Anna's is a full-line bakery specializing in Eurasian Baked goods. Most of their recipes are derivatives of European baking but they have added an Asian flare to the products by introducing different techniques. The results are amazingly light and flavorful cakes, pastries, breads and buns.
Unfortunately, the cake was terrible. It was for a 50th birthday (very special opportunity); we went there because we had been referred and our normal baker (Fratelli's) was away on holidays. We felt very disappointed in the cake, the service from head office staff and then the owner, afterward. It was bland, didn't taste like chocolate. It tasted more like butter, salt and a little bit of coffee. When we complained they justified it by saying they use milk chocolate, not dark chocolate, butter has salt in it and asked us if we were Chinese (?)...said they hadn't had a complaint in 41 years. So, apparently the take away is, if we were Chinese we would have been happy. We asked for our money back because we would never return and they said no.
You don't get your average white vanilla cake with choco frosting here. Anna's cake are absolutely heavenly. We often get cakes here for birthdays and the favorite would be the strawberry mango mousse cake. The cakes are smooth and not as sweet as most traditional cakes.
One time I was waiting for them to wrap up our cake and decided to try one of their century egg pastries. It's an acquired taste and not for the health conscience, but definitely really good.
The smoothest, tastiest, perfect egg tarts all around. The tart crust is perfectly buttery and flakey.
Their buns are okay... they tend to get sticky after sitting for a couple hours or definitely by the next day. I can't stand a lot of Asian buns because of that though there are some bakeries that don't share that problem.
Their cakes all mostly taste the same. The fresh whipped cream they use to ice the cake is pretty well-made. However, every single one of their cakes are pretty much identical. The mousse cakes all end up tasting equally as light and foamy while with hints of whatever flavour you choose (manga/strawberry), as is the case with their cheesecakes. It just gets too monotonous and bores quickly.
Quality-wise, I suppose they have proudly maintained a certain standard they've set for themselves and I'm not arguing that. I've just lost all interest in purchasing their pastries and buns except whenever I have a craving for beautiful egg tarts.
Though just because I can't stand eating their bakery goods, it doesn't make them "bad". There is absolutely nothing wrong with their goods. It is consistently made with the same flair and flavours. So if you find yourself enjoying it the first time around, you should also enjoy it the 2nd and 3rd time until you get tired of the same old items with the same old flavours over & over again with not much new to offer and the rare new introduction almost always ends up being nearly identical to an old one with maybe 1 ingredient replaced. It's like the good old brand of Levi's or McD's hamburger--you can always depend on it to be the same as the last one you've owned/eaten 10 yrs ago.
Ordering was fine, I asked for a Fresh Fruit Cake that would be large enough for 20 people. They recommended the 7"x14.5" size. I asked if they take credit, they said yes to that also.
Arrived to pick up the cake, it was nicely designed and had the correct message on it. When I brought out my MasterCard, they said SORRY WE DO NOT TAKE Credit Cards ... I replied saying that when I order the cake from there listed phone number on the webpage, the peson I was speaking to said that they did honor credit cards. They replied, "Oh, that's just the Broadway location" .. I tried to show my displeasure ... but I still had to pay in CASH. Why do they have 2 locations, but only one takes Credit cards ... go figure.
Brought the cake home at 5:30pm and was serving it at 7:30pm, we found the cake to be very dry and the real cream to be not "too cremey", the fresh fruit was hard and chunky ... not what I would expect for paying $56 dollars and From Anna's Bakery.
Someone brought a Fresh Fruit Cake from a smaller unknown bakery at Hastings & Victoria to the party .... we tried that cake 2 days later ... and it was still better than the one from Anna's.
I don't think I will be going back to Anna's. I will try Pinehouse next time .. a bit further, but I am sure it will be better.
Anna's Cake House used to be an institution for good chinese pastries and cake. Not anymore. Prices have skyrocketed and portions got very chinzy and small. Everytime I go in hoping for the vast variety on their web site I am disappointed to see half empty cases and meager portions. For same price can get better pastries at St. Germain.
I'm sorry, but in the last two years, Anna's cake products just do not taste the same as before. They have cheaped out on many things and made many cost cutting measures to their birthday cakes. 5-10 years ago they used to be the best around. Whoever took over Anna's (I heard they had sold ownership) decided to make their whipped cream icings thicker but taste worse, the cake blander and dryer (like they used fake powder eggs instead of real eggs or something), and the fruit mousses have also changed in quality.
Too bad they decided to use all these cost cutting measures instead of preserving their premium taste and just adding more to the price. That was not a great business decision.
their cakes are the best. i have yet to go to any other place that makes the cream so delicious. however, be prepared to empty out your wallet for a cake like this.
the service is pretty bad, the ladies look like they hate their jobs.
a little smile could do wonders.
but.. their cakes are WONDERFUL!!
So the store on Cambie was suffering because of the construction and they were handing out 20% off coupons for their stuff. We ordered a cake and when we got there and realized we forgot our coupon, they said we couldn't get the discount. If we know about the discount, doesn't it mean we have the coupon? It's not like there's an expiry on it, nor have they stopped handing out coupons. So we decided to just go to other cake stores who make cakes just as good and at cheaper prices too.
Basically, the place is overrated and isn't anything special.
My family and I tried the cakes from Anna's for the first time years ago and since we've had it for almost every birthday or special occasion...They are such a great alternative, acutally hardly comparable, to the usual heavy iced cakes you buy at the supermarket or at other bakeries. The cakes at Anna's are simple and that's what makes them lovely; they are comprised of a light whipped icing, fresh fruit topping, and a sponge cake with the option of adding a pudding filling to inside the cake! I recommend getting the mango filling!
They also have wonderful buns and other pastries...but their cakes are the best!