On the day of my birth my partner brought me to a bakery to choose my own cake. He did his research and even found one I have never been too. Located in the Dungrave area, in West Vancouver, an area I don’t visit often. The cafe’s name was catchy, though I immediately thought it referred to anger, as apposed to the treatment of chocolate.
The patio was outfitted with chic black umbrellas, it offered a nice spot to sit and chat at. Though given the heat, we felt the air conditioning available inside would be more enjoyable with a dessert that could potentially melt.
Inside the shoppe felt sterile. White tiles, marble counters, and varnished wood. It was so all so organized: everything in its place, everything had a space. The lone busser did her job well in keeping the place so tidy. As soon as a table was cleared it was cleaned.
By the entrance was a showcase advertising the gifting solution their homemade chocolates proposed. Simple branded boxes to gather all your hand picked chocolate into. They even dabbled in chocolate art as noted by the full chocolate bear figurine. It had a circular head, a round snout, and eyes and nose made out of discs. I would personally find it too cute to eat.
The next showcase offered their chocolate to go, in a more casual way. Clear boxes of their chocolate rocks, chocolate bark, chocolate bars, chocolate bricks, chocolate sticks, chocolate peels, and chocolate toffee. Various sizes and various flavours to curb any chocolatey craving. They even sold their own hot chocolate mixes and chocolate spreads, very giftable.
Sadly I am not a big chocolate buff so didn’t really order anything from their individual chocolate showcase. Though I did note how well lined each row was and how exciting some of the flavours were. Their “creamsicle” square was coloured orange, it was advertised as having won some chocolate award. Similarly the passion fruit, raspberry, and fresh mint seemed to have their tops wrapped in paper, representing their flavour’s colour. A bright pinky-red for raspberry; a yellow, orange, and red blend for passion fruit; and a bold green for mint. Other chocolates were topped with their featured ingredient. The “Stumptown coffee” was sprinkled with coffee grounds, “lavender and honey” was topped with faded purple leaves, and the “barley infused caramel over praline” featured a lone barley kernel. The round dome shaped cocktail inspired chocolates had me contemplating. A spray painted green “margarita”, a shiny red “pimms cup”, a frosty looking “blueberry cocktail”; and an empty row of “mango martini”. By 1pm they already had many things sold out.
Their viennoiserie selection included savoury options with the sweet, separated between shelves. “viennoiserie” are baked goods made from a yeast-leavened dough similar to bread, but with added ingredients like eggs, butter, milk, cream and sugar; to give them a richer, sweeter character. There was a bacon onion croissant and cheesy individual loaves, a sweet cheese croissants and cranberry and orange scones.
My partner got the last “pain au chocolate” croissant, warmed up. Pointing to it behind the glass he knew it would be good. The pastry was so crisp and flaky, he dug in splitting it in half. He immediately declared this to be one of the top chocolate croissants he has ever had. (And over the years I have brought him many) Although, he did wish there was more chocolatey filling.
I had the “spiced apple turnover” with puff pastry and almond cream. It was like the fancy version of a common apple strudel, topped with large sugar crystals. Like the croissant before, the flaky pastry was the best part. Buttery and crisp, we ended up eating around the soften apple chunks just to enjoy the puff pastry as is.
The individual desserts were a work of art. Glossy rounds in a variety of typical dessert flavours. Chocolate and salted caramel, vanilla and caramel, mango and caramel, and Black Forest; to name a few.
Though out of all the cakes, the lime and coconut one caught my eye first and most. It was this stand out pastel neon green colour, sitting with all the regular brown and white cakes. It was rimmed in shredded coconut, and topped with two dollops of merguine and a chocolate spiral. Digging in, I expected the cake to be soft and spongy, instead it was hard and crumbly like a shortbread cookie. At its centre was more toasted coconut, chocolate and a yellow custard. It was as delicious as it was beautiful, but fairly sweet.
Of note, in his clean white coat, I believe it was the pastry chef who came out of the kitchen to serve us.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this for someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
Given the area in relation to where I live, it would only be a when I am in the area and craving desserts or a snack, I would come here option. I liken it most similarly to the setting and quality of “Chez Christophe Chocolaterie patisserie”, in Burnaby. A sophisticated bakery for those looking to indulge fully. Serving beautiful chocolates and decadent cakes that make the perfect gifts, for those you love most and those you want to impress most. Don’t deny your cravings.