Fayuca (Happy Hour)

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Fayuca opened up earlier last year in Yaletown and features a Northern Pacific Mexican menu. E, K and I decided to come here for a girls night out.

 

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The restaurant has a really nice patio with cute cushions and chairs. The only downside is there are no heaters or blankets outside, so only great on a sunny day.

 

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The interior is also uniquely designed and features a small bar.

 

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When we visited, we were able to check out their happy hour menu which is available Monday to Friday from 4pm-6pm (it used to be start at 3pm but has since changed). Keep in mind this menu was from the end of summer so may have changed since. Dishes are $7-$12 and are meant for sharing.

 

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There are quite a few drinks on the happy menu as well. Beers, wines, and cocktails are among the choices.

 

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Mezcal Jamaica

To start, I tried the Mezcal Jamaica which featured Sombra artisanal Mezcal with tart hibiscus “Jamaica”, cinnamon and orange. I actually didn’t end up enjoying this drink as I personally don’t enjoy cinnamon in my drinks and it was a bit too tart for me. Instead, I switched to a glass of Nate’s syrah which I enjoyed.

 

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Half-Dozen Sawmill Bay Oysters

Moving on to food, we ended up trying almost all items on the happy hour menu except for the grilled oysters. We decided on the Half-Dozen Sawmill Bay Oysters which were served with a daily aguachile. As expected, the Sawmill Bay oysters were rather small and not as sweet I’d like them to be. They were okay but nothing mind blowing. For $1.50 each, I would probably skip this next time.

 

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Sockeye Salmon Ceviche

Next was the Sockeye Salmon Ceviche which is served with a jicama aguachile. It was also served with this crispy cracker. The salmon was fresh and had just the right amount of acidity.

 

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Roasted Golden Beet Ceviche

The Roasted Golden Beet Ceviche looked almost like salmon ceviche! It was served with a carrot aguachile along with some avocados. I normally don’t like to eat beets, but this is a much try! The texture reminded me of salmon and the ceviche was served with corn tortillas.

 

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Guacamole with Crispy Sunchokes

Another dish I enjoyed was the Guacamole with Crispy Sunchokes. It was topped with toasted pumpkin seeds and Macedonian feta. The guacamole was so flavourful and the pumpkin seeds added a nice texture. Again, these were served with corn tortillas.

 

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Albacore Ceviche Tostada

Lastly, an order of the Albacore Ceviche Tostada comes with two tortillas and is topped with avocado and purple cabbage. The dish also comes with a habanero sauce but it was way too spicy for me! These tostadas were really enjoyable and flavourful.

 

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Tostadas

Almost all dishes on the happy hour menu came with a dish of Tostadas or corn tortillas. These were crunchy and lightly salted. However, because almost all our dishes came with tostadas, it got a bit salty after a while. I think we wouldn’t have minded them as much if we only had 1 or 2 dishes with the tostada.

 

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Overall, I enjoyed the happy hour menu at Fayuca but wished there was a bit more variety. I found most of the dishes were ceviches and therefore served with the same tostada to get a bit boring after a while. However, there are definitely some solid dishes during happy hour and I’d love to come back to try out their dinner menu. Happy hour ends up being not as discounted as you’d think as most dishes are around $10.

Pros:
– Solid dishes during happy hour
– Large variety of drinks to choose from on happy hour menu

Cons:
– Almost all dishes during happy hour are served with tostadas so can get a bit repetitive

Price Range: $25-$40 per person (happy hour)

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

Food: 3.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 4 Parking: Paid meter parking on street Overall: 3.5

 

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

Taste of Yaletown 2018

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The Yaletown Business Improvement Association (YBIA) is proud to announce the 14th annual Taste of Yaletown (TOY), a popular community-based event that invites the public to try a variety of dishes from 25 premier restaurants throughout the neighbourhood. From October 18th to 28th, restaurants will offer innovative pairings, and special menus at set prices of $25, $35, and $45.

The list of participating restaurants for Taste of Yaletown 2018:

  • Banter Room
  • Bistro Sakana
  • Brix and Mortar
  • Cactus Club Café Yaletown
  • The Distillery Bar + Kitchen
  • Earls Yaletown
  • Fayuca
  • Flying Pig
  • The Greek by Anatoli
  • Hapa Izakaya
  • House Special
  • The Keg Steakhouse + Bar
  • La Pentola
  • Milssam Tacorea
  • The New Oxford
  • The Parlour
  • Provence Marinaside
  • Robba da Matti
  • Rodney’s Oyster House
  • Simply Thai
  • Urban Thai Bistro
  • West Oak Restaurant
  • White Lounge
  • WildTale Coastal Grill
  • Yaletown Brewing Company

Please visit https://yaletowninfo.com/taste-of-yaletown-2018/ for menu details from each restaurant and join the conversation online using the official Taste of Yaletown hashtag: #TOY2018.

 

House Special

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House Special is located in Yaletown and offers modern Vietnamese food. They offer a patio in front of the restaurant and the inside has modern decor but not overly fancy.

 

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Overall, the food at House Special was quite enjoyable. Don’t expect authentic Vietnamese food, but rather vibrant and beautifully plated dishes. Portions are decent and prices are reasonable given its location in Yaletown. Service was also quite friendly.

Pros:
– Modern Vietnamese dishes are well executed

Cons:
– Prices are slightly more for portion size, but probably due to Yaletown location

Price Range: $20-25 per person

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

Food: 3.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 3.5 Parking: Paid street parking Overall: 3.5

House Special Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

WildTale Coastal Grill

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With 2017 Dine Out Vancouver underway, our first dine out of the year was at WildTale Coastal Grill in Yaletown. The interior has a rustic charm and is great as a date night spot.

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The Dine Out menu this year is $30 per person for three courses with wine pairings and add-ons available for extra charge.

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WildTale Seafood Chowder

S started off with the WildTale Seafood Chowder which came with a corn and crab fritter. I found the chowder to be very flavourful and probably best of the night. However, the chowder was extremely small even for an appetizer. Looks like they gave us half the portion because of dine out.

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Albacore Tuna Carpaccio

For myself, I had the Albacore Tuna Carpaccio with a baby gem citrus salad. The tuna itself was not seasoned and therefore really required the citrus fruits to enhance the flavour. Still, I found the dish to be rather bland and the tuna texture doesn’t really work well as a carpaccio since it’s rather mushy.

 

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Herb Crusted Wild Soho Salmon

For his entree, S got the Herb Crusted Wild Soho Salmon, which came with risotto, bay scallops and brown butter caper sauce. S actually disliked the dish and ended up trading it with mine. The salmon itself was cooked to medium rare, but we found it to be almost slightly undercooked. Definitely not dry, but parts of it was almost raw. The cook on the salmon was not the biggest issue. I think it was the sauce it came with and the risotto. Something about the flavour was really off and was too strong in lemon juice. Not sure if it’s just our personal preference, but we didn’t like the flavours at all.

 

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7 Hour Braised Alberta Beef Short Rib

For myself, I ordered the 7 Hour Braised Alberta Short Rib which came with a celeriac pomme puree and roasted bone marrow jus. The short rib was very tender and came apart easily, but again, the flavour was off. I wish they had marinated the short rib ahead of time as the inside of the beef was very bland and you really had to soak in as much jus as you could. The puree itself was pretty good though, but the overall dish was quite bland in flavours.

 

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Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse

There was only one option for dessert, which was the Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse and it came with a housemade biscotti. I found it odd that our two jars were different, and I thought they should’ve at least presented the same types of jars for the same tables if they were short on jars. The mousse itself was also extremely sweet given the menu name said it was bittersweet. You really needed to mix it with the cream or it was too overwhelming. Still, we couldn’t finish the jar as it was quite sweet.

Overall, we were quite disappointed with our experience at WildTale for their Dine Out menu. I hope this is just a one off whereby their regular menu is executed much better. I understand that they are busy during dine out, but I was extremely surprised how fast the food came out. It was as if everything had been prepared in advance. Our total dinner took 45 minutes because of how fast our food came out. It almost felt uncomfortable as we had no breaks between our food. We personally also did not really enjoy any of the dishes on the dine out menu. Nothing blew our mind and made us want to come back. We’ll have to try their regular menu on a normal day to really see how it compares.

Pros:
– Date night ambiance
– Reasonable prices

Cons:
– Flavours were a bit bland
– Dishes came out way too quickly

Price Range: $30 based on DOVF menu price

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

Food: 2.5 Service: 2.5 Ambiance: 4 Parking: 3 Overall: 2.5

WildTale Coastal Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

On Yogurt

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

Last month, I was invited to a media tasting at On Yogurt organized by Jacqueline to try their new menu item, Taiyaki Ice Cream. It was my first time visiting On Yogurt, and I was excited because I have been hearing about their ice fried yogurt. Ice fried doesn’t mean the yogurt is actually fried. Instead, the yogurt is flash frozen so the outside is icy and crispy while the middle smooth and creamy. The yogurt is then rolled and placed in cups and you can add various toppings. I believe this is a popular dessert in Thailand, but we luckily have it in Vancouver now!

 

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Oreo

They currently offer five flavours:

  • Strawberry
  • Oreo
  • Creme Brulee
  • Matcha
  • Chocolate

The taiyaki is filled with their famous ice fried yogurt and topped with complimentary toppings depending on the flavour. The filling below the ice cream is different for each flavour as well, including custard, nutella, red bean, and coconut paste.

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Crème Brûlée

When we first tried it, one side of the fish pastry was croissant, while the other side was the typical cake batter we are usually familiar with. This caused one side to burn quicker. Since then, they have revised their taiyaki so that both sides are croissant and therefore crispier.

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Matcha

I have to say, I really enjoyed the texture of the ice fried yogurt. You get a much firmer texture and once its in your mouth, it melts into a very creamy and smooth texture.

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Strawberry

Overall, I really enjoyed the ice fried yogurt itself, but I found that paired with the hot taiyaki, the yogurt melted too quickly even though it is already very firm. Still, it is fun to watch the ice fried yogurt being made, and I think I would stick with the yogurt just in a cup next time until they have perfected the melting issue.

On Yogurt Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

21 Nautical Miles – ChineseBites Media Event

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

Seafood boils have been exploding in Vancouver and appears to be the new trend. I guess that means we don’t need to go down to Seattle for Crab Pot! A few weeks ago, I was invited by ChineseBites to attend a tasting at 21 Nautical Miles in Yaletown.

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The restaurant took over the previous tenant, Society, so the decor is still somewhat similar with high ceilings. High tables and chairs with a bar feel is what I would describe the restaurant. I do find that the decor is slightly odd for the type of food we’re eating, but we are in Yaletown.

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At the entrance though, you get the Asian decor with modernized paintings and cute chairs. As you can tell, the restaurant features seafood boils with Asian flavours.

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We started off with a 3 litre tower of beer. Definitely reminded me of the times when we had this in Spain, but I haven’t seen this anywhere in Vancouver yet. Great to share across the table! They also have wine and pretty much any other drink you want since they have a large bar.

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Seafood Party: Garlic Butter

And then the Seafood Party started! The seafood boils come in a metal bowl and are dumped onto your table which has been covered with parchment paper. Each diner will have a mallet and wooden board so you can smash open your crab. You’ll also get plastic gloves and a bib so you can get as messy as you want! There is a two person minimum order and it’ll cost you $38.95 per person. This will get you BC Dungeness crab, selva tiger prawns, blue mussels, clams, corn and potato. If you want to get fancy like we did, you can also add on Alaskan king crab, lobster tail, and snow crab. There are also four flavours to choose from, and pictured here is the Garlic Butter. This is perfect for those who can’t eat spicy and is really the only option since the other three are all spicy. This was a crowd pleaser since you really can’t go wrong with garlic butter flavoured anything!

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Seafood Party: Black Pepper

Moving on to something a little spicy was the Black Pepper flavour. This flavour reminded me of the late night clams you get at Cantonese restaurants. The Alaskan king crab was delicious by the way. Normally, I don’t really care for king crab because I find that our BC Dungeness crabs are quite meaty already, but man, these were juicy! I highly recommend splurging a little to get the king crab here! One leg is plenty to share with your guests.

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Seafood Party: Xi’an Spicy

Another level up in terms of spice gets you the Xi’an Spicy. With red chili peppers giving that extra kick, I actually really enjoyed this as it had a depth of flavour and wasn’t just plain spicy and numbing. Oh and the tiny lobster tails were juicy and delicious.

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Seafood Party: House Special Spicy (5/5 Spice Level)

Then onto the spiciest you can get is the House Special Spicy. We had ours at 5/5 spice level, but you can choose how spicy you want when you order. Many of our group couldn’t take spice so this was a struggle, but I actually didn’t find it as spicy as I had though. I didn’t mind a few pieces in between the other flavours, but I thought that this was more of just plain numbing and spicy rather than having any additional flavour. If you like spicy, I would suggest the Xi’an Spicy instead since it has more flavour. And to be honest, I found the snow crab to be just average as they have long legs but the abundance of meat is very little. I like my crabs with lots of meat!

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Overall, the seafood boils are great with the seafood being quite fresh although many of the spicier flavours will cover any freshness. If you really want to taste the seafood flavours, I’d recommend getting the Garlic Butter. I also wish there was some bread to soak up all the flavours. The seafood boils are OceanWise by the way, so always a plus!

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Seafood Party: Wok Fried Spicy

Next up was the Wok Fried Spicy, a dry seafood dish which featured crab and spot prawns. These had a nice kick but the flavours really came from the outside crumbs covering the shell as the inside is not seasoned.

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Kung Fu Soup

To clean our palettes, we tried the Kung Fu Soup which is an abalone flavoured soup with goji berries. Served in a beautiful tea pot and cup, the soup was light but full-bodied. I loved this and highly recommend ending your meal with this to calm your palette!

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Stone Cooked Scrambled Eggs

Other than seafood boils, they have some other dishes on the menu including this very interesting Stone Cooked Scrambled Eggs. The staff brings over a very hot pot with hot stones inside. They then pour a blend of eggs, shrimp, and green onions in the pot and cover the pot. Because of the hot pot and stones, the eggs get cooked. It’s fun to watch but the stones are not very practical because you have to scoop them out before eating the egg.

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Grilled Oysters

They also have Grilled Oysters which are filled with lots of garlic. I found these to be slightly too salty and you could barely taste the oysters.

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Chicken Wings

The Chicken Wings are flavoured with preserved plum but tasted like peanut butter to me. Very crispy on the outside but the salty and sweet flavour threw me off a bit.

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Beef and Lamb Skewers

The Beef and Lamb Skewers are flavoured with cumin spices and brings an Asian flavour. I found the beef (top) to be quite dry, so I did prefer the lamb (bottom) much more.

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Sichuan Style Boiled Fish

A new dish that the chef let us try was the Sichuan Style Boiled Fish. This is served with flat glass noodles and tofu. The tofu really soaked up the spicy sauce, while the glass noodles did the opposite. I think a different type of noodles would have worked better and the noodles were also too hard for my liking. This was made with a 5/5 spice level, but it can be customized for milder tastes. This was mostly numbing so I wish there was another dimension of flavour to it.

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Crawfish Tower

Then came the Crawfish Tower which was a crowd pleaser with everyone trying to get the perfect shot with the liquid nitrogen smoke. However, I’m not a huge fan of crawfish just because I find that it’s a lot of work to get so little meat!

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The flavours were the same as the seafood boils, including garlic butter, black pepper, Xi’an spicy, house special spicy (spice level 5/5).

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Blue Crab in Chef’s Special Sauce

As if we did not have enough seafood, the chef brought us the Blue Crab in Chef’s Special Sauce. This turned out to be a favourite with the dish featuring blue crab, chicken wings, chicken feet, and potatoes in a special chef’s secret recipe from his Xi’an hometown. I find that there isn’t much meat in blue crab, but this sauce was tasty!

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Mango Thousand Layer Mille Crepe

To finish off our large meal, we had the Mango Thousand Layer Mille Crepe. These are super popular these days, and even my sisters has been obsessed at making them. This was quite good with a nice layer of mango jelly in the centre. They told us it was directly imported from Taiwan but my sister actually found this at Price Smart when she was looking for crepe cakes to taste test. She’s pretty sure it’s the same one because of the special layer of mango jely in the centre. As well, when I ate it, it was slightly frozen so it seemed like it was frozen and then defrosted. So I guess you could still say it’s imported from Taiwan… It was still good but not even close to the ones at Lady M!

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Overall, 21 Nautical Miles definitely is a great place to visit if you want to try seafood boils with Asian flavours. The prices are not cheap, but you also get a fancier ambiance.

21 Nautical Miles Seafood Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Provence Marinaside

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For S’s birthday, I took her to Provence Marinaside in Yaletown. It’s located right by the water, but unfortunately we were seated near the back of the restaurant away from the view. The interior isn’t too modern nor fancy, but it gives you a comfy French countryside feel. Lunch started off with complementary bread. There were two types. One was your typical baguette which was more tough, while the second was something similar to a focaccia bread.

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Fresh Oyster

We started off with some Fresh Oysters. The server said there were two types. One was the Kusshi, but I didn’t catch on to what she said the second one was. It was served with a pear vinegar mignonette and fresh lemon. Very fresh, but I didn’t really like the sauce it came with. I liked the sauces at Rodney’s a lot more. They also don’t have any deals for oysters, so it comes to $2.50 per oyster, which is quite pricey.

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Panisse & Vegetables

S got the Panisse & Vegetables, which came to be a very interesting dish. Panisse is a dish from Provence and is pictured above as those rectangular fries. These were made with chick peas and seasoned with basil. They had a crispy exterior, but a very soft interior. Sort of like crispy potatoes. The dish also came with zucchini spaghetti, which S loved. A great alternative to your pasta full of carbs. Wilted leafy greens, fennel, red pepper and tomato coulis finished off the dish.

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Linguini Vongole

For myself, I got the Linguine Vongole, which is one of my all time favourite Italian pasta dishes. This featured clams, tomatoes, garlic, white wine, espelette pepper, parsley, and olive oil. They didn’t cheap out on the amount of clams in the dish and they were all sweet and fresh. The pasta was cooked to al dente and I loved the sauce. It was perfect for dipping your bread.

Overall, we were quite satisfied with the food. I also thought the prices were quite reasonable for their lunch menu considering that it’s located in Yaletown and is supposed to be a fine dining restaurant. Dinner however is supposed to be much pricier. Ambiance felt a little casual for a fine dining restaurant and service was just mediocre as well. As for parking, there is metered parking and parkades very close to the restaurant or the skytrain.

Pros:
– Food is above average
– Lunch menu prices are quite reasonable

Cons:
– Ambiance indoors is just average
– Dinner menu prices are not of as good value

Price Range: $20-25

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

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

Provence Marinaside Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Ganache Patisserie

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Cassis et Matcha – cassis mascarpone cream, cassis gelee, milk chocolate parfait, matcha biscuit charlotte, blackberries

I’ve always heard great things about Ganache Patisserie, and finally I got to try them. Both desserts were matcha base desserts. The first was the Cassis et Matcha. Cassis is sort of like blackcurrant, so there was a sweet and sour taste to it.

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I love how the inside is all leveled with the layers. I really enjoyed the cassis flavoured mascarpone cheese. Very smooth. There wasn’t a lot of matcha flavour though.

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Matcha-Exotique – green tea mousse, mango-passionfruit gelee, lychees, black sesame biscuit joconde

The second was the Matcha-Exotique, which is a green tea mousse.

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In the middle, there is a mango-passionfruit gelee, which was my favourite part. The cake itself is a mix of black sesame biscuit cake and the green tea mousse. There are lots of textures going on, but it all works. I preferred this one over the first.

Overall, Ganache Patisserie makes quite unique cakes. Not your typical flavours and they definitely aren’t simple. Looking forward to trying their other cakes.

Ganache Patisserie on Urbanspoon