Restaurant: Boulangerie Cho Pain – Review 2
Last visited: January 6, 2010
Area: Vancouver, BC (Downtown/West end)
Address: 1165 Davie Street
Price range: $10 or less
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
- Authentic Parisian bakery – operated by French people with cute accents!
- French baker/pastry chefs
- Offers 125+ classic European breads and rolls
- Some breads and pastries prepared daily, but not all
- Small selection of savoury snacks available: quiche/homemade sandwiches
- Espresso/lattes available – supplier: 49th Parallel
- Few tables and chairs for sit down
- Casual/self-serve atmosphere
- Pastries to go
- Daily specials
- Closed Monday
Recommendation: Gateau Basque, Paris Brest Hazelnut Choux, Hazelnut & Cream Slice
So I’ve been to Boulangerie Cho Pain on a few occasions (previous post here) and I try something new every time. I want a better idea of what they’re serving so I can keep my reviews as updated as possible. I mean a restaurant can go uphill or downhill so I want to give a fair review because a lot can happen in a few months… or even days.
I still really like Boulangerie Cho Pain, but not as much as when I first tried them. Everything is still good, but the more I try the more I find it is “very good” instead of “excellent”… hence why I gave the food 4.5 instead of 5 like I did on my last review for it.
I came in the late afternoon and stayed for a couple hours. Within that time I couldn’t smell any baked goods, but I could see some being made. Everything in the display case is quite professional, but their daily features like: cookies, truffles, and banana bread are quite home style and simple. It’s important to remember it’s not a gourmet bakery, but it’s still very French in the sense that it has authentic French recipes and effortless style and charm.
On the table
Hazelnut & Cream Slice – 5/6
- I don’t have the exact description but it’s layers of hazelnut cake, hazelnut cream topped with chocolate hazelnut chocolate ganache $3.95
- I really enjoyed this cake. It is a dessert of course, but I could enjoy it as a tea cake or snack because it was so light and not that sweet. It was a perfect tea time cake.
- There’s a lot of hazelnut flavourings in it and it’s very distinct. They really used it in every layer of the cake so it was well incorporated into every bite.
- The edges have these caramelized hazelnut praline crumbs, but they’re very soft and not hard at all. I wish they had used them for the top too.
- The chocolate ganache topping had a nice marbleized design, but I wasn’t a fan of it. Since it was in the display case and chilled it was a bit hard for my liking. It wasn’t brittle, but it wasn’t delicate enough for me. The layer was just a bit thick and I was chewing it because it didn’t melt well. It tasted like a milk chocolate ganache and I would have preferred a dark bittersweet chocolate to match the hazelnut.
- The cream was almost like a hazelnut mousse. It was very light and not too sweet at all. I’m pretty sure it’s the same mousse they use in their Paris Brest Hazelnut Choux (which I tried in my previous visit).
- The cake part was delicious and had finely ground hazelnuts incorporated into the batter. It was more like a tea cake than it was a cupcake batter. It had a very crumbly texture because of the hazelnut crumbs too.
- Like the Paris Brest Hazelnut Choux it reminded me of a Ferraro Rocher, however this cake was much lighter and not as rich as the Paris Brest… although neither are that sweet. This cake you could enjoy as a afternoon snack, whereas the Paris Brest Hazelnut Choux is a real dessert.
- If you want to attempt something like this at home, I did make Almond Hazelnut Cupcakes that tasted very similar to this.
Tiramisu – 2.5/6
- I don’t have their description, but I’ll assume we all know what it is and have tried it at one point or another $3.95
- I wasn’t a big fan of their tiramisu because it was a bit too sweet.
- Similar to the Tiramisu from Sweet Obsessions, Boulagerie Cho Pain used a cake layer instead of lady fingers for the bottom layer of the Tiramisu. However they did use actually lady fingers for the middle layer.
- The Rum and espresso was very apparent because the entire bottom layer of cake was completely soaked with this syrup. The lady fingers were also dipped almost completely in the syrup as well. It was it a bit too sweet so I think they put a lot of sugar in this Rum/espresso. When I poked my fork into the cake some of the liquid syrup would come out because the bottom cake layer was holding too much of it. Literally like a sponge with too much water.
- The wetness of the tiramisu made the whole thing very soft. It was quite creamy however they didn’t used enough mascarpone for me. The layers of mascarpone cream were mixed with some espresso too I think. It had a pale brownish colour rather than a pale yellow or cream colour.
- The topping was whipped cream and chocolate shavings instead of mascarpone cream and cocoa. There is a little cocoa powder but mainly chocolate shavings. I didn’t mind that part, but I did mind the whipped cream. I don’t like whipped cream on tiramisu because I think it “cheapens” it… it definitely saves cost though. The whipped cream is made in house and it’s not very sweetened. They used too much on this tiramisu too so I really think the mascarpone flavour was lost.