Caffè Artigiano – New Summer Menu

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Disclosure: All food and beverages were complimentary, but all opinions are my own.

Last month, Caffè Artigiano launched their new summer menu with a selection of chilled caffeinated (and decaffeinated) artisanal iced coffee, teas, and sodas along with some new food menu items. I was invited to check out the location on Main and 24th.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

The Main Street location is extremely spacious with long communal tables as well as seating for smaller parties. Love the cool vintage Italian vibe in here.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

There are a number of new menu items for food this summer as Chef Dawn Doucette has curated some new breakfast and lunch items. Chef Dawn has worked with Michael, the Director of Coffee, to introduce menu items that pair well together for the summer.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

This also includes some pastry items.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Italian Sodas

For drinks, we tried the new Italian Sodas which guests can choose flavours like the frutti do bosco berry or peach syrup. The flavoured syrups are mixed with sparkling San Pellegrino and topped with fresh blueberries or mint. These make light and refreshing beverages and are great for those who enjoy a bit of a fizz.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Affogato

Another exciting addition is the Affogato, which features a dark espresso poured warm over a scoop of cold vanilla gelato from Mario’s Gelato. This item is available at locations that have freezer space, so this includes Park Royal, YVR (McArthurGlen Designer Outlet) and Hornby Street.

Other summer beverages included the Ice Cofffee, Iced Caffè Latte , Iced Spanish Latte, Frappé, Shakerato, and Ice Tea. What’s great here is that they do not use powders and syrups in their coffee drinks and therefore much healthier. Further, kid’s drinks are made with organic milk, soy, or almond milk, and also available for an added price for adults.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Pavarotti 

There are many new sandwich options which are drawn from Italy. The Pavarotti  features green olive tapenade, Italian mortadella, nitrate-free country ham, smoked salami and provolone served on focaccia. The focaccia is toasted beautifully and the ingredients inside are savoury with a hint of spice from the salami.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Paolino Piadina

The Paolino Piadina features rustic Italian flatbread, parmesan breaded chicken, roast garlic aioli, mozzarella, marinara sauce and arugula.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Breakfast Wrap

The Breakfast Wrap is filled with scrambled eggs, marinara sauce, potatoes, cilantro, green onion and served with a side of salsa and sour cream.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

There are also several new salad options, all of which are colourful and fresh. These are prepared at the commissary kitchen in Vancouver.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Overall, a great selection of new summer menu items. I especially love the new iced drinks and affogato, which are perfect for the hot weather.

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

This summer Caffè Artigiano is giving away all things Vespa! Prizes include some of their bright red gift cards, loaded with $20 worth of great coffee drinks in their caffès; a Vespa LX50 day rental for two; and five bright red Vespa bags full of coffee, a travel mug and gift card, and in one of those bags, a key to a brand-new Vespa Primavera 50 Rosso Dragon. Follow them, comment and share pictures of the scooter at their various locations around BC this summer for your chance to win!

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Check out their social media for more details!

Caffe Artigiano Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

L’Éclair de Génie

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

NOTE: All food and beverages were complimentary, but all opinions are based on my own personal experience.

L’Éclair de Génie has finally arrived in Vancouver on Robson Street and is the first boutique in North America. L’Éclair de Génie is a pastry concept started by renowned chef Christophe Adam. L’Éclair de Génie is adored worldwide with 25 boutiques throughout France, Japan, Hong Kong, Italy, and now here in Canada.

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

There are usually ten flavours of éclairs at the boutique with two new flavours rotating each month. The brightly lit éclair shop is great for take out but also offers some seating in the back and along the side of the wall.

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Chef Christophe has dedicated the last 14 years to creating a chic snacking version of the French pastry landmark, the éclair. He flew in from Paris for the launch of the Vancouver store to share his passion for these delicious sweets.

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

During the media preview, we were able to sample the  following flavours:

  • Caramel Beurre Salé: salted caramel & mascarpone cream
  • Vanille Pécan: vanilla cream & caramelized pecan
  • Chocolat Grand Cru: chocolate cream
  • Frambroise Passion: passionfruit cream, raspberry confit & fresh raspberries
  • Sirop D’érable: maple cream
  • Matcha Bambou: matcha cream & white chocolate
  • Pistache Framboises: pistachio chantilly, raspberry confit, fresh raspberries & roasted pistachios
  • Praliné Noisette: caramel mascarpone cream, hazelnut praline & caramelized hazelnuts
  • Citron Yuzu: lemon yuzu cream & crispy merringue
  • Vanille Framboise: vanilla cream, raspberry confit, fresh raspberries & white chocolate

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

The Sirop D’érable which features an exclusive I love Vancouver design has definitely been a hit for the Vancouverites. Filled with maple cream, the éclair is rich but not overly sweet due to its petite size.  

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

My favourite éclairs were the Citron Yuzu, Framboise Passion, and Pistache Framboises since I tend to like sweet and sour sweets. The amount of filling for these éclairs are just the right amount and the presentation is absolutely beautiful. The sweets range from around $6 – $7.

 

() by ukijojo on 500px.com

Aside from éclairs, the boutique also offers a beautiful array of chocolates.

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Pastries are also available, which along with the éclairs, pair perfectly with their coffee and tea selection.

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Looking for a gift or to treat yourself? The boutique has a variety of take home sweets including caramelized almonds.

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

And how cute are these chocolate bars?

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Overall, L’Éclair de Génie offers a delicious and beautiful variety of éclairs and I can’t wait to be back. It’s always great to have international boutiques opening up in Vancouver so we can too get a taste of these delicious pastries.

Chef Christophe Adam has also recently released his new cookbook: ÉCLAIRS Easy, Elegant & Modern Recipes. Check out my review on this step by step cookbook on making your own éclairs!

L’Éclair de Génie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Éclairs: Easy, Elegant & Modern Recipes

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

If you’ve been following social media, you’ve probably seen éclair pictures showing up everywhere. Or you might’ve been part of those long line ups at L’Éclair de Genie which just opened up in Vancouver and is the first boutique in North America.

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Recently, I was sent a copy of Éclairs: Easy, Elegant & Modern RecipesThe cookbook is written by Chef Christophe Adam, the owner of the éclair boutique. Chef Christophe’s remarkable career has taken him from three Michelin-starred restaurants in London to Fauchon in Paris to eventually opening his own éclair boutique. So if you are obsessed with his éclairs, you can now learn how to bake your own!

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

The cookbook is visually beautiful with step by step instructions for 35 recipes.  Many of the recipes look just like the ones sold at the boutique and are easily interchangeable.

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

The book also provides a list of equipment, along with basic rules and helpful tips to assist both the beginner and the experienced baker. I cannot wait to start baking!

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Check out my review of the éclairs at L’Éclair de Genie if you are interested!

Wild Sweets: 2016 Holiday Collection

NOTE: All food and beverages were complimentary, but all opinions are based on my own experience.

Still looking for last minute holiday gifts? With the launch of the 2016 holiday collection, Wild Sweets has you covered whether you’re looking for the perfect cake to bring to your holiday parties or if you’re looking for a box of chocolates for a gift.

Snapseed by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Venezuela Ocumare Chocolate ‘Bûche de Noël’

A beautiful and elegant cake that will be a showstopper at your parties, this chocolate brownie cake has a variety of textures. The cake features crispy crêpes hazelnut praliné, dark chocolate & vanilla bean ganache, dark chocolate Crème Brûlée cream, dark chocolate sabayon mousse and dark chocolate gelée.

Snapseed by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Crispy Chocolate Cherry Orange ‘Tea Cake

One of the most surprising cakes for most of us was this one. They based the cake with the ingredients in a traditional fruit cake but completely modernized it. Usually, I hate fruit cakes because of how dense it is, but this had so many layers, creating a lovely texture.

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

The cake is laced with dried cherries, cranberries, and orange peels which have been soaked in brandy. The cake is then placed over a crunchy buttery ‘sablé’ cookie topped with a hazelnut chocolate praline cream with crispy crepe flakes, and finished with a dark chocolate coating. I highly recommend giving this a try.

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Crispy Cherry Ganache Collection

This has a similar cake component to the Tea Cake, but is placed on top of hazelnut chocolate praline cream with crispy crepe cookies. A soft ganache made with different fruit-based liquid caramels is poured over the crispy praline / cake components.Each collection features an assortment of 4 chocolate bouchées with the following flavours,

  • William Pear & Chestnut Cream Caramel Ganache
  • Lychee Rose & Raspberry Caramel Ganache
  • Cassis Blackberry & Elderberry Ganache
  • Mandarin & Orange Zest Caramel Ganache

These reminded me of moon cakes but a chocolate cake version.

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Cocoa Bean Chocolate Tea

I believe when you make a purchase for both the Tea Cake and the Crispy Cherry Ganache Collection, you will receive a pack of the Cocoa Bean Chocolate Tea. I was confused when they told us we were trying chocolate tea. Did they mean they were going to melt chocolate in tea? But how come it looked literally just like tea? Well, the secret is the tea is made entirely from roasted cocoa beans and husks only. There is no sugar other than vanilla bean powder added. Seriously very tasty and something everyone should try!

Snapseed by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Santa-Sphere, Orna-Tree

Making great gifts, Wild Sweets also has Holiday cocoArt Sculptures for sale. These are made with milk and/or dark chocolate. And if you know the story of Wild Sweets, all their chocolates are made in-house from origin cocoa bean-to-bar chocolate.

Snapseed by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Tree

Snapseed by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Snowman

 

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Sleigh

Snapseed by SophiaHo on 500px.com

2016 Vintage Canadian Icewine Collection

Moving on to boxed chocolates, this box is perfect for those who enjoy ice wine. The box features an assortment of 12 chocolates, each comprising of 2 types of fillings: one is a honey nut and Canadian Icewine praline cream while the other is a soft ganache made with different Icewine and fruits purees associated with the specific tasting notes of 4 different types of Vintage Canadian Icewine with some as old as 1999. I’m a fan of ice wine, but I found that the ice wine flavour was too light and I could barely taste it.

The collection includes the following ganache flavours:

  • Cabernet Franc Icewine & Strawberry Apple Ganache
  • Riesling Icewine & Peach Orange Ganache
  • Vidal Icewine & Pineapple Passion fruit Ganache
  • Gewürztraminer Icewine & Lychee Rose Ganache

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

2016 Vintage ‘Ganache Classique Nougatine’

This box features an assortment of four different types of chocolate made from Single Origin cocoa beans. Each ganache filling is topped with a piece of salted butter cocoa nibs nougatine before being enrobed in dark chocolate. Therefore, I loved the slight crunch and chew this collection had. This was probably my favourite of the chocolates.

The collections includes the following origins and percentages:

  • 70% Venezuela Ocumare
  • 70% Venezuela Canaobo
  • 70% PeruOro Verde
  • 64% MexicoChiapas

Snapseed by SophiaHo on 500px.com

pRaliNe & caRaMel Collection N°12

I really liked the visual aspect of this box. The ‘Enrobed’ version features a soft and creamy ganache flavoured a fruit juice caramel, and coated in dark chocolate. The ‘Moulded’ chocolate is hand-painted with cocoa butter colours and filled with a rich and smooth hazelnut butter & milk chocolate cream laced with crispy French ‘crêpes’ cookies.I really enjoyed the orange flavours paired with the chocolate.

The collection features the following assortment of flavours:

  • Hazelnut & vanilla bean praline cream
  • Raspberry caramel & vanilla bean ganache
  • Hazelnut & orange zest praline cream
  • Fresh orange juice and zest caramel ganache

Snapseed by SophiaHo on 500px.com

cocoArt ‘Praliné Noisette’ Collection N°17

This box features sweetened hazelnut butter or praliné in various forms and with distinct textures. The collection includes 2 types of chocolates: crispy or creamy praliné. With the glitter and beauitfully painted art, this box is sure to impress.

The collection features the following assortment of flavours including:

  1. Crispy – Cinnamon Spice Praliné
  2. Crispy – Orange Zest Oil Praliné
  3. Crispy – Lemon Zest Oil Praliné
  4. Crispy – Anise Seeds & Oil Praliné
  5. Creamy – Apricot Passion Ganache
  6. Creamy – Orange Zest Ganache
  7. Creamy – Green Apple Kalamansi Ganache
  8. Creamy – Salted Butter Caramel Ganache
  9. Creamy – Double Vanilla Bean Ganache
  10. Creamy – Origin Espresso Coffee Ganache
  11. Creamy – Raspberry Lemon Zest Ganache
  12. Creamy – Black Currant (Cassis) Ganache

Snapseed by SophiaHo on 500px.com

cocoArt ‘Honey Heart’ Collection N°20

Each chocolate within the ‘Honey Heart’ Collection features 2 types of fillings: one is a smooth lightly scented honey-nut cream while the other is a soft ganache made with different fruit and berry juices. Super pretty and perfect for a loved one.

  • Cassis – Blackberry Fruit Ganache & Elderberry Honey-nut Cream
  • Mango – Apricot Fruit Ganache & Saffron Honey-nut Cream
  • Lychee – Raspberry Fruit Ganache & Rose Honey-nut Cream
  • Strawberry –  Pineapple Fruit Ganache & Orange Blossom Honey-nut cream

IMG by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Overall, I was very impressed with the new holiday collection, and especially with the cakes. The cakes are also priced very well at around $20-25 each. Make sure to pre-order online in advance to guarantee your cake.

Wild Sweets Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beard Papa Sweets Cafe

I’m sure most of you know about Beard Papa by now. It was the hype when it was first brought here from Japan, but they have locations everywhere now that it’s pretty accessible to everyone. However, a year ago, they closed down their stall inside of Richmond Centre and opened up a cafe under the London Drugs complex on No. 3 Road.

This got me really intrigued especially when I noticed that there were always customers sitting in the cafe everytime I drove by, no matter what time it was. Finally, I suggested to S that we take a small dinner and instead fill up with desserts! The cafe here has more than just their famous cream puffs and I could see why people liked to chill here. There were a mix of young and old and it was a great place to sit and chat since it is typically not packed.

Red Bean with Green Tea Ice Cream Waffle (+mochi)

We started off with the Red Bean with Green Tea Ice Cream Waffle but we paid extra to get mochi filling inside our waffle. The preset version with mochi inside doesn’t come with green tea or red bean. This reminded me of the time we first tried mochi waffles in Taipei. This was delicious with the warm and cold mix and is a great item to share with friends.

Cocoa Puff

Onto the cream puffs. We didn’t want to try the original ones since we’ve all had those. This time, we tried out their Cocoa Puff, which is essentially the same as the original but the puff itself is cocoa flavoured and the centre is filled with vanilla cream.

To be honest, I found the puff to be rather dense, so I much prefer their original batter.

Eclair

The Eclair was essentially what the name is. It’s the original cream puff with vanilla cream filling and dipped with chocolate sauce on top. I quite liked this as I’m a sucker for chocolate and this gave just the right amount of sweetness and chocolate flavour without the dense puff that the Cocoa Puff had.

Chocolate Fondant

Last but not least, we tried the Chocolate Fondant which also comes with the flavour choice of green tea.

Unfortunately, the chocolate did not ooze out as much as I wanted. These fondants are pre-made and then they reheat them so perhaps that’s why the ooze isn’t as apparent as those in restaurants. This was just average and too sweet for me personally.

Overall, we quite enjoyed Beard Papa’s Sweet Cafe. I think this would be a great spot to catch up with friends over drinks and sweets without having to crowd at the typical shaved ice and bubble tea joints. Service was also very friendly. Other than sweets, they also have savoury snacks and sandwiches, which seems a little odd. But I haven’t tried these, so I can’t comment.

Pros:
– Wide selection of both sweets and savoury
– Service is friendly and good spot to chill

Cons:
– Some hits and misses
– Many of their desserts seem to be pre-made so may not be super fresh based on traffic

Price Range: $10-20

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 3 Parking: 4 Overall: 3

Beard Papa's Sweet Cafe  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

PappaRoti

commercial photography locations

NOTE: All food and beverages were complimentary but all opinions are based on my personal experience.

PappaRoti began in Malaysia and opened their first North American store in Vancouver on Robson St. a year ago. Thanks to Sharon, a group of food bloggers were able to try a selection of their items.

commercial photography locations

The interior reminds me of a Blenz, with a variety of different drinks and quick bites. Very spacious and I saw many people on their laptops working away.

commercial photography locations

Crazy for Kaya

Of course, they are famous for their freshly baked caramel coffee buns. They are twice baked so that the outside is crisp and crunchy, and pillowy soft, buttery and rich on the inside. They feature a variety of different toppings and sides and Crazy for Kaya features kaya and honey. Reminds me of kaya toast which I have a love for!

commercial photography locations

The Works

You can also choose The Works where you are able to select your choice of any four toppings. Here, they paired strawberries, whipped cream, ice cream and bananas.

commercial photography locations

The Classic

I think my favourite was still The Classic which features nutella and banana. The two flavours are just perfect complements and paired great with the buttery bun.

commercial photography locations

Rise and Shine

Rise and Shine features Pappa cream cheese and jam on the side. Be sure to eat these fresh from the oven to best enjoy them. I tried them cold and they weren’t as good for sure.

commercial photography locations

Choco Banana Pappa Rollie

Their newest addition is the Pappa Rollie. These are made with a croissant dough but has the same sweet and crispy exterior. So flaky and I liked the chocolate filling inside with banana flavouring. They also have a Coconut Pappa Rollie

commercial photography locations

Roast Beef, Chicken Chipotle, Apple Chicken Blue Cheese, Turkey & Brie, Vegan Moroccan

I always associated PappRoti with coffee buns and had no idea they had other menu items. Well turns out you can also get sandwiches and wraps here! My favourite was the Turkey & Brie.

commercial photography locations

They also have salads including the Island Salad and Tuscan Salad, all of which make a healthy meal.

commercial photography locations

Other than their gourmet coffees, teas and smoothies, they also carry drinks from other brands, including Revel Juice.

