After school finished in April, I visited Toronto for a few days before my graduation in June! Kitten and the Bear, a dainty, 1940s-style tea room locating in the area Parkdale of Toronto, has been on my to-visit list for a long time. It’s an artisanal shop, and a cafe as well. I first had their scone, thanks to my friend Ashley, and I loved it! And thanks to my other friend, Karen, whom drove me there! :)
The cafe/shop is small, but cozy and warm. The blackboard at the back is their menu for the cafe. It’s simple, and with two options: Tea for one (1 scone, 1 jam, 1 clotted cream, and 1 cup of tea or coffee), and tea for two (2 scones, 3 jams, 1 clotted cream, and tea or coffee).
However, be prepared to wait for a while if you wish to have teas there. There are only two small tables. Karen and I waited for 40 minutes before it’s our turn. We were not allowed to wait inside as the owners did not want the other customers to feel pressured, which is understandable.
We opted “tea for two”, and got to choose the tea from their wide selections of tea! We smelled all of them before making our choices. As always, I went for early grey. Since Karen and I chose different tea, the tea was served in single cups rather than an entire pot.
Taa daaa!! Here comes the scones! Kitten and the Bear only serves one type of scone – buttery plain scones. There’s not a single raisin, shred of cheese or zest of lemon added. But don’t worry, you’re not missing anything. The scones are served with their homemade jams (of your own choices based on the availability) and clotted cream, hence plain scones are the best way to taste the rich flavors of the jams. As you break the scone apart, the crust is slightly crunch and encapsulates a dense but fluffy centre.
The jams are definitely the highlight of the store. Since there were only three jams available on that day, we got to try all of them. From left to right: Black current, Plumcot & Rosewater, and Banana & Vanilla Bean. The owner also treated us with an extra jam, which was a rhubarb flavor, that he was making as an apology for keeping us waiting. The jam is made in a traditional way, which takes two to three days for production. All the ingredients are sourced locally. All the flavors were so good that I couldn’t help but left with two jars of jam.
However, 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, if you have the time, try to get a table. That heavenly smell of baking scones and simmering preserves will make you hungry again. Everything is prepared in-house, in an open kitchen. The owners are also super nice and friendly! If you get a chance, check out Kitten and the Bear! It’s a great place for afternoon tea.
Check out this interview if you are interested in knowing the stories behind it.
Oh! Montrealers, don’t worry. They are available at Société-Orignal now!
Kitten and the Bear
1574 Queen St. W, Toronto, ON