Uprisings Breads Bakery

I’ve seen the cookies and breads from Uprisings being sold on Spud, and have decided to give their bakery – which is located near The Drive – a visit this week. Although their offerings in the way of baked goods are quite basic – the usual muffins, scones, cookies etc., nothing unique or fancy – their prices are also very affordable. For my visit, I had their Raspberry Rhubarb Slice and Blueberry Cinnamon Bun.

Raspberry Rhubarb Slice ($3.10):


4/5
The filling was quite delicous: thick and flavourful, with a great balance between sweet and tart, and bursting with pieces of rhubarb and raspberry seeds. The crust was also perfectly baked, a little more crispy than flaky, and stood up well to the filling.

Blueberry Cinnamon Bun ($2.10):


4/5
The bun was a bit unusual in that it contained blueberries. The berries proved to be a nice addition however, adding both texture and fragrance. The dough itself was soft and chewy. Being both a massive sugarholic and a lover of cream cheese icing, I was a bit disappointed by the relatively scant amount of icing topping the bun. Although they did have some additional icing inside the bun, which paired very well with the jammy blueberries, I still would have liked to have more (I’m crazy for cream cheese icing). Being a “cinnamon” bun, the cinnamon flavour was a bit weak, although I personally wasn’t bothered by it.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Value/Service: 5/5
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Raspberry Rhubarb Slice, Blueberry Cinnamon Bun (and I’m sure that all their other treats are also good)

While not outstanding, I found Uprisings to be still a solid bakery with very affordable goods. I think that it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re near the area.
Uprising Breads Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Transylvanian Traditions Bakery

I don’t know much about Transylvania. When I hear of the word, I think of gothic castles/mansions and vampires. I don’t know what sort of cuisine they have, and as such, had no idea of what to expect from a place called Transylvanian Traditions Bakery. While the bakery didn’t offer anything remotely gothic, they do produce a variety of more uniquely-flavoured cakes and pastries that I haven’t seen anywhere else, and their prices were more than reasonable. I decided to try their Nutella Hazelnut Bar and Amandina.

Nutella Hazelnut Bar ($3.75):


3/5
The texture of this cake/bar is quite unusual: it was crispy and light, and melted in my mouth. The flaked almonds on top added a nice bit of crunch. In terms of flavour, it was mildly sweet, and although enjoyable, a bit one-note and not very exciting. Being a nutella lover, I personally found the chocolate/hazelnut flavour to be lacking.

Amandina ($3.99):


3.5/5
I really liked the texture of this cake; it was soft and extremely moist from being soaked in syrup. Unfortunately, once again, I was less impressed by the flavour. In spite of its appearance, I actually was unable to detect much chocolate/cocoa flavour apart from the layer of chocolate fondant on top The rest of the cake was just mildly sweet and, if I’ve been blind-folded, I’d probably be uanble to tell that it’s supposed to be chocolate.

I have to admit, I was overall a bit disappointed by this bakery. Although I’m glad to have tried their food, I’m hesitant to return again when there are so many other options available.

Summary:
Food: 3/5
Value/Service: 4/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: N/A
Transylvanian Traditions Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Trafiq – My favourite bakery in Vancouver

Trafiq is my favourite bakery in Vancouver. They have absolutely the most beautiful and delicious cakes that I’ve ever had, and at very reasonable prices. Every time that I visit them I go with the intention of trying some of their other treats, and each time I end up succumbing to the allure of their gorgeous cakes. In addition to a few regulars (Homage to Earl Grey, Salted Caramel, Chocolate Decadence), they’re always coming up with new and seasonal flavours. For my latest visit, after failing once again to resist the temptation of their cakes, I got a slice each of their Homage to Earl Grey and Carrot Cake.

Looking through heaven’s window.

Someday I’ll get to try you guys. Someday…

Homage to Earl Grey ($5.95):


5/5
As usual, the cake was incredibly soft and moist, and actually had a delicious sweet and mildly salty flavour of its own. The earl-grey white chocolate mousse was creamy and filled with a bright citrus flavour. The rich, bittersweet chocolate ganache surrounding the outside complemented the flavours of the earl grey tea very well. I’d say that this is currently my 3rd favourite cake that I’ve tried at Trafiq, behind their Tiramisu (which is currently my favourite cake in all of Vancouver *fingers crossed they bring it back some day*), and their Chocolate Decadence.

Carrot Cake ($5.95):


5/5
First of all, the portion for this cake was really generous: it was almost 2x as large as cake slices offered by other places. A bit heftier than the Homage to Earl Grey, the cake was nevertheless still quite moist and incredibly flavourful, busting with spices, carrots, raisins and nuts. The cream cheese frosting (which is, in my opinion, the most important part of a carrot cake), was thick and creamy with a delicious tang. This cake’s more “straight-forward” in flavour compared to other offerings from Trafiq, but that doesn’t diminish its deliciousness. In spite of its size, it really did not take me long to make this cake disappear.

I just cannot stress enough of how much I LOVE Trafiq. Literally everything that I’ve tried from them has been incredible. I seriously cannot image a bakery better than this one. I just hope that they stay open forever; I don’t even want to think of a world without Trafiq *shudder*.

Summary:
Food: 5/5
Value/Service: 5/5
Overall: 5/5
Recommendations: ANY of their cakes. Seriously, if you like desserts, do yourself a favour and get down there RIGHT NOW.

Trafiq Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bakery 101 – My newest love

If you cannot tell from this blog, I LOVE desserts, in particular cakes and pastries. If I were to die tomorrow, I’d want to have a dessert buffet to be my last meal (or all of the cakes from Trafiq). It should come as no surprise then that while I did like the restaurant/bistro run by the Pacific Culinary Institute, which offers a 3-course meal at a bargain price, it is their bakery that I’ve absolutely fallen in love with. The cakes and pastries that they offer are absolutely gorgeous, and the prices (like their bistro) are a great bargain. For my visit, I got their Carrot Cake and Ten Layer Chocolate Cake.

Carrot Cake ($4):


4.5/5
Consisting of a layer of carrot cake that’s topped with custard, coconut and chocolate ganache this cake was as delicious as it was beautiful. The cake itself was moist albeit a bit firm, and paired very well with the flavours of the custard, coconut and chocolate. The level was of sweetness is on the milder side, ideal for those who don’t like overly sweet desserts. This is a elegant and delicious take on the classic dessert.

Ten Layer Chocolate Cake ($4):


4.5/5
I can’t tell whether the cake actually has ten layers, and quite frankly I didn’t care. This cake was filled with a lovely chocolate mousse and topped with dark chocolate ganache. It was creamy and luscious, and had a perfect bittersweet flavour. Although I didn’t particularly care for the layers of cake, which I found to be a bit gummy, I think that the dessert is still fantastic and a perfect choice for chocolate lovers.

If you cannot tell from the title of this entry, I’m head over heels for this bakery. I cannot wait to return to try more of their desserts.

Summary:
Food: 4.5/5
Value/Service: 5/5
Overall: 4.75/5
Recommendations: Any of their cakes

Bakery 101 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A Bread Affair

Years ago,  when I was still in highschool, I’ve gone on a couple of field trips to Granville Island. While my friends and I would often get (rather over-priced) ice cream from one of the places in the Public Market, I remember that one classmate would always visit A Bread Affair to get a baguette. I’ve never been inside the bakery before, so when I was on Granville Island this week, I decided to finally pay this place a visit. Although I’m not particularly interested in plain-old breads, this bakery also makes a limited selection of sweets and viennoiserie. I’ve sampled their Tropical Carrot Cake and Better Than Sex Brownie.

Tropical Carrot Cake ($6):


4/5
This cake was filled with shredded carrots and some fruits and nuts, and topped with a coconut-flavoured frosting. The cake itself was very moist and had a nice hit of spice. While I enjoyed the coconut flavour of the frosting, it was a bit too stiff for my liking (I prefer creamier frostings). The cake slightly on the sweeter side, which was just fine for me, but might be a bit too much for others.

Better Than Sex Brownie ($4):


4/5
I don’t usually order brownies since they’re relatively easy to make at home, but with a brazen name like “better than sex” I just had to try it out. The brownie contained macadamia nuts and was covered in a layer of chocolate ganache. I must say, the texture of this brownie is perfection: super dense and fudgy (the way that brownies should be). It was bittersweet (good for who are averse to overly sweet desserts). Although I love macadamia nuts, I did find a couple of them to be a tad stale, and I think that they’d have been more impactful if they had been salted. So, does it live up to its name? A definite YES…to a chubby, socially-awkward, borderline asexual, future 60-year-old virgin (I don’t expect to live too long considering my great love for cakes and pastries and my equally great distaste for exercise). To the rest of the population, probably not.

I’m glad to have finally visited this bakery. Although I found the prices to be a tad on the high side, I guess it does make sense considering that they are located on a popular tourist attraction (and they are a much better bargain than the over-priced ice cream that I used to get). This is a solid bakery, and worth a visit if you’re on Granville Island and are looking for a quick bite.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Value/Service: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.75/5
Recommendations: Better Than Sex Brownie (if you’re looking for an uber-dense fudgy brownie)
A Bread Affair Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Panaderia Latina Bakery – You REALLY Gotta Eat Here!

I’ve got an addiction to porn. Food porn that is. I’m obsessed with all the shows that are on the Food Network and the Cooking Channel. One of my favourites to watch is Guy Fieri’s Triple D’s, although I’m unlikely going to be visiting any of the places features on the show anytime soon, seeing that they’re mostly in the States. Fortunately, there is a similar Canadian show called You Gotta Eat Here. While I’m not sure about the host, John Catucci (on one hand I do like his dorkiness, on the other hand he does annoy me with his fear of spicy food), I do get quite excited whenever a place in Vancouver gets featured. It was through this show that I first heard of Panaderia Latina Bakery, which, as their name indicates, specializes in Latin American-style desserts (which, as I soon found out, means tons of delicious dulce de leche). I’ve sampled their Milhoja, Torta de Dulce de Leche and Torta de Hojaldra.

Milhoja ($3.95):


3.5/5
This consisted of puff pastry with a generous layer of dulce de leche sandwiched in between. It was quite sticky and a bit messy to eat (I ended up getting caramel and pastry bits all over my fingers and lap). The pastry was a tad tough at times, and seemed to have a slightly “off” flavour. The dulce de leche on the other hand was delicious; thick, sticky and sweet.

Torta de Dulce de Leche ($4.75):


5/5
This consisted of layers of what I think is vanilla cream/mousse and dulce de leche sandwiched between cake and covered in coconut. And it was as fantastic as it sounded: the cake was soft and tender, and perfectly complemented by the cream and caramel, which lent both moisture and sweetness. The dulce de leche in this cake seems to be a bit different from that in the milhoja: it was runnier (but equally delicious). The coconut added a great fragance.

Torta de Hojaldra ($4.75):


4.5/5
Layers of puff pastry with tons of dulce de leche in between. This was like the Milhoja on steroids! While I did still find the puff pastry to be a bit lacking (I think that it might be a tad underbaked), because the layers were considerably thinner than the Milhoja, I wasn’t nearly as bothered. Of course, I cannot get enough of the delicious, thick dulce de leche. This was a sticky, gooey mess in the best possible way. I can imagine some people finding this dessert to be too sweet; for me however, it was fantastic.

I love this bakery; it’s currently one of my favourite places in Vancouver for desserts. If you like dulce de leche, please do yourself a favour and head over there now; you will not be disappointed. To quote Catucci: “you gotta eat here!”

Summary:
Food: 4.5/5
Value/Service: 5/5
Overall: 5/5
Recommendations: Dulce de Leche, Torta de Hojaldra (for those of you who can handle sweeter stuff)

 Panaderia Latina Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fratelli Bakery

My mom used to watch the sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond”, which for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, centers around a somewhat dysfunctional Italian-American family. Her favourite character in the show was Raymond’s mother Marie (played by the late Doris Roberts). Although she’s supposed to be seen as controlling and overbearing, being Chinese, my mother found her often intrusive behaviour to be perfectly normal and identified well with her (oh boy). It was through this show that I first heard about cannolis, which were apparently one of Marie’s favourite things to both make and eat. Unfortunately, in spite of the great abundance of pizza and pasta places in Vancouver, along with many higher-end Italian restaurants, there doesn’t appear to be many places offering any cannolis. Fratelli is one of the few that I know of. They describe themselves as an “authentic Italian” bakery, although I personally don’t believe there’s such a thing as “authentic” when it comes to cuisine. In addition to cannolis, they offer a very impressive selection of tasty-looking goods at extremely affordable prices. For my visit this week, I got their whip cream cannoli, hazelnut square, and triple chocolate cake.

Whip Cream Cannoli ($2.5):

dav
3/5
The shell was flaky, similar to that of a puff pastry. It was filled with whipping cream which, while fresh and smooth, was also quite mild and too bland for my liking. I will try their regular cannoli next time for comparison.

Hazelnut Square ($2.5):


3/5
This consisted of layers of cake with chopped nuts and whipped cream, and was topped with a chocolate/hazelnut ganache. It was soft and moist, and the nuts provided a nice bit of crunch. Although it was sweeter than the cannoli, I still found it to be a bit too mild for my liking. It also had a slightly artificial flavour (perhaps extract) that I found to be a bit off-putting.. The hazelnut decorating the top of the dessert was unfortunately bland and stale.

Triple Chocolate Cake ($3.25):


4/5
I know that I’m biased since I’m a massive chocoholic, but this is easily my favourite of the three. The cake was very moist, fudgy, and in contrast to the cannoli, quite bold in flavour. I think that they might have purposely slightly underbaked the cake as it was a bit gooey in the middle (in a good way). It was topped with a layer of chocolate icing that was sweet, with a slight hint of salt. Again, I did find the cake to have a slightly odd scent that I couldn’t quite discern; fortunately, it wasn’t very strong and it didn’t stop me from polishing off the cake.

Although Fratelli might not be the greatest when it comes to quality (and probably wouldn’t be able to compete with what Marie can whip up), their offerings are still tasty enough and their prices more than reasonable for me to recommend this place to those looking for a place on The Drive to get their sugar fix.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Value/Service: 5/5
Overall: 4/5
Recommendation: Triple Chocolate Cake

Fratelli Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato