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):

dav
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

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

Dutch Wooden Shoe

I’ve never had a Pannekoek before. That changed after my recent visit to Dutch Wooden Shoe. The latter is a small cafe located on Cambie, not far from the King Edward skytrain station. The interior is cozy and decorated by, well, wooden shoes, as well as pictures of patrons and other odds and ends. Food-wise, they specialize in Pannekoeks, which is a thin, Dutch-style pancake, although they do have a large menu of other breakfast items as well as some lunch fare. I had their Wooden Shoe Pannekoek.

The Wooden Shoe Pannekoek ($13.95):


3.5/5
This contained bacon and apples baked in, along with bacon, apples, cheese, and sauerkraut on top. The pancake, while flat, was actually quite soft and tender. It was a bit bland on its own; however, there was a good amount of filling and topping to provide flavour. I particularly enjoyed the bacon, which provided a nice saltiness. While I’m generally not a bit fan of sauerkraut, but here it wasn’t too strong and actually blended well with the saltiness.

I’m glad to have checked out Dutch Wooden Shoe. While the Pannekoek didn’t blow me away, it was still good, and a nice portion. This is definitely a nice place to try something different for breakfast.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 3/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: The Wooden Shoe Pannekoek
Dutch Wooden Shoe Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kisokoma

I’m not a sushi eater. However, I do still enjoy Japanese food like karaage and teriyaki. I was actually having a craving for the latter dish recently, so I decided to visit Kisokoma. This is a small Japanese joint located on Broadway, not far from the Vancouver General Hospital. They have quite a large menu of the fare that you’d typically expect from such a joint, including sashimi, sushi, and cooked food to suit all tastes. I had their Chicken Teriyaki and Deep-Fried Gyoza.

Chicken Teriyaki ($8.95):


3/5
This comes with a small bowl of rice and miso soup. The chicken itself was, by virtue of white meat, quite tender and juicy, and had a nice crispy skin. I personally would have liked the teriyaki sauce to be a tad sweeter, but it was still flavourful. I did find the meat to be a little lacking. I quite enjoyed the rice too, which had a nice chewy texture. The portion wasn’t very large, but for $9, it is fair.

Deep-Fried Gyoza ($3.95):


3/5
This was filled with a pork and vegetable filling. The skin outside had a pretty nice crispy texture. The filling was tender and juicy; I did find it to be a bit too bland, however.

I wasn’t blown away by the food from Kisokoma, but it was still fair. The prices are very affordable. While I wasn’t blown away by the joint, I think that it’s still decent enough to warrant a visit.

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

Crepe & Cafe

Crepe & Cafe is a joint located on 41st Avenue, near Dunbar. As the name suggests, they have a large menu of crepes, although they do also serve various sandwiches, drinks and pastries. You order at the front counter, and the staff will bring the food to you once it’s ready. I had their Chicken, Red Onion, Tomato, Swiss Cheese Crepe and Mango Smoothie.

Chicken, Red Onion, Tomato, Swiss Cheese Crepe ($8.99):


3.5/5
I wasn’t a big fan of the crepe itself; I found it a little tough actually. I did enjoy the filling however. The chicken was tender and flavourful, with a nice bit of heat. There was also a good amount of cheese inside.

Mango Smoothie ($4.99):


3/5
The smoothie definitely had a very great flavour of mango, and was fragrant and sweet. Unfortunately, I just found it to be too icy. It tasted more like a slushie without any creaminess (I don’t know if they added any milk or other dairy products). It was also not well blended: there were a few large chunks of ice in the smoothie. They do also have shakes, which are priced for a $1 more; I don’t know if those are better.

I quite enjoyed my visit to Crepe & Cafe. The food wasn’t the greatest, but still quite good, and the prices are very fair. This isn’t a bad place to stop by for a quick bite.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: N/A
Crepe & Cafe 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

Koerners Pub

With the school term coming to an end, we had a couple of undergraduates that were leaving the lab. To give them the proper send off, we went over to Koerners. They are a pub located near the UBC Rose Garden that’s quite popular among staff and students of UBC. They serve a pretty good menu of drinks as well as food. The rest of the group got a few pitches of beers. Being a non-drinker, I just stuck to the food. I just had their Kogi Fried Chicken Sandwich.

Kogi Fried Chicken Sandwich (with fries) ($13.95):


4/5
This consisted of a brioche bun filled with fried chicken, kogi mayo, jalapenos and other vegetables, and comes with your choice of fries, salad or soup (I had the fries). The brioche bun was soft and fluffy, and had a nice bit of sweetness. The chicken had a great crispiness, and was tender and juicy. The mayo had a nice sweetness that paired well with the chicken. The fries were quite crispy.

I don’t like beer, so I can’t give any thoughts on the drinks at Koeners, but their food was great. The staff wasn’t the friendliest, but it might just be because we were such a large gorup, it’s more difficult for them to manage. All in all, this is a solid joint that’s definitely worth visiting.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 3/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Kogi Fried Chicken Sandwich
Koerner's Pub 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

Secret Garden Tea

Secret Garden Tea is a cute little shop located in Kerrisdale. They are best known for serving high tea, although they do offer various breakfast & lunch items, as well as baked goods. I had their French Toast Croissant off of their breakfast menu, as well as a pot of their Secret Garden’s Secret tea.

French Toast Croissant ($11):


3/5
This consisted of a croissant that’s stuffed with cinnamon apples and cream cheese, and is served with a side of syrup and fruit. The croissant was nicely grilled and crispy on the interior. It was filled with apples, which were tender; unfortunately, I wasn’t able to taste much of the cream cheese inside. The fruit, which consisted of melon and cantalope, were a bit too unripe and hard, however.

Secret Garden’s Secret Tea ($5):


3.5/5
This was a black tea that’s flavoured with vanilla. The tea itself had a pretty nice flavour, and was mildly bitter. I quite enjoyed the vanilla, which was sweet but not overpowering.

The food was decent, but not great; I did find their prices to be a bit on the higher side. The staff were quite friendly, however. The place didn’t blow me away, but I think it’s probably worth checking out for their high tea menu.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: 4/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: N/A
Secret Garden Tea Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato