The Only Cafe

After my visit to Cafe Lokal for some food, I headed over to The Only Cafe, which was located just a few doors down. They are an Asian/Japanese-style cafe located in Kits, on 4th Avenue. In addition to serving up various drinks, both hot and cold, they have various sandwiches and baked goods. I had a Matcha Latte, Japanese Cheesecake, and Matcha Pound Cake.

Matcha Latte ($4.75):


4/5
The latte was actually not sweet at all, but was slightly bitter with a creamy texture. It had a pretty good matcha flavour, which was quite impressive seeing that most matcha-flavoured drinks tend to be a little weak.

Japanese Cheesecake ($4):


3/5
The cake was more light and yogurt like compared to NY cheesecake. The filling was creamy and tangy, but a bit lacking in flavour and gummy in some areas. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a big fan of the crust beneath, which was a bit grainy.

Matcha Pound Cake (around $4-5):


3.5/5
The cake was a bit hard, but still tasty and had a mildly sweet flavour. The matcha flavour was a bit weak, but that is kind of expected from most matcha-flavoured desserts.

While I wasn’t a huge fan of their cheesecake from The Only Cafe, I enjoyed the pound cake and was impressed by their latte. The staff was friendly and the prices were fair. This is definitely worth checking out.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Matcha Latte, Matcha Pound Cake
The Only Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cafe Lokal

During my recent visit to The Only Cafe (review on that coming up) I decided to stop by Cafe Lokal first for a quick bite. The latter appears to be quite a popular local (no pun intended) hangout. The tables are often all occupied with people reading books or doing work on their laptops while drinking coffee/lattes. In addition to a drink menu, they also make various fresh-baked goods and sandwiches/salads for lunch. I had a Spicy Salami Panini and a London Fog.

Spicy Salami Panini ($9.50):


3/5
This was served with a small side of greens dressed in oil and vinegar. The bread was quite nicely toasted, and was crispy on the outside while being soft and chewy on the interior. The filling did have a nice bit of heat. Unfortunately, I found the flavour to be completely dominated by pickled artichokes, which I just did not care for.

London Fog ($4.50):


4/5
The drink came with a thick layer of foam. It was not overly sweet and had a really nice flavour of Earl Grey.

I wasn’t particularly fond of the sandwich at Cafe Lokal, but the London Fog was pretty good. While I’m not really into cafe culture and will not likely return, the place does seem a nice local hangout for those who do like cafes (if you’re fortunate enough to find a seat that is).

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: London Fog
Cafe Lokal Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Forty Ninth Parallel Cafe & Lucky’s Doughnuts (Kits)

Mmm…Donuts *drools*

dav

49th Parallel Cafe & Lucky’s Donughnuts is a popular shop with several locations in Vancouver. I’ve visited their Main St. location previously and have found their donuts fairly good (certainly better than Cartems imo). They’ve got another location in Kits that I’ve recently decided to visit. They had about a dozen varieties available when I arrived (I didn’t realise this but they had more in the back); I ended up getting a Maple Pecan Bismark and Salted Caramel Old Fashioned. Sadly, the donuts were put into paper bags, and the icing on the bismark got smooshed along the way home. Oh well.

Maple Pecan Bismark ($3.50):


4/5
Unfortunately, the icing on the donut got a little smooshed during the trip back home (paper bag not the best medium for carrying glazed donuts). The yeast donut was filled with maple cream and glazed with maple. I really liked the dough of the donut, which had a great fluffy and chewy texture. The icing had a great fragrance of maple; the filling wasn’t overly sweet. I didn’t get that much pecan flavour, however. The small pearls on top provided a really nice crispy texture.

Salted Caramel Old Fashioned ($3.25):


3/5
This was a sour cream old fashioned donut that’s glazed in salted caramel. The donut had a tender, moist texture, and a slightly tangy taste. Unfortunately, even though I could definitely see and smell the caramel, I really couldn’t taste it at all.

I quite enjoyed the yeast donuts at Lucky’s, although I was a bit disappointed in their old fashioned. The prices are on the high side at over $3, which is roughly twice the price of a spot like Duffin’s (whose donuts are equally as good imo). All in all, while I did enjoy my recent visit, I do personally find Lucky’s to be a bit overrated.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Maple Pecan Bismark
Forty Ninth Parallel Cafe & Lucky's Doughnuts Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bakery Sate

I had a bit of an odd experience with the croissants at Bakery Sate. They are a popular bakery/cafe located on Commercial, a couple of blocks away from Broadway, serving up a pretty good variety of croissants, cakes, cream puffs, and other pastries. They hae several different and unique flavours for croissants; I had their Double Baked Coffee and Matcha (and also an Almond for my mom). I also got a Mont Blanc and Mango Puff, and their Raspberry Lavendar Milk Chocolate and Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate cakes. Now, the funny thing about their croissant was that when I bit into the one with green, matcha paste on top, it tasted strangely like coffee. And when I bit into the one with the dark coffee paste on top, it turned out to be filled with green, matcha paste. I haven’t contacted the bakery to ask, but I’m 99% sure that they had made a mistake and got the two croissants mixed up XD.

“Double Baked Coffee Croissant” ($4.50):


4/5
This was filled with coffee-flavoured frangipane, and topped with matcha paste and flaked almonds. The croissant itself was crispy and flaky, with a nice buttery and slightly salty. The fillling inside was rich and mildly sweet, and had a really nice coffee flavour. I also quite enjoyed the matcha paste on top, which seemed to have some white chocolate flavour.

“Double Baked Matcha Croissant” ($4.50):


4/5
This was filled with matcha-flavoured frangipane and was topped with coffee paste on top. Again, the croissant was crispy and flaky, with a nice buttery and slightly salty. Unfortunately, as is the case with most matcha-flavoured desserts, I found the matcha flavour to be quite subtle, although the frangipane was still quite tasty.

Mont Blanc Puff ($1.95):


3.5/5
This was filled with cream and chestnut paste. The pastry here I found to be a tad overbaked, and had a slightly bitter flavour, although it did have a nice crispness. I also really enjoyed the chestnut, which was lightly sweet and had a great fragrance.

Mango Puff ($1.95):


3.5/5
I actually asked for the lychee coconut puff, but they appear to have mistakenly given me the mango (oh well, no biggie). The puff was less darkly baked than the mont blanc. The mango custard inside had a great fragrance and sweetness.

Raspberry Lavender Milk Chocolate Cake ($4.95):


3.5/5
This consisted of chocolate sponge cake sandwiching raspberry and lavender mousse, and is glazed in dark chocolate. The cake was quite tender, although I did find it to have a slightly grainy texture. The mousses were light and creamy, with the raspberry providing a great tanginess and the lavender being quite fragrance. The chocolate glaze was also good quality and not waxy.

Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate Cake ($4.95):


4/5
This consisted of chocolate sponge cake sandwiching milk chocolate and caramel mousse, and is glazed in dark chocolate. Again, I wasn’t crazy about the texture of the cake. The mousses were delicious however; I particularly loved the caramel, which had a great fragrance and slight bit of saltiness that went great with the sweetness of the dessert.

In spite of the mix up in the flavours of the croissants, I still quite enjoyed them as well as the other treats from Bakery Sate. The prices are also very reasonable. Definitely recommend checking this place out.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate Cake, Double Baked Croissants
Bakery Sate Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bakery 101

I’ve got a soft spot for the current DC movies. Yeah, I get that most of their movies aren’t very good (Wonder Woman aside), but I still get a kick out of them. And I think that Man of Steel is a good movie and don’t understand those who complain about what happened to Zod in the end (seriously did anyone ever watch Superman II?!?). I still haven’t had a chance yet to see the new Aquaman movie yet; I’m probably going to go some time during the holidays. While waiting for the bus during a recent trip to Bakery 101 I found myself standing right next to a movie poster. On closer inspection, I couldn’t help but notice that there appears to be a lot of killer whales swimming alongside the sharks. Like seriously A LOT of killer whales:

dav
Can you spot all the killer whales?

But enough about DC. This post is about Bakery 101. They are a small cafe that’s part of the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. All of their cakes & pastries are made by culinary arts students, and hence, are considerably cheaper than most other shops. Their offerings are always changing; during my most recent visit, I had a couple of their new cakes: Matcha Raspberry, Mango Coconut Caramel, “Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse” and “Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse” (I don’t know the actual names of the latter two as they weren’t labelled in the display case). I also picked up a Goat Cheese Prosciutto Croissant for my mom.

Matcha Raspberry ($4):

4.5/5
This consisted of layers of matcha cake sandwiching raspberry and chocolate mousse and finished with matcha mousse. The cake was soft and moist. I really enjoyed the matcha flavour, and the raspberry lent a nice tartness. Personally though I could have done without the chocolate (even though I do love chocolate) as it did overwhelm the matcha a bit.

Mango Coconut Caramel ($4):

dav
Mango Coconut Caramel

4/5
This consisted of coconut cake with mango mousse/jelly and caramel mousse on top of a crunchy wafer-like base. I really enjoyed each of the components separately: the coconut and mango were both very fragrant while the wafer had a great crunch and flavour. Personally though, I’m not really sure if the mango and the caramel/chocolate paired too well together.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse ($4):


4.5/5
I didn’t get the actual name of this cake (they accidentally mislabelled it in the store), but it consisted of a peanut mousse that contained some chocolate, and was on top of a crunchy peanut base. I really enjoyed this treat. The mousse had a wonderful peanut flavour while the base was crispy, fragrant, and slightly salty. It was a tad on the sweeter side so it might not be for everyone (especially those who’re allergic to peanuts).

Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse ($4):


4/5
Again I didn’t get the actual name of this cake (it wasn’t labelled when I came into the store), but it consisted of hazelnut mousse with a chocolate centre that’s enclosed in chocolate. This was basically like a Ferroro Rocher in cake form. I did find that the hazelnut flavour was a bit too subtle at times.

Goat Cheese Prosciutto Croissant ($3):

dav
Goat Cheese Prosciutto Croissant

N/A
My mom had this. She really enjoyed it, but wasn’t a fan of the goat
cheese (she found it too gamey).

I really enjoyed my visit to Bakery 101. Their food is fantastic and their prices are a steal. This is easily one of my favourite places in Vancouver for some quality and affordable treats.

Summary:
Food: 4.5/5
Price: 4.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4.5/5
Recommendations: Matcha Raspberry, Peanut Butter Mousse Cake
Bakery 101 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Melriches Coffee House

Normally, when it comes to cheesecakes, I like them to be as dense and thick as possible. I finally found my match at Melriches Coffee. They are a coffee house located on Davie, near Bute. In addition to various drinks, they have a pretty large menu of sandwiches and other breakfast/lunch items, as well as pastries and other items, which look homemade/rustic. I had their Blueberry Cheesecake, Sausage Roll and Carrot Cake. Unfortunately, they didn’t have prices posted for most of their items, but the total came to just over $16.

Blueberry Cheesecake:


3.5/5
The cheesecake was served with blueberry sauce. The filling was dense and very firm; I like my cheesecakes to be on the firmer side, but this was a bit too much even for me (I could hardly cut through it with my fork). It was sweet; I would have liked there to be a bit more tang. It had a nice fragrance; I think that there might have been some cinnamon or other spices in the crust. The blueberry sauce appears to be homemade and was filled with small berries.

Sausage Roll:


3.5/5
The pastry enclosing the sausage was a bit soft, but flakey; I did find it to be too salty however (and I actually like salt). The sausage itself was quite tender and juicy, with a nice bit of spice.

Carrot Cake:


4/5
The cake itself was quite moist, contained raisins, and had a great fragrance of spice. The cream cheese frosting was creamy and sweet, with a nice bit of tanginess.

I’ve never thought that I’d find a cheesecake that’s too dense, but I’ve found my match at Melriches. In general, the food was fairly enjoyable, but nothing outstanding. I don’t know the individual prices of the items, but they are fairly reasonable. This is certainly worth a visit if you’re in the neighbourhood.

Summary
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Carrot Cake
Melriches Coffee House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Argo Cafe

When I visited Argo Cafe lately, I couldn’t help but think “Argo f*** yourself”. I’m quite sure that Argo Cafe is not named after Argo the Batfleck movie however (brief digression: I actually quite liked Ben Affleck’s batman), seeing that the diner existed long before the movie came out. The latter is a small but quite popular diner/cafe located in Olympic Village, right by 2nd Avenue. The atmosphere is very casual, and they don’t have printed menu: everything is written on the board. They have a breakfast menu that’s served till 11:00, a lunch menu consisting of burgers, sandwiches, and various Western/Asian/Mexican plates, and a specials menu that rotates daily. I had their Argo Plate and Chicken Chilli Con Queso.

Argo Plate ($17.95):


4/5
This was from one of their specials menu, which rotates daily. It consists of short rib, bacon wrapped pork tenderloin, and roast lamb, and is served with mashed potatoes and vegetables. I found the lamb to be a bit tough and chewy; the pork was quite tender and well seasoned however, and the shortribs were tender and flavourful. The mashed potatoes were also very tasty, and were smooth, creamy and flavourful.

Chicken Chilli Con Queso ($14.95):


4/5
This consists of a thick stew-like chicken with cheese, and is served with either fries or rice. The stew was thick and very flavourful, and had a nice bit of spice. The chicken was tender and juicy (I think they used dark meat, which in my opinion is always superior to white), although I did find it to be a bit underseasoned on its own.

I quite enjoyed the food at Argo Cafe. The price was a bit higher for a diner, but still reasonable. The service was quite casual; the food comes reasonably fast and the staff were fairly friendly but generally leaves you alone. All in all, this is definitely worth checking out.

P.S. The staff asked me if I wanted soup, and I turned it down because I thought that it was going to cost extra (and I was too shy/scared to ask if that was the case). But apparently, after checking their website, the soup is complimentary with their meals. So if the staff asks you, don’t be an idiot like me and turn it down.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Service: 3/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Chicken Chilli Con Queso
Argo Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tartine Bread and Pies (Beach)

Near the beginning of this year, I’ve had the chance to visit Tartine Breads & Pies on Davie (twice actually, since on the first occasion I got hit by a horrible flu the next morning and couldn’t actually try any of the treats that I had purchased). They have another location just several blocks away on Beach, near False Creek. I’ve had the chance to visit that location recently. In addition to pies, they have a good selection of other baked goods, as well as sandwiches and drinks. I had their Salted Caramel Apple Pie, Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin, Rhubarb & White Chocolate Scone, and Butter Tart. They didn’t have price tag on most of their goods, so I don’t know the exact cost of each individual pastry, but the total came to around $12.

Salted Caramel Apple Pie (around $5):


3.5/5
The filling was very tasty: the apples were well cooked, being tender while retaining some crispiness and bite. They had a wonderful sweetness that paired well with the sweetness of the caramel, which had a nice caramelized flavour. I found the crust to be a tad too hard/crunchy for my liking, although it did have a nice, slightly salty flavour. I did also find the bottom crust to be a bit raw.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin ($2.85):


3.5/5
The muffin was relatively tender, mildly sweet, and had a nice hint of spice. The pumpkin seeds were nicely toasted and crunchy. I was a bit disappointed by the lack of cream cheese inside however.

Rhubarb & White Chocolate Scone (around $2):


3.5/5
The scone was quite tender and while not exactly moist, wasn’t dry either. The rhubarb provided a nice bit of tartness. I do find the filling to be a bit sparse however: there were only a few pieces of rhubarb and chocolate. The scone itself was flavourful enough to be enjoyed on its own however.

Butter Tart (around $2):


4/5
I’ve had their butter tarts before, and it was as good I as remembered. The crust was tender while the filling was thick, sweet, and had a wonderful caramelized flavour.

I wasn’t as impressed by the pie this time around as I was during my previous visit. Their butter tart was very good however, and their prices are very reasonable. While I haven’t had a chance to try any of their breakfast/lunch items, but their baked goods are worth checking out.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Butter Tart, Pies
Tartine Bread and Pies Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Nelson the Seagull

What do you think when you hear the name “Nelson the Seagull”? Personally, I imagine some kind of kids story about a seagull named Nelson. What I certainly do not imagine is a hipster bakery/cafe in Gastown, but that is exactly what that turned out to be. In addition to fresh baked bread and various other treats, they have a small menu of sandwiches, breakfast items, and drinks. I had their Lemon Zest Marzipan Croissant, Carnivore Sandwich, and Jam Wheel.

Lemon Zest Marzipan Croissant ($4.00):


3.5/5
The pastry was quite flaky and tender, with a slightly salty flavour and a nice fragrance of lemon zest. I do wish that there was more marzipan.

Carnivore Sandwich ($12:00):


4/5
This contained roast beef, pesto, cheese, and mustard, and was served on their housemade sourdough bread. It came with a small side of greens, which didn’t seem to be well dressed and was bland, although I did enjoy the strawberries that were mixed in. The bread was crusty on the outside and tender and chewy on the inside, and appears to have been lightly buttered. The filling was very tasty, with the meat being tender and smoky, the cheese creamy and sharp and the pesto lending a nice flavor and fragrance. It is a tad on the salty side, but I quite enjoyed it.

Jam Wheel ($4:00):


3.5/5
The pastry was a tad soggy, but still flaky and had a nice buttery flavour. The jam was not overly sweet, thick, and filled with blueberries. This was simple but tasty.

In spite of the strange name, I quite enjoyed my visit to Nelson the Seagull. While I wasn’t blown away by the food, I thought that it was still pretty solid. The prices are a tad on the higher side, but not unreasonable. This is a spot worth checking out.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: The Carnivore
Nelson the Seagull Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Coffee Bar

While visiting Neslon the Seagull recently (review on that coming up), I happened to pass by a cafe named The Coffee Bar. Seeing the display of pastries at the front counter, I couldn’t resist but stepping in. They have a pretty good selection of baked goods, including cakes, cookies, and pastries, as well as sandwiches and wraps. They were a bit priced on the higher end however, so I decided to just get a Chocolate Cheesecake and Apple Croissant.

Apple Croissant ($4.20):


3/5
The apples were tender, mildly sweet, and had a nice fragrance of cinnamon. The pastry was slightly gummy from the filling and a bit bland, however, and not really like a croissant.

Chocolate Cheesecake ($8.50):


3.5/5
This consisted of chocolate mousse mixed with pieces cheeseacke and walnuts on top of a chocolate-cake like crust. The mousse was quite dense, creamy and chocolatey; I do wish that there could be more cheesecake mixed in. It was quite sweet (I personally didn’t mind), and a bit stale tasting, especialy the walnut on top, which I found to be a bit rancid.

I haven’t tried any drinks at the Coffee Bar, but I have to say, I was a bit disappointed in their food. While not bad, they weren’t particularly good either, and not really worth the price. The staff were fairly friendly however, and they did have a nice space inside, so I guess it wouldn’t be a bad hangout.

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