Giovane Cafe

Giovane Cafe is a popular spot located near Waterfront. They serve up a menu of breakfast and lunch items, as well as good variety of pastries and cakes. They are probably best known for their Sugar Buns, which are like a cross between a donut and a bun, and are filled with a variety of custards. I had their Matcha Sugar Bun, Malt Chocolate Cake Bar, Pineapple Coconut Ube, Chocolate El Sol, and Almond Croissant.

Matcha Sugar Bun ($5):


4/5
This was like a cross between a donut and a bun; it consisted of a thin layer of dough and was stuffed with a matcha cream filling, and was also dusted with some matcha. The amount of filling was very generous; it was literally oozing out of the bun as I bit into it. It was not overly sweet, and had a really great fragrance of matcha, and also a great bit of bitterness from the matcha on top.

Malt Chocolate Cake Bar ($8):


4/5
This was like an ice cream pop, except in cake form. It contained a chocolate mousse, a jelly, and some crunchy parts inside, and was coated with a layer of milk chocolate. The mousse was sweet, creamy and rich, the crunchy bits provided a nice texture, while the jelly lent a tang to offset the sweetness.

Pineapple Coconut Ube ($6):


4/5
The cake contained a crunchy layer on the bottom that seemed to have some coconut flavour, as well as white chocolate. The layer of jelly on top provided a great tanginess, which balanced well with the layers of ube and white chocolate, which was quite sweet.

Chocolate El Sol ($8):


4/5
This consisted of a chocolate cake that’s topped with a thick chocolate mousse, and surrounded by a thin piece of dark chocolate. The chocolate was bittersweet. It was a tad stale, but not too waxy. The chocolate mousse and cake had a nice bittersweet flavour; the cake also contained some crunchy parts. Even though it wasn’t very large, it was quite rich.

Almond Croissant ($4.25):

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Almond Croissant

N/A
My mom had this. She really enjoyed it.

I really enjoyed my visit to Giovane Cafe. The sugar bun was very good, as were all of the cakes. The prices are a bit on the higher side, but I think their quality makes them worthwhile. All in all, this is a cafe that I think is definitely worth a visit.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Sugar Buns, Cakes
giovane café + eatery + market - Fairmont Pacific Rim Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Edible Flours

Not long ago, we had a student from Australia come by to spend a few weeks at our lab. He was apparently a vegan *gasp*. When he was about to leave, one of the lab members bought him a cupcake from Edible Flours. They are a small bakery located on Broadway that specializes in vegan treats. Recently, during my visit to Heart Attack & Vine, I happened to pass by the shop and decided to check it out. They have a small selection of baked goods, including cupcakes, where you get to choose your base and frosting. I had a Chocolate Cupcake with Marshmallow Frosting. I also picked up a Cinnamon Roll.

dav
Baked Goods

Chocolate Cupcake + Marshmallow Frosting ($4):


3/5
The cupcake was quite moist, and had a nice, slightly bittersweet flavour of cooca. The marshmallow frosting was quite sweet and a little stiff; I can’t taste any of the marshmallow in it. However, I must say that I honestly can’t notice any difference between this cupcake and regular, non-vegan cupcakes.

Cinnamon Roll ($4.25):


3/5
The bun was a little dry and not very fluffy. It did have a nice flavour of cinnamon. I couldn’t really taste much of the glaze: I really wish it could have been cream cheese instead (I guess it’s not possible though, since it’s vegan).

I’ve got to admit, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Edible Flours; the food was just alright. This isn’t really a bakery that I’d recommend, save if you are vegan and need an alternative.

Summary:
Food: 3/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3/5
Recommendations: N/A
Edible Flours Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tim Hortons – Oakridge Mall

I heard people say that Tim Hortons apparently has the best Boston Cream donut. It has been actually a while since I’ve been to the shop. During a recent trip to Oakridge mall, I decided to drop by one of their locations at the food court. They are quite small and have a more limited selection of donuts and other pastries. I picked up a Boston Cream and Sour Cream Glazed donut.

dav
Donuts

Sour Cream Glazed ($0.99):


4/5
The donut had a really great texture, and was tender and cakey, but having a slight bit of chewiness as well. It had a great hint of tanginess and flavour from the sour cream. The glaze provided sweetness, without making it too much.

Boston Cream ($1.19):


3.5/5
The donut had a nice fluffy texture. The filling was cream and sweet; I would have liked there to be more of it. The chocolate glaze provided a nice, slightly bittersweet flavour.

Does Tim Hortons have the best donuts? Not really. However, they are still good and only a fraction of the price compared to the fancier joints like Lucky’s or Cartems. I honestly would chose this joint over the latter.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Sour Cream Glazed, Boston Cream
Tim Hortons Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Piast Bakery & Deli

On my recent visit to Dutch Wooden Shoe, I passed by Piast Bakery. The latter is actually both a grocery shop, deli and bakery that specializes in European fare. I picked up a slice of their Strawberry Mousse Cake and Mountain Cheese Cake.

Strawberry Mousse Cake ($5.75):


1/5
This consisted of a base that’s filled with strawberry mousse, and is topped with a crumble. Unfortunately, I did not like this at all. The mousse honestly tasted like cough syrup and had a horrible bitter after taste. I just couldn’t even finish it.

Mountain Cheese Cake ($6):


3/5
This was called a “cheese cake” even though it wasn’t really a cheese cake at all; it actually consisted of cake, cream, poppyseeds, and a layer of chocolate on top. The cake was quite tender and moist; the poppy seed provided a nice bit of texture; the chocolate on top was not waxy. I did find it to be a tad greasy, but it was thankfully still miles better than the strawberry mousse.

I’ve seldom ever met a piece of cake that I couldn’t eat, but the strawberry mousse cake was just wretched. Thankfully, their “cheese cake” was better, so I can only assume that their other cakes were better. The prices were fair and the staff was friendly. I’d still recommend checking the place out, although I’d be a little cautious about what to get.

Summary:
Food: 2/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 2.5/5
Recommendations: N/A
Piast Bakery & Deli Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I Hua Bakery

During my recent visit to Crepe & Cafe, I decided to check out I Hua Bakery, which was located just a few doors down. In spite of their name, they are actually more of a Chinese/Asian grocery shop, although they do also sell baked goods, dim sum, and apparently wonton soup as well. I had their Steamed Pork Bun, Steamed Chicken Bun, Custard Cream Bun, BBQ Pork Bun, Milk Powder Bun, and Red Bean Bun.

Steamed Pork Bun ($1.59):


3.5/5
The bun was a bit too hard and chewy for my liking. I also found the filling to be a little stingy. The meat was still tasty though, and was tender and juicy.

Steamed Chicken Bun ($1.59):


3.5/5
I had the same issues with this bun as I did with the steamed pork. The filling was still good though; I particularly enjoyed the vegetables, which provided a nice crunchy texture.

Custard Cream Bun ($1.49):


3.5/5
The bun had a strangely soft, almost cake-light texture. There was a great amount of custard filling inside however, which was creamy, sweet and had a really nice fragrance.

BBQ Pork Bun ($1.99):


3.5/5
The bun contained a fairly decent amount of pork inside, which was tender and had a nice bit of sweetness.

Milk Powder Bun ($1.75):


3/5
This contained a sweet, powdery paste. On this occasion, I found the filling to be a little stingy and not well distributed throughout the bun.

Red Bean Bun ($1.49):


3.5/5
This contained ribbons of red bean paste, which was sweet and creamy. There was a fairly good amount of filling distributed throughout.

I’m glad to have stopped by I Hua Bakery. Their baked goods weren’t the greatest, but still fairly good; the prices are very cheap. This isn’t the best bakery out there, but definitely still worth a visit for some very affordable food.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Custard Cream Bun, BBQ Pork Bun, Red Bean Bun
I Hua Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Foret Noire

Even though my French is limited to just a handful of words that I’ve learned in highschool, I do know the meaning of Foret Noire. The latter is a pretty new French patisserie that opened on Broadway, just a couple of blocks from Cambie. They serve up a variety of fancy cakes, macarons, chocolates, drinks and other items. Surprisingly though, in spite of their name, they didn’t have any black forest cakes available when I visited. Maybe a misdirect? Oh well. I got their Exotic Flower, Broadway, Strawberry Chocolate Entremet, and Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart.

Exotic Flower ($7.2):


4/5
The cake contained a jelly-like mousse outside that had a really nice mango flavour, and a slight tanginess. It contained a chocolatey, crispy interior, and was topped with pieces of pineapple. I wasn’t completely sure if the chocolate paired well with the mango, but each of the components were very tasty.

Broadway ($7.2):


4/5
This consisted of chocolate mousse that’s coated with a chocolate glaze, and contained some pieces of biscuits inside. The mousse was smooth and creamy, and had a wonderful bittersweet flavour. The biscuits provided a great bit of texture. The chocolate was good quality and melted in my mouth without any waxiness.

Strawberry Chocolate Entremet ($7.2):


4/5
This was similar to the exotic flower, and consisted of a straeberry flavoured jelly surrounding strawberry preserves and a crispy interior. The strawberry had a great fragrance and provided a nice bit of tangy while the crispy interior provided a nice texture.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart ($7.2):


4/5
This consisted of a chocolate tart filled with chocolate mousse and caramel. The tart shell was tender with a great bittersweet flavour. The mousses were smooth and creamy, and not overly sweet. I especially enjoyed the small pieces of caramel on top, which provided a great fragrance and flavour.

I was very impressed by the cakes at Foret Noire, all of them were very good. The prices are a bit on the higher side, but I think that it’s worth it for the quality. All in all, I’d definitely recommend visiting the place.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 3/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Cakes

Bao Bakery

Not long ago, one of my colleagues brought some moon cakes to one of our weekly lab meetings, the ones with salted egg yolks inside. This quite shocked the non-Chinese/Japanese members of the lab; they were confused as to why you’d put egg yolks in a pastry. Because they taste good? I like salted eggs yolks; they have a great oily texture.

Anyways, I recently visited Bao Bakery, a Chinese/Asian-style bakery located on 41st, right by the Joyce Skytrain Station. They have a large selection of steamed baos, buns, and various other baked goods. I had their BBQ Pork, Ube Bean, Chicken Deluxe, and Racy Yolky Bao.

BBQ Pork Bao ($2.75):


4/5
The bun was very fluffy and soft, with a great chewy texture. It was filled with a great amount of pork. The pork was tender and had a great bit of sweetness to it.

Ube Bean Bao ($2.05):


4/5
Again, there was a good amount of filling inside. The ube was creamy and sweet. It might be a bit on the sweeter side for some people, but I quite enjoyed it.

Chicken Deluxe Bao ($3.60):


4/5
This contained BBQ pork, salted egg yolk, and ham. Again, the bun was filled with a good amount of meat. The meat was flavourful, tender and juicy; there also seemed to be some water chestnuts inside that provided a bit of crunch.

Racy Yolky Bao ($2.90):


4.5/5
This was filled with custard and salted egg yolk. The custard was sweet and creamy, while the egg yolk was oily and provided a great saltiness to balance the sweetness. This is definitely a great twist on the regular custard version.

I thoroughly enjoyed all of the food that I’ve tried at Bao Bakery, in particular their Racy Yolky. The prices are also very fair. All in all, this is a bakery that I STRONGLY recommend checking out; if you’re adventerous, do try the egg yolk one.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Baos (favourite was racy yolky)
Bao Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Honolulu Coffee – Kerrisdale

Honolulu Coffee is a small coffee chain with a couple of locations across Great Vancouver. During my recent trip to COBS, I decided to check out their location in Kerrisdale. The shop specialize in drinks, including Kona coffee, but also have a selection of fresh baked pastries, including cakes from L’Atelier (which I’ve also been to and am a fan of). I had their Bacon Cheddar Scone, Macadamia Nut Chocolate Chip Cookie, and Hawaiian Muffin.

Bacon Cheddar Scone ($4.5):


3.5/5
The scone was very tender and moist. The bacon provided a great amount of flavour and fragrance. I did find it to be a bit on the salty side.

Macadamia Nut Chocolate Chip Cookie ($3.5):


3.5/5
The cookie was more crispy; I actually preferred ones that are soft and chewy. There was a good amount of macadamia and chocolate chips throughout, however.

Hawaiian Muffin ($3.75):


3/5
The muffin contained pieces of pineapple and coconut inside and is topped with struessel. It was quite moist, albeit a tad on the bland side. I did enjoy the pieces of pineapple; unfortunately, I was unable to detect any coconut.

I didn’t try any of the drinks at Honolulu Coffee (I’m not a coffee connoisseur, and can’t really tell the difference between good coffee and bad coffee). The pastries weren’t great but still good; the prices fairly reasonable. While I can’t rate the cafe on their drinks, I think the shop is worth checking out for their food alone.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Bacon Cheddar Scone, Macadamia Nut Chocolate Chip Cookie

COBS – Kerrisdale

COBS is a popular bakery franchise with several locations across Greater Vancouver. I have visited their Kerrisdale location in the past, and have been quite impressed by their fare. Recently, I had the opportunity to revisit their shop. They have a pretty large selection of breads, as well as pastries, croissants and other treats. I had their Chocolate Croissant, Fun Bun, and Wild Blueberry & Custard Danish.

Chocolate Croissant ($3.55):


3/5
The croissant wasn’t reallly flaky or buttery, but more bread-like. I did enjoy the chocolate however, which had a nice bittersweet flavour, and was not waxy.

Fun Bun ($1.1):


3.5/5
This was actually quite like a donut, and is topped with a glaze and sprinkles. It was soft and fluffy without being greasy like a donut, and had a nice sweetness.

Wild Blueberry & Custard Danish ($3.25):


3/5
I wasn’t the biggest fan of the bread/pastry outside, which was a little hard and dry. The filling was quite good however; the custard was yogurt-like, and had a nice tangy flavour.

I have to admit, I was a tad disappointed with my most recent visit to COBS. I didn’t find their food to be as good as I remembered (though not bad though). The prices are quite fair, however. The bakery didn’t blow me away, but I think it’s still worth checking out.

Summary:
Food: 3/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendation: Fun Bun
COBS Bread Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sun Fresh Bakery

Sun Fresh Bakery is a Chinese/Asian style bakery that’s located in Chinatown, not far from Main Street. They have a very large selection of baked goods, steamed buns, and other food. I had their Curry Beef Bun, Custard Bun, Shredded Pork Bun, Shredded Pork Sponge Cake, BBQ Pork Bun, and Coconut Cream Bun.

Curry Beef Bun ($1.85):


3/5
The bun was quite fluffy and soft. There wasn’t really all that much filling inside; there was just a small amount in the middle. The beef was a little dry, but flavourful, and had a nice bit of heat.

Custard Bun ($1.45):


3.5/5
The custard was sweet and creamy, with a great fragrance. Again, I do wish there was more of it spread throughout the bun.

Shredded Pork Bun ($1.85):


3.5/5
This was filled with a creamy, mayonnaise-like spread and is topped with shredded pork. The shredded pork provided a great savouriness. The filling on the inside provided a nice richness; I do wish that it would be a little sweeter, however.

Shredded Pork Sponge Cake (around $2):


3.5/5
This consisted of a swiss roll that’s filled with cream and topped with pork floss. The cake itself was quite light and fluffy, and not overly dry. The cream inside had a nice bit of saltiness. I wasn’t able to taste much of the pork floss unfortunately.

Coconut Cream Bun ($1.45):


3.5/5
The bun was light and fluffy. The cream inside had a nice bit of saltiness. The coconut on top provided a great bit of fragrance.

BBQ Pork Bun ($1.85):


3.5/5
Unlike the other buns, this one actually had a fairly amount of filling inside. The pork was tender and juicy, and had a nice bit of sweetness.

I was impressed by Sun Fresh Bakery. The food wasn’t great, but still quite good. The prices were fairly cheap. This is a decent place to check out.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Custard Bun, Shredded Pork Bun, Shredded Pork Sponge Cake, Coconut Cream Bun, BBQ Pork Bun
Sun Fresh Bakery House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato