Corner Tea House & Asian Bistro 29 John Street North

This marked our first tour stop of the new year and what better way to start off the new year than to visit a new spot in Hamilton! New year, new tour spots. Kristin had been keeping an eye on some up and coming teahouses in Hamilton, this being one of them. Kristin and I fancy ourselves to be tea connoisseurs, more notably, bubble tea connoisseurs. I can fondly recall those days during our undergrad at McMaster when we would meet up between classes and mosey on over to Bob’s Bubble Tea House which soon became a fave hangout of ours. You could find us there perusing the list of flavours and, naturally, giggling over our indecisiveness! Trust me, it is no easy task ordering bubble tea. Nevertheless, we pride ourselves on having tried a good majority of bubble tea flavours. This love for bubble tea has taken us to sample Hamilton’s finest bubble tea spots as part of the tour. We weren’t sure if we’d be venturing into Hamilton since the weather forecast was calling for quite a bit of snow, but we managed just fine, catching the last of the flurries as they slowly began to melt away.

Located on the corner of John and King William (literally on the corner, which is quite fitting), Corner Tea House & Asian Bistro is a quaint teahouse that overlooks John Street. As we were seated, we noticed a bookshelf with anime novels and board games which elicited ‘ooh’s’ from both of us! We’ll definitely have to play a board game next time, but this was an afternoon of business, an unofficial A&K team meeting of sorts to discuss potential tour spots amongst other things. Stay tuned to the blog, friends, we have got some exciting things in store for the new year!

Upon first glance at the extensive tea menu, Kristin and I exchanged a look of panic (resulting in laughter) due to the plethora of options for bubble tea! Here I present the how to guide for bubble tea. First, you must decide what kind of bubble tea base you’d prefer, such as green tea, black tea, milk or slushie. Green tea is the most common one, though Kristin and I tried the black tea at our last bubble tea visit to the Tea Hut. The menu was organized by the type of bubble tea base which helped narrow things down. Once you’ve decided on that, then it’s time to choose a flavour from the list ranging from tropical fruits like pineapple, banana and passion fruit, sweet fruits like strawberry and blueberry, to some unusual flavours like green bean and peanut. Last but not least, you can add in tapioca pearls (standard for bubble tea) or a choice of flavoured jellies.

We made our decisions in record time and were quite impressed with our speediness. Bravo to us! Kristin opted for the taro milk bubble tea while I decided to try the loganberry bubble tea. The name loganberry had sparked my curiosity, resulting in some Googling and Wikipedia-ing (or Wiki-ing?) on my smartphone. FYI, the loganberry is a dark red fruit like the raspberry, but resembles a blackberry moreso than a raspberry. After deciding on bubble tea, it was on to lunch! Flipping the menu over, we perused our options, including a list of different types of toast ranging from chocolate to green tea. After much consideration, we decided to order some spring rolls along with fried tempura. This was my second foray into the world of seafood, my first being in Tanzania. After my first taste, I took a liking to it. For dessert (Kristin’s brilliant idea), we decided to have the coconut toast. That’s right, COCONUT TOAST. Whoever invented coconut toast is seriously a genius. It is AMAZING. Coconut and toast, who would’ve thought?! If you’ve never had it and are a coconut fan, you HAVE to try it. There was a moment where Kristin and I sat silently, savouring the coconut spread on the toast. There’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll be back to try the others.

After lunch, Kristin and I took a stroll down King William Street, passing by Thai Memory, our first ever tour stop, Homegrown Hamilton, and the new Club Absinthe, housed in what used to be The Right House. Absinthe made its grand move to King William in the new year and from the sounds of things, it seems to be a great hit! Kristin and I can’t wait to hit up the new Absinthe on one of their many themed nights. We also spotted Deluxe Bingo; bingo is another thing we’ve love to try out.

To end off the afternoon, we stopped by The Baltimore House to reserve seats for The Importance of Being Earnest, a production put on by the McMaster Thespian Company, and grab some coffee. Kristin and Carly had first checked out The Baltimore House back in December and had been raving about it since. From the moment I walked in, I was instantly a fan. From the smell of coffee and books, to the antique furniture and dimmed lighting, it has certainly got a warmth about it which makes it the ideal spot to spend an afternoon sipping a cup of coffee or tea and reading a good book. Kristin and I were even lucky enough to have gotten a sneak peek at the Parlour! Once licensed, the Parlour will become a lounge, hosting live acts in the evenings.

So if you’re ever wandering in downtown Hamilton and are stuck for where to grab a quick bite to eat, look no further than around the corner, it may surprise you.

xoxo Avi

kristin
ihearthamiltontour@gmail.com
Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (www.ihearthamilton.ca), where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing an influential social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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