I wish that my blog was more popular. I wish that I had thousands of people reading my posts and legions of adoring fans. Now, it isn’t so much for the attention: I’m very antisocial and try to avoid attention, and would probably be living under a rock if that type of lifestyle was more viable/socially acceptable. No, I want popularity because of the power it brings. I want my reviews to actually influence restaurant/bakery businesses. I want restaurant owners, who upon seeing me step through the door, to instantly order their staff to serve me huge portions because they know how great a glutton I am and how much I hate it when I leave a place not full (in all honesty that will never happen, even if I am the most popular food blogger in the country, seeing that I don’t post pictures of my ugly mug online, so it’s unlikely that anyone can recongize me). But asides from abusing my power for my own selfish gains, I do also wish that I could turn people on to places that I like, that I believe deserves more support/popularity. Such as the case with L’atelier Patisserie.
I was turned onto L’atelier Patisserie by a review in the Metro a few weeks ago. The bakery is absolutely tiny, and tucked away inside what looked like an abandoned garage, and it took me a while to find the entrance. The offerings are relatively limited: they have several types of croissants and other viennoiserie, as well as some cakes and tarts. I’ve sampled their Almond Croissant, Chocolate Brioche, and Trianon.
Almond Croissant ($4):
I’m not going to beat about the bush here: this may well be the best croissant that I’ve ever had. It was incredibly rich, buttery, flaky, shatteringly crisp, and just melted in my mouth. The sliced almonds on top lent a nice bit of crunch and fragrance. Unfortunately for me, my mom “caught” me with the croissant (and other goodies when I stepped through the door), and I was forced to share half of it with her (well, I didn’t exactly HAVE to, but I’d feel guilty if I didn’t, seeing that she loves croissants and is almost as gluttonous as I am). Anyways, she thought that the croissant blew the already great ones from Chez Christophe right out of the water. While I didn’t think that the difference was that great, I do agree that it surpasses that of Chez Christophe (which is a good thing since the bakery’s way closer to my house and I wouldn’t have to worry about making a >1 hour long pilgrimage to Burnaby to get a good croissant).
Brioche Choc ($3):
This caught me off guard a bit: when I think of “brioche” I tend to imagine something short and round (like me), and was surprised to find that their version of the bread was long and thin. I did quite like the bread, which was soft, moist, and fluffy. There were only a few small pieces of dark chocolate inside however, and I really could have done with more. Personally, I would have preferred the bread to be a bit shorter and with more chocolate.
This consisted of two layers of almond dacquoise sandwiching a layer of hazelnut cream and chocolate wafer/praline, and topped with a thick layer of chocolate mousse. The chocolate mousse was smooth and light, with a bittersweet flavour that paired well with the sweeter hazelnut cream. The cake was moist and tender. My favourite component however is easiliy the chocolate wafer/praline, which provided a fantastic crunch to contrast the general softness of the rest of the cake.
I have to say that while everything was delicious, the standout has to be the Almond Croissant – it was absolutely freaking FANTASTIC and quite possibly the best that I’ve ever had (I have to re-try the ones from Beacoup and Thomas Haas before I can make a definite judgement). Seriously, the croissant alone makes this bakery worth checking out. The staff members were also very friendly and the prices were reasonable. This is a great new bakery, and I really hope that more people go and visit them because I really hope that they’ll be able to stick around. Please, to the two people reading this post, go there and treat yo self!
Service: N/A (the staff are really friendly though)
Recommendations: Almond Croissant (it’s worth the visit alone)