It kind of sucks not to own a car (hashtag first world problems). Not are buses generally pretty slow, but they can often be incredibly unreliable. The last time that I visited Burnaby Heights to check out Chez Christophe, I ended up spending almost 3 hours getting to and from my house to the shop, mostly because I had to wait about 40 minutes for the motherf***ing No. 20. I had a horrible case of bus rage (is that a term?). I seriously wanted to just punch the bus driver (and everyone else associated with Translink) in the face. Fortunately, I’ve discovered a new method of getting to The Heights via the (usually) more reliable No. 430/49 to Metrotown followed by a transfer to the No. 130. To test this route, I decided to make a trip to The Valley Bakery, a popular shop located in Burnaby Heights, producing a good assortment of European pastries, cookies, breads and cakes. They have a system where you take a number at the front and wait to be called by the staff. During my visit, I sampled several of their pastries (Mocha Whipped Cream Shell, Vanilla Slice, Chocolate Slice, Tower, Chocolate Mousse Tart, Mocca Log, Whipped Cream Tart, Mocha Buttercream Slice, and Chocolate Mousse Slice).
Mocha Whipped Cream Shell:
This consisted of coffee flavoured whipped cream inside a chocolate shell. The cream was a tad greasy, but had a really nice coffee aroma as well as mild bitterness. The chocolate shell was a tad waxy, but still enjoyable.
This consisted of two layers of puff pastry sandwiching vanilla custard and was topped with some icing. The puff pastry had gone a bit soft and was a little hard to cut though. The custard was quite tasty though, and was thick without being overly gummy.
This consisted of layers of cake sandwiching buttercream, and was topped with a layer of chocoalte ganache. The cake was quite soft and tender, and had a nice fragrance of liquor. It was quite sweet and a bit one-note in taste, but still enjoyable to me.
This was essenatilaly a cupcake topped with chocolate buttercream icing. The cake was quite soft and tender. I did not care for the cream however, which I found to be a little too greasy and also not very flavourful.
Chocolate Mousse Tart:
This was pretty much the same as the mocha cream shell, except with chocolate flavoured whipped cream instead of coffee. Again, I found the cream to be a bit greasy and the chocolate shell to be a tad waxy, but overall still enjoyable.
This was a small cake sitting on top of a base of phylo and covered in buttercream. The buttercream was a bit greasy, but had a nice coffee flavour. I found the cake and pastry to be a bit dry and bland.
Whipped Cream Tart (Cherry):
This was filled with almond paste, and topped with whipped ream and cherry. The tart shell was quite tender while the almond filling was mildly sweet and had a nice fragrance. The whipped cream tasted fresh and the cherry topping had a nice tartness, and did not taste artificial. This was probably my favourite of all the pastries that I’ve sampled.
Mocha Buttercream Slice:
This was somewhat similar to the vanilla slice, except that it consisted of mocha buttercream instead of vanilla custard. Unfortunately, it was very difficult to eat this in one piece as the buttercream tended to just squish right out. As with the other dishes, I found the cream to be a bit greasy. However, I did enjoy the pastry here more than I did from the vanilla slice as it was crispier and not too soft/gummy.
Chocolate Mousse Slice:
This consisted of a thick layer of chocolate mousse on top of a small layer of chocolate cake. The mousse was quite light and creamy, although I did find it to be a bit bland. The cake was quite light and moist, and had a nice liquor flavour to it.
I quite enjoyed my trip to the Valley Bakery. While I did not find any of their treats to be outstanding, they were all fairly enjoyable and fresh, and at about $2 a piece (I spent less than $18 for all my treats), the prices are extremely reasonable. This is definitely a place worth checking out.