Showing posts with label jam. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jam. Show all posts

Kitten and the Bear (Toronto)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 1574 Queen Street West
Type of Meal: Brunch

When you hear “Kitten and the Bear”, you wouldn’t think of an artisanal preserves shop that serves great scones. However, that’s what you’ll find. Situated in Parkdale is a quaint shop and café in one. Their sitting area is small – there are two tables (one for two and the other for three) – but eating there is such a treat. Aside from the cute teapots and cups, the smell of baking scones is intoxicating, making me salivate as soon as I walked in.

My friend and I settled over the tea for two ($28). Firstly, a pot of loose leaf tea courtesy of Sloane Fine Tea Merchants. There was a large selection and we opted for the “Heavenly Cream”. I suggest skipping the sugar and milk as there’s a beautiful fragrance to the tea that ends up getting drowned out. Plus, the tea contains a vanilla and honey property to it that already makes it feel sweet.

If you and your companion can’t settle on the same choice, you can also each get something different – it’ll just be served in single cups rather than an entire pot.

At Kitten and the Bear there’s only one type of scone – buttery plain scones. There’s not a single current, shred of cheese or zest of lemon added to them. Trust me, you’re not missing anything as they are great the way they are. A slightly crunchy crust that encapsulates a dense but fluffy centre.

The preserves is of course what the shop highlights. We’re able to choose three from the four available that day:
  • Black Plum and Sloane’s Earl Grey Tea: delicious, juicy and sweet. I really couldn’t get the essence from the Earl Grey but the plums were great. I ended up picking up a jar to take home.
  • Spiced Fuyu persimmon: it was described as similar to pumpkin pie. Indeed, the cinnamon and nutmeg spices were evident but the persimmon very subtle.
  • Blackberry and balsamic: we didn’t choose this as were told it is generally paired better with savoury elements (such as roasted pork) or with a cheese board.
  • Winter spiced banana: the fruit was very evident but a tad sweet for me.

The co-owner, Sophie, threw in a fourth one for good measure – pear with mulled wine. I’m certainly glad she did as it ended up being my favourite of the selection. There was a similarity to the black plum, but less sweet and the addition of mulled wine such a wonderful combination. I couldn’t help but also purchase a jar of this as well.

That’s the beauty of the tea tasting. You’re able to try out the preserves in their full glory before purchasing. We sampled each one, mixed them into the thick clotted cream and combined to our hearts content. After deciding on our favourites, we could purchase a jar to take home for $10.

Not included in the tasting, but offered for sale, were premium preserves ($14) made from unique ingredients such as red currant with fresh elderflower and mango nectarine with Linden honey.

As we didn’t want to waste any of the jams, we ended up getting another scone to share ($3). If you want to skip the tea, you can also purchase the scones to go ($4 and includes one jam. Additional jams or clotted cream for $1). But, trust me, try to get a table. That heavenly smell of baking scones and simmering preserves is part of the experience. If you get a chance, check out Kitten and the Bear – a great place for brunch. 

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