Restaurant: Michi Waffle & Espresso Bar
Cuisine: Desserts/Coffee & Tea/Cafe
Last visited: June 1, 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC (West End/Robson/Downtown)
Address: 1319 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC
Price Range: $10 or less
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
- Asian-ish/Euro-Asian coffee & tea shop
- Asian operated and owned
- Serves “authentic” Belgian waffles
- Homemade, made on site, but not upon order
- Some cheese cakes, muffins, croissants
- Clean, comfortable, casual
- Good for drinks & desserts
- Espresso bar
- Modern atmosphere
- Friendly staff
- Free Wi-fi
- Metre parking
- No bubble tea
- Sun-Thurs 7:30am-11pm
- Fri-Sat 7:30am-midnight
Michi Waffle & Espresso Bar is a trendy Euro-Asian cafe serving waffles and some Asian inspired drinks. It is Asian operated and owned and from the outside I thought it was a bubble tea cafe (but there’s no bubble tea). It reminds me of Capstone Tea & Fondue further down towards the West End of Robson Street. In a nutshell I’m going to say it’s an Asian place trying to be ‘western’.
I came to Michi Waffle & Espresso Bar with Kim (I’m Only Here for the Food) and Sherman (Sherman’s Food Adventures) especially to try their waffles. I’ve had my fair share of Belgian waffles from Cafe Medina as well as Patisserie Lebeau in Vancouver. I’ve even tried Didi’s Gaufres, the 1st place in Korea to start the Belgian waffle craze. The owner of Didi’s Gaufres is from Belgium and lived in Vancouver before moving to Korea to make his home made 100% authentic Belgian waffles. Last, but not least, I have also tried many Belgian waffles in Belgium, so I do have rather high standards when it comes to authentic Belgian waffles.
I have to give a shout out to the staff who were very accommodating. They let us bring in outside food (a couple buns in a paper bag) and even warmed them up for us (upon my request :S) … but they were more than happy to. Thank you!
Photos compliments of Kim.
On the table:
- This was Kim’s drink – read his thoughts on it here.
Matcha Red Bean Smoothie – 2.5/6
- I think this was their most indulgent and Asian drink on the menu. I really wanted to order something that showcases them as a restaurant so I decided to order this. It was also recommended.
- It tastes like a matcha or green tea ice cream smoothie bubble tea, but of course no pearls because they have none here. It was watered down in flavour and a bit in texture and had more ice than ice cream.
- The red bean is thick and and they just spoon some of it on top. I don’t like red bean so I just didn’t mix it in. When I did, it just made the drink sweeter and pastier in flavour.
- I prefer the one from Capstone Tea & Fondue or the one from Dragon Ball Tea House better. A matcha ice cream bubble tea is better and even cheaper… WITH pearls too.
- The whipped cream is regular whipped cream and was there for presentation more than flavour.
- This is Sherman’s drink – read his thoughts on it here.
- We got the double waffle platter $8.57 + additional waffle ($2) – $10.57
- They served our 3 chosen waffles warmed up on a nice platter with a sliced banana, chocolate sauce and whipped cream.
- The presentation exceeded my expectations. I didn’t expect something so fancy, although when I think about it, it’s really quite simple and easy.
Waffles – 2/6
Original Belgian Waffle – 2.5/6
- This one was the best of the 3 and also what the staff recommended. However on the scale of authentic Belgian waffles – it wasn’t authentic.
- What makes Belgian waffles special are the sugar crystals – a sugar that’s made in Belgium. They’re little clumps of sugar that don’t melt so you can bite into them. Some of them end up melting giving the waffle a crispy exterior. This one barely had any.
- The 1/3 of the waffle I ate had maybe 2 sugar crystals.
- The outside is quite crispy and the inside is quite fluffy but still on the dry side.
- It tastes like an Asian waffle more than a European one because the batter is heavier on the egg and very light in the sugar. in this case I would rather have Chinese eggball waffles.
- On the whole I much rather have Cafe Medina Belgian waffles, or better yet Patisserie Lebeau waffles.
Matcha Belgian Waffle – 2/6
- This was their one fusion waffle I saw in the display case that got me very excited… but too bad it didn’t keep me there. Sounds and looks better than it tastes.
- I could taste the matcha but it did nothing for me. It’s not even a “is what it is” thing – it was a “just didn’t work” thing. It was a bit boring and it shouldn’t have been.
- I don’t even think I had one sugar crystal in my piece.
Chocolate Belgian Waffle – 1.5/6
- It wasn’t getting any better. The chocolate flavour was a bit bitter with dark chocolate and it wasn’t even sweet.
- It was the most dense of the 3. Mind you I ate it last so it started cooling down already. But still… it was actually quite dry and hard outside and inside. One dimensional in texture.
- More bread-like or dry donut-like. Again – barely any sugar crystals.
Ice Cream and Fruit Compote – 4/6
- They serve the platter with a side of vanilla ice cream and fruit sauce/compote of your choice: blueberry, strawberry and raspberry.
- Blueberry is recommended. It was very naturally sweet with whole blueberries in it. Very fresh and homemade and actually quite thick.
- This part was good! The ice cream was a good vanilla bean ice cream with actual vanilla beans. It made the waffles so much better too! Without them the waffles would have been dry.
- The ice cream and blueberry compote totally carried the waffles and it shouldn’t have. I should be able to eat authentic Belgian waffles alone by itself – ice cream never hurts course, but if Michi Waffles is specializing in Belgian waffles than they should be good enough to eat alone.
I’ve driven by here a dozen times and been wanting to try the waffles at miki’s. I doubt I would have like it much better than what u reported. Thanks so much(to the three of u), I will scratch it off my list. Btw I think carol@medina’s choc/sauces/compotes are divine. Also their chocolate macchiatto’s is solid. There is another Belgium waffle place in Steveston. The pricipal owner is from Belgium if I remember correctly.
You’re absolutely right about the Steveston place! It’s always so empty looking though… I wish they had a better location. Thank YOU for reading again! I also want to try the new on that opened on Davie & Hornby.
Well miss, you know your desserts quite well. And I’ve had authentic Belgian waffles. I’ve tried to make them at home and it’s just not the same. It’s like making a Pavlova, it’s never as good as the ones I’ve had in Sydney. I wanna try this place but I’d rather not get disappointed…..
Hi Mariko! Oh I know what you mean with the Pavlova! Except I did have a good one somewhere in Vancouver but I don’t remember where now….hmm I’ll have to think….but DROOOOOOOOOL pavlova!!!…actually I think it was from Whole Foods? I will have to confirm…I know it sounds a bit surprising. Thanks for your comment!
I love Belgian waffles, but am no expert, unlike yourself Ms. I’ve-been-to-Belgium lol. I was happy to see that there was a place in Vancouver that specifically makes waffles, but now after reading your review, I’m kind of wary to try the waffles there. I like the ones a Cafe Medina, but overall I like my waffles crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, which is hard to find. Add this to your list of “Best [. . .] in Vancouver” hunt along with the tiramisu!
Nicole – yes I am pretty damn lucky to get waffles in Belgium!! Too bad that may never happen again…hahahah they were pretty freakin delicious though! Ok girl…we’re going on a waffle hunt 😉
Good tag team – awesome photos!
whole foods you say! i have spoken to my cousins down there..
1. climate is an issue
2. ingredients are not globally consistent (fruit, dairy, castor sugar, again climate)
3.culinary experience (aka my baking skills)
so i am sure that one can make a ripper of a dish on any given day and in any given region,but that’s a talent thing as well…
if it’s whole foods, i’ll be there religiously…….
Mariko – you’re absolutely right re: climate…but I’ve solved the mystery for you! It wasn’t Whole Foods where I had good pavlova…my friend actually ordered it from Diplomat Bakery in Steveston Richmond – I’ve done a post for their other desserts here