Food Society adds a fun, alcoholic twist to your regular high tea. Every Saturday the restaurant offers a canape degustation with premium tea, a signature chilled tea cocktail or sparkling wine.
First up are the savoury canapés presented on two-tier stands. The goat's cheese tartlet is a delicate way to start. Shortcrust pastry is filled with goat's cheese, pinenuts and mint, then baked and topped with caramelised fennel and parsnip. There's a delightful balance of sweet and salty flavours, though I probably would have liked it slightly more savoury.
The salmon pastrami, however, is right on with savoury notes. Green tea smoked Tasmanian salmon pastrami is served with pure chamomile flower jelly, shiso and seablite leaves, celeriac cream on truffle salt toast. The truffle flavour isn't very obvious, but otherwise it's a tasty canape.
As for the duck vol au vent with pan fried chantarelles, chestnut cream and white truffle, it's probably my least favourite of the first round of canapes because the pastry shells are a bit on the dry side. The feta & ricotta pastry triangle though is crispy, flaky and delicious.
The second round is a line-up of finger sandwiches. Chicken sandwiches are prepared with char grilled brioche, house smoked chicken and tarragon, duck egg hollandaise, baby herbs and nasturtium flowers. There's a richness to the sandwich that's simple and moreish.
It's not high tea without classic cucumber sandwiches, so I'm pleased that there are triple-decker cucumber sandwiches on the menu. They're made on white bread with the crusts cut off - exactly how they traditionally should be. Chervil cream cheese, pink peppercorns and salmon caviar add a bit of fun and more modern appeal.
If you've picked the vodka high tea, you're in for a treat. The cocktails are excellent. Tea-based, fresh and fruity, they're a welcome change at the height of Sydney summer when you don't want to purely sip on steaming hot teas. I choose the watermelon caiprioska: house infused melon vodka, fresh lime, house infused watermelon black tea shaken and served with watermelon ice cubes. It tastes like summer, and the watermelon ice cubes are a nice touch.
We also try the Russian donkey tea, which is a blend of premium rye vodka, fresh lime and ginger infused syrup, ginger beer, fresh mint and green tea. Minty and tangy, this is downright delicious.
When the two-tier stand arrives at our table for the third time, it's laden with sweet treats. The sweet tea trifle in petit tea cups is filled with vodka cured rhubarb jelly, pomegranate and acai custard, vanilla sponge, sweet pickled north Australian hibiscus flowers, pomegranate and acai pearl salad. It's a floral dessert, but not my cup of tea.
The Czech-style honey cake is my favourite of the sweets. The layered honey cake is topped with salted caramel cream, housemade honeycomb and caramelised local pear. Even though it's a honey cake, it's not as sweet as some of the other sweet bites.
The alfajores, shortbread biscuits filled with dulce de leche, isn't crumbly enough for shortbread, though the dulce de leche is delicious. There's also a vibrant mini berry macaron and a dark chocolate truffle withlavendar and earl grey. I like that the menu incorporates florals and teas in their canapes. Very clever.
We finish off the meal with a short black instead of tea. Sugar lovers and tea enthusiasts will undoubtedly enjoy the high tea at Food Society. It's perfect for a girly catch-up, a hens or a fun date idea. The homely, eclectic decor makes it cosy and inviting.
Food Society's high tea can be enjoyed with premium teas, French sparkling wine, a vodka cocktail or a glass of Veuve Cliquot. The price difference is at $5 intervals starting at $45 and at its dearest costs $65 when including Veuve.