younger blonde lady, who had been making the coffees, and asked us to repeat the order to her.

I'm presuming the older lady was the owner, because she was very interested in how we started to choose GF, or if we were celiacs. All our celiacs actually bailed on us, but we managed to chat with her a little bit about it. She was very attentive, clearing away our tables, giving us our scones, but I think she kept getting pulled away to the back.

I also wanted a choice between strawberry and raspberry jam. Double raspberry jam would've been fantastic +_+

Lash Cafe on Urbanspoon

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