An European inspired patisserie shop specializing in delicate, hand made chocolates, cakes and sandwiches. Enjoy a cup of freshly made coffees or their many other daily concoctions!
Opened just a year ago, I came here on my birthday with my girlfriend a couple days ago to try them out.
We both absolutely love patisserie shops and their style of desserts so we had high expectations to begin with. Needless to say, this place did not disappoint.
Steve, the owner and chef, was very hospitable, generous, kind and welcoming. His little toddler of a daughter was also just the sweetest thing. He himself was always ready to talk about his creations and thoughts as this is a man with deep passion for what he does and you can feel it everywhere - the aura.
First, when we walked into his place, my initial thoughts were the cleanliness, luxuriousness and yet modest / minimalist design. It reminded me of Thomas Haa's shop because I visit his store often. I than learned from Steve that he had worked under the master tutelage of Thomas for 5 years and now has finally struck out on his own just a year ago.
The shop is tucked away in a more quiet section of marine drive in west van. The picturesque settings mix well with the sumptuous creations that is Steve - yet reasonable priced. I am always price conscious, who isn't? And when you enter the luxurious end of the spectrum, it's not a question anymore but a principle. However I will get to this part later to help wrap things up.
We had a Bailey's inspired dessert, a mango milk chocolate dessert, a ham and cheese croissant, some chocolates and a large cup of latte to share.
Having had Thomas's desserts many times, I couldn't help but compare them both during my own internal verdict, but I will tell you what makes Steve stand out and is making him a strong contender for top spot patisserie store in Vancouver, or even one of the top spots in Canada.
I do not need to describe the taste, because their technicalities are all superb. What I will describe is, what I presume to be, the chef's concept and belief direction.
His desserts are at least 30% less sweet than Haa's but their flavor profile is absolutely amazing and on par with Haas. Decadent, yet not dense. Airy yet with varying layers of texture and not linear. The desserts hit you not with flavor or the masking of sweetness that is pretentious only at the tip of your tongue, but with much depth as its aromas fill you everywhere from mouth, to throat, back to nose and finally gone until your next bite.
You're paying for an experience here.
A stand out, I do have to point, is his croissants. I also eat at Beaucoups quite often for croissants and they're rated #1 in Vancouver. Well, croissant wise, Steve's is up there with them. Extremely well layered, light and airy, it's just a beautifully made croissant.
His Habanero and Honey chocolate was something I think the Asian community such as myself would enjoy immensely. The kick comes a little later and than the honey helps bring out the spicy habanero even more, finally with the chocolate washing over and complimenting all of the combined flavors. It was like a reverse play.
This may sound a bit cheesy, but I can't help but imagine Steve, sitting there with much patience and fortitude, tempering a great piece of katana (In this case, his desserts) like the master Japanese sword smiths of old.
Where every temper is an - almost religious - process and movement that inches ever higher in creating a masterpiece for you to enjoy in the end.
This place's value is beyond and is worth every penny. Go there, sit down, take your time and enjoy the afternoon as you realize for yourself the mastery behind Temper.