As much as North Burnaby is a great place to live, it isn't blessed with many great culinary experiences. Sure, we have the Pear Tree, Chez Meme and possibly Horizons, but everything else is a mishmash of various neighbourhood restaurants. If we look at bakeries, it gets even more dicey with only the Valley Bakery standing out. However, we just might have something to talk about after all... With the opening of Chez Christophe, it would appear we have our first legit Patisserie in the area. Originally, I had visited the place earlier and had not scheduled this post. In the meantime, I got an invite for a tasting. Therefore, this post is a combination of both visits.
Let's start with my original visit first... For those unfamiliar, Christophe used to be the pastry chef at Cin Cin. Hence, it was no surprise to find the Duo in the display case. Remarkably similar to the Duomo at Cin Cin, this little dome of chocolate consisted of chocolate mousse and orange cream within velvety chocolate. As expected, this was as good as the first time I had it. Beautifully crafted and not overbearing in any aspect. As with most patisserie visits, I got a Lemon Tart. I liked the size as it wasn't too big nor small while the crust was firm and buttery. The lemon curd had a smooth consistency which was not runny. There was a substantial lemon hit that was tempered by just enough sugar. I liked this tart very much.
Of course I also got some Butter Croissants and I thought they were really good. My son devoured his quickly and gave the thumbs up. There were buttery on the inside and crispy on the outside. Nothing more to say than these were well-made. Now onto the tasting we were presented with their Double-Baked Croissants. These were rich and sweet while being buttery throughout. Since it was the end of the day, they were not as firm as I would've liked as they had softened up in texture. On the topic of soft, I found the inside of their Macarons to be a bit too mushy for my liking. However, it was a bit different than my first experience as it was chewier with a crisp shell. I did like the delicate flavours though as they were not too sweet nor artificial-tasting.
Onto some more desserts, I tried the Fraise Pistache consisting of pistachio cream, strawberry cremeux with a heart of strawberry and Limoncello confit on a pistachio dacquoise. I found the pistachios on the outside provided a nice aroma as well as texture. As for the layers, they were light and not particularly sweet. It was not as heavy as it appeared. I found the layer of cake a bit dense though. Next was the Mille-Feuille made with caramelised puff pastry, tonka cream and coffee ganache. I really liked this one as the pastry was flaky and crisp. The cream was flavourful while still light. The ganache was smooth and impacful without being overwhelming.
Continuing on and thinking I needed an insulin shot, we had the gluten-free Noix de Coco et Citron Vert consisting of lime and coconut mousse with raspberry confit on a coconut dacquoise. Surprisingly to me, this was probably one of my favourites since it was so refreshing. It was not heavy at all exhibiting a sweet coconut essence while being airy. Then we had 2 desserts with similar appearances, but with very different tastes. First, the Myrtille Vanille was constructed with vanilla mousse and a heart of blueberry with sponge soaked in blueberry. This was fairly light and only semi-sweet. I had no problem eating it as it was fruity and smooth. The Gianduja Cerise made with hazelnut chocolate mousse with a heart of cherry on a hazelnut crunch was equally good being only slightly more heavy due to the chocolate and hazelnut crunch. Again, there a conservative amount of sugar used.
Another super creamy dessert which was not-heavy-at-all was the Tiramisu Verrine made with vanilla bean Mascarpone mousse and marinated blueberries in orange juice and Grand Marnier. I was actually wanting to finish my desserts because they were so easy to eat. I really liked the blueberry as it was fruity and natural tasting. Lastly, I tried a selection of their Chocolates (and without getting too detailed) which I found to be pretty good. They were silky with a nice sheen and just sweet enough. The flavours were as advertised and impactful. I particularly enjoyed the Kalamasi (purple-coloured). If I had to take my 2 visits into consideration, it is a safe bet to give Christophe credit for bringing finely-crafted sweets to North Burnaby.
*This post is a combination of my own paid visit and a subsequent comped one*
- Carefully made items
- Doesn't overload on the sugar
- Most items are not heavy at all
- Costs more than the other bakeries around, but it is like comparing macarons to macaroons