Overall, I really enjoyed the coffee buns but was surprised that their other items were just as good. PappaRoti is the perfect spot to grab a quick snack or even a meal.

PappaRoti Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beta5

NOTE: All desserts provided in the media event in the first section were complimentary. All opinions are based on my own experience.

Beta5‘s 2016 summer collection, ‘livin’s easy’ launched last month and we were invited to attend their media event to try out all the new items. Beta5 is located in an industrial area which is not transit friendly, but so worth the trip!

The shop front is quite small but you can see the chefs at work in the back which is pretty cool.

Remember to come here early as these goodies run out quick. Many times, I arrived near closing and they sold out of many of the flavours I wanted.

commercial photography locations

Cherry Cola Cream Puffbotanical cola custard, Okanagan cherry jelly, whipped vanilla ganache, fizzy cherry chocolate, amarena cherry

commercial photography locations

I really enjoyed that fizz in the chocolate. It was like eating those popping candy!

commercial photography locations

Pina Colada Cream Puffcoconut ash choux, pineapple curd, whipped coconut-lime ganache, black chocolate rings

commercial photography locations

One of my favourite desserts of the night was the Pina Colada Cream Puff. Something about it was so mysterious being all black! But inside was filled with a fruit pineapple curd and was perfect for the summer!

commercial photography locations

Lime Spritzer Cream Puffmint-lime curd, greek yogurt pannacotta, cucumber meringue, cucumber pearls

Refreshing and perfect for the summer!

commercial photography locations

Ants On a Log Eclairmilk chocolate and peanut whipped ganache, celery whipped ganache, white chocolate celery stick, peanut glaze

This was super witty as the eclair tasted just like peanut butter on celery! Perfect for those who enjoy celery.

commercial photography locations

S’More Eclair68% dark chocolate mousse, 46% milk chocolate mousse, toasted vanilla meringue, cinnamon graham cracker crust

This brings back memories of having s’mores in front of the campfire in the summertime. Tastes just like a S’more!

commercial photography locations

Neopolitan Eclairvanilla cremeux, strawberry cremeux, chocolate cremeux, caramelized white chocolate crunch, neopolitan whipped ganache ice cream in a chocolate cone

Another one of my favourites and who can resist how cut this looks! Gobble it quick before the ice cream melts!

commercial photography locations

The 2016 summer collection also includes some new flavours of their delectable chocolates. The new flavours include Cinnamon S’more, Strawberry Daiquiri, Raspberry Lemonade, Cucumber Cooler, Root Beer Float, and Celery + Peanut.

commercial photography locations

The flavours are bold and bright and bring back childhood memories of summer.

commercial photography locations

Mint Chocolate Sundae

We also got to try their Mint Chocolate Sundae which is part of their ice cream social.

Beta5’s Ice Cream Social happens every Saturday from 1-5pm. They serve up sundaes, ice creams and sorbets and they have a special flavour every week.

On another occasion, separate from the media event, S and I checked out their ice cream social which featured the Raspberry Earl Grey Sundae.

Raspberry Earl Grey Sundae

This was so delicious! It came with earl grey sundae, raspberry swirl ice cream, fresh raspberry compote, raspberry-earl grey macarons and chocolate garnishes. Loved how creamy the ice cream was!

Signature Chocolate Sundae

One of the sundaes they featured in July was the Signature Chocolate Sundae. We were able to choose from a variety of sorbets and ice creams and the toppings were preset. We went with the cola sorbet and it was so refreshing! I loved the textures of the different chocolate garnishes as some had a nice crunch.

Overall, we had an amazing time at the media event as well as our own visit to Beta 5. Definitely worth checking out during the summer as you can grab some ice cream (which is only available during summer) and take a box of the summer collection goodies home! Makes a perfect gift too!

BETA5 Chocolates Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato