Updated 2018: Mosquito has closed permanently.
It's rare to find a late night dessert bar that is both sophisticated and sexy in this city but there is one establishment that happens to possess that elusive quality - Mosquito in Gastown. Opened since 2015, Mosquito has made a name for itself as an upscale dessert and champagne lounge. They have an extensive drinks menu filled with smart cocktails, wine and post-dinner drinks. Their decadent and perfectly plated desserts are also a draw although you'd never be able to capture a good photo since it has that sexy dark candle-lit ambiance that is mesmerizing for romance but not so much for the camera shutter - until now.
Afternoon Tea in a Dessert and Champagne Lounge
Over the summer, Mosquito introduced it's afternoon tea service with sittings on Sunday afternoons only from 1-4pm. It was nice to see the lounge in the daytime since I have only been there once during the evening. This time, in the light, the beautiful architectural details were definitely more perceivable and eye catching.
For a dessert heavy weight like Mosquito, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the savoury offerings were also just as delicious as the desserts. I enjoyed every piece on the tray and even the one dessert piece which didn't "work" for my taste - the miso chocolate tart - was impressive in it's presentation and unique flavour pairing. Another edgier offering was the savoury macaron filled with mozzarella cream and tomato sauce. The only other time I remembered having a savoury macaron during afternoon tea was at the HK Ritz Carlton.
I would highly recommend it for anyone who appreciates fine desserts. On the service side, it's professional but since it's a boutique business, you won't find the same level of attentiveness as you would when having tea at a hotel. However, it's mid-price position, amazing dessert selection and chic ambiance fully compensates for that. Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with this fresh take on afternoon tea, it dared to push the boundaries a bit while maintaining a certain level of sophistication and beauty.
- the afternoon tea service provides an opportunity to experience this sexy lounge in the daytime
- sweetss and savouries are both equally good
- the newest afternoon tea offering in Vancouver
- excellent value for money. High food quality and ambiance with a mid-range price position
- lots of other shops and restaurants nearby on Water Street for you to make a day out of your tea experience
Ambience: Sleek and sexy lounge with dark booth seating and wooden tables. High industrial ceilings with specially designed pendant light fixtures. There are 2 small tables by the windows. The restaurant is partitioned into two parts, one in the front and one in the back which is much darker in the daytime.
Scones: There were no scones offered, instead, we received a generous basket of tiny olive & orange blossom madeleines. They were tender with a delicate trace of orange blossom.
Savoury: All the savouries were surprisingly well executed for a dessert heavy weight like Mosquito. I was pleasantly surprised by the smoked salmon sandwich, the bread had a nice chew and paired perfectly with an herbaceous creme fraiche. The shell of the prosciutto quiche had a delightful buttery flavor and crumbly texture but the prosciutto itself could have been more flavorful. The savory macaron really took me by surprise. The macaron shell was expertly made and assembled with a savory filling of mozzarella cream and tomato sauce. The shell was full and slightly chewy and this was even consistent in the unassembled shell which did not appear to have undergone the same maturation process as the assembled one. All the savouries were of a good size. Not teeny tiny.
Sweets: The sweets exhibited all the qualities of desserts made by an expert pastry chef - correct textures, discernible flavours, complex flavour pairings finished with a sophisticated presentation. My favourites were the Chocolate Coffee Mousse with mango jelly, Eclair a la Fraise with a fragrant mascarpone rose creme and strawberry jam, and the Citrus & Avocado semifreddo which was had a smooth texture and played on varying degrees of tartness between the citric elements of yuzu curd, candied kumquat and honey yuzu foam. The Miso Chocolate Tart was a bit more ambitious flavour pairing and I didn't find that it worked for me. It was a little flat since it was neither sweet nor salty and it had a little smokey bitter aftertaste. I did appreciate the exquisite presentation of the chocolate caviar on top and that did taste good on it's own.
Tea: A small collection of teas. It's one of the most pared-down tea list I've ever seen for afternoon tea. There is 3 black, 1 green and 3 herbal. Well, I guess when you're at Mosquito you're not expected to enjoy hot tea since their alcoholic drink selections are sleeker and more unique.
Tea Ware: The desserts and savouries were presented on a hip 2 tiered wooden tea tray while the madeleines were nestled inside a dark blue napkin and served in a small bread basket which was lightly dusted with powdered sugar. The rest of the tea ware were simple and white.
Service: Professional service with attention to detail. It was a bit understaffed as we found it easier and faster to flag down someone at the service station for most of the requests we were making. Once found, everyone was more than happy to help.
♥ Tea Set $40/per person
(includes one pot of tea)
Basket full of mini madeleines, 4 savouries, 5 sweets
Can add alcoholic beverages for an additional cost depending on selection. Ranges from $13-$25
♥ Reserve by phone: (604) 398-3188
♥ Parking: Metered street parking along Water Street or a sheltered parking lot on 160 Water Street. It's called Easy Park and it also has spaces for EVO and Car2Go share cars.
Monday - Friday $2.75 per hour (daily maximum $13 before 6pm, $9 after 6 pm)
Saturday - Sunday $2.75 per hour (daily maximum $9)
Waterfront Skytrain Station is a 7 minute walk away.
♥ Address: 32 Water St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1A4
♥ TEL: (604) 398-3188