Thierry Patisserie

Restaurant: Thierry
Cuisine: French/Bakery/Desserts/Pastries/Chocolates/Sandwiches/Cafe
Last visited: August 12, 2011 **Updated Aug. 31, 11
Location: Vancouver, BC (Downtown)
Address: 1059 Alberni