5968 Avenue De Monkland
I had the pleasure of meeting my friends Kay, who's at home with her first beautiful baby, and Em off on Spring Break, for classy afternoon of high tea at Gryphon D'Or. This little pub/tea house/bakery on Monkland has been a staple for scones and we have been finding any excuse to return for this lovely treat. On this occasion we were taking Kay, a true tea lover, who had never been.
High tea is served after 2:30 pm by reservation one day in advance. For 25$, you get served an assortment of house blended teas with little bites, tea sandwiches and sweets... oh and let's not forget the two fresh warm scones with homemade jam, curd, cream and butter.
This restaurant is quite tiny and we arrived at the tail end of lunch; the place was packed but our table was set and ready. It's to be noted that their lunch menu is very popular. As we arrived early, we were informed by the chef that the scones would be 15 minutes because they timed the batch for our 2:30 reservation. We were given samples of all the teas to smell. They have lovely house Celtic blends with anything from hibiscus to mango... but we all opted for our pas favourite, the Earl Grey Cream.
Nothing beats the scones from Gryphon. They have plain little scones as well as large triangular fruit scones, but with their homemade jam nothing beats these little beauties that are far from plain. They have the most perfect crumb and just a hint of sweetness. They feel so light and taste so luscious. The topping changes from day to day. On this day the scones were served with lemon curd (which in the past I loved, but found to taste a bit eggy on this day) and the standard raspberry jam, butter and cream.
And then the piece the resistance, the three-tiered tower of tantalizing goodness (alliteration alert!). The top had mini-pancakes topped with cream cheese and smoked salmon. The middle was filled with cucumber and heart shaped egg salad sandwiches. And finally, save the best for last, the sweets which on this day consisted of strawberry shortcakes, lemon squares, shortbread rosette cookie, date squares, cranberry shortbread bar (I think), mini cupcakes and ginger molasses pound cake. Phew.
As repeat customers, Em and I were a bit disappointed about not receiving the iconic triangle of Irish shortbread that the bakery is also well known for. Once we had the shortbread rosette, all was forgiven. Perfectly flaky and lightly sweet, it was just perfect. Another sweet worth mentioning is the ginger molasses cake, which was moist and tasted strongly of molasses.
Don't miss out on this spot for high tea, or even stop by for some tea and a scone at any time, no reservation needed, and take some frozen ones home from the bakery to tide yourself over until your next visit.