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Eatdrink #65 May/June 2017

The LOCAL food and drink magazine serving London, Stratford & Southwestern Ontario since 2007

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22 | May/June 2017 eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag or have food sensitivities, delicious baked good and healthful snacks from Petit Paris Crêperie & Pâtisserie, Boombox Bakeshop and Bliss Specialty Foods add to the tea experience. A menu of light and nourishing food offers a daily wholesome made-from-scratch soup prepared by the culinary team at The Spruce on Wellington just around the corner. Other items include organic Mason jar layered-salads with names like Plant Protein, Fruitoxidant, Kitchen Sink, Greek Out and Sexy Mexi. There is an “All ’Bout Cheese Board” featuring a selection of local Ontario artisanal cheeses like Gunn’s Hill Cheese, served with condiments, nuts and other accompaniments that they switch up, to keep things interesting. Wisdom: Café,Teashop and Japanese Crêperie Wisdom Teashop, founded by David and Vicky Chandler nine years ago, sold tea and tea accessories in London’s Old East Village. In 2016, their son Aaron took over and rebranded as Wisdom: Cafe, Teashop and Japanese Crêperie. A strong background grounding his knowledge of tea, Aaron has a foothold in the blossoming “tea wellness” market. Yet the business remains one of London’s best keep secrets. The small but sophisticated café is housed in a long narrow shop with a clean modernist sensibility and aesthetic. Aaron Chandler lived in Japan for three years and was impressed by how small cafés and restaurants there flourish through their ability to focus on each individual customer’s enjoyment. He liked that they did only a few things, but that they were done exceptionally well. He wanted to bring this experience and ambience to London. As well as 145 teas and a large selection of teapots and accessories, the café features sweet and savoury Japanese crêpes, gelato, tea drinks and Propeller coffee (brewed on a state-of-the-art Nuova Simonelli coffee maker). Chandler prepares tea-based gelatos in small batches, such as matcha ( a finelyground powder of specially grown green tea) and white chocolate, cookies and cream with Earl Grey, and more traditional flavours like vanilla bean and triple chocolate. Everything is made by hand in the café to ensure freshness and quality. Chandler prepares the crêpes to order in the small open kitchen at the back of the café. Compared to their French brethren, these Japanese-inspired, thin, savoury crêpes are less sweet and are served in a cone shape for easy eating. Try the crispy Applewood smoked ham For the plant-based crowd, the “Nuts for Cheese Board” features a selection of artisanal, handcrafted, and vegan cheeses made from cultured organic cashews. What makes great tea? Pierce Hamilton believes, “It starts with excellent quality leaf, with permission to naturally unfurl and fully reveal its flavours and aromas. Not crushed or crammed into a little bag or a ball.” The tea lounge owners create blends that don’t diminish tea’s nutrients, antioxidants and essential oils. They do the legwork, sourcing and selecting teas and tisanes from around the globe. An informative and exciting schedule of classes and events is also part of The Tea Lounge experience. www.tealoungelondon.com crêpe with melted cheddar, or the smoked salmon, dill and goat cheese — they are both excellent. We have also sampled his outstanding matcha ice cream crêpe with fresh strawberries and chocolate syrup. The menu is continually expanding to accommodate customer sensitivities, and now includes a gluten-free crêpe and a dairy-free vegan gelato. www.wisdomcafe.ca Matcha Ice Cream, Chocolate & Strawberry Crêpes (left) and an array of teaware (above).

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