Sherman's Food Adventures: Dazzling Cafe

Dazzling Cafe

I've noticed that the pictures on my IG account that get the most likes and attention seem to be mainly desserts.  More specifically, Asian desserts that are piled high with lots of various things that make it look even more impressive.  So it is no accident that while I was scrolling through my feed, I was drawn to the toast boxes from the newly opened Dazzling Cafe.  However, with a 6:00pm closing time and lineups that go 2 hours long, it hasn't been the easiest place to visit.  So I decided to hit it up with Mijune one afternoon just before it closed.  Even with that, we had to wait nearly an hour for a table for 2.

Despite being know for their toasts, Dazzling also offers up a fair amount of savoury items on their menu.  As such, we went for something out of each section including the Truffle Fries to start.  These reminded me of Costco fries with a light and super crispy starch coating.  These were tossed in only a minimal amount of truffle oil, so there was that noted Earthiness without tasting too artificial.  On top, they drizzled a small dab of jarred black truffle which added an even bigger hit of woodsiness.  We also got the Duck & Pesto Pizza sporting a super thin crust that was more akin to a pita or cracker.  Hence, the edges were crispy and light while the middle softened up quickly due to the pesto and cheeses on top.  There was also some buttery mushrooms as well as the thick-sliced pieces of duck breast (which were not dry, but not juicy either).

My favourite dish was the Mentaiko Pasta with onion and nori.  Normally, most Asian restaurants butcher and destroy pasta until it has the texture of mashed potatoes.  Not here though as the spaghetti was al dente.  Now it wasn't "Italian al dente" but it was al dente for an Asian restaurant.   I also appreciated that there was just enough moisture to coat the pasta without drowning it.  About that sauce, it was on the sweeter side and the pops of seafoodiness from the tobiko was both tasty and texturally pleasing.  Not visually attractive, the Squid Ink Rice with mussels was like a risotto with chewy grains of rice that were cheesy, garlicky and briny.  This was actually very flavourful without being salty.  However, it was a very heavy dish and I couldn't see myself finishing the whole thing.

Onto dessert, we only had to pay a surcharge of $2.00 for our Hazelnut Chocolate Honey Toast because only the basic toast is free with the purchase of 2 entrees.  This was probably the most photogenic of the bunch and featured cubes of crispy toast filled with chocolate and topped with fluffy cream and hazelnuts.  We thought this was a pretty well-executed dessert, but something seemed to be missing in the middle, like a custard or something.  Despite the copious amount of cream, the whole thing still seemed dry. Rounding out our meal was some bevvies including the Dazzling Pink and Grape Cherry Tea. I found these expensive at over $5.00 each, but they were refreshing and only lightly sweet.  Overall, the rest of the items were not really all that pricey with all things considered.  It was a good experience, but hardly a mind-blowing one.  At the very least, I found the one here in Richmond better than the Hong Kong Causeway Bay location.

The Good:
- Cute dining space with rabbit ear chairs
- Other than the drinks, not too pricey
- Some decent eats

The Bad:
- Service was good, but still hard to flag someone down
- Good experience, but probably a little over-hyped by the IG posts

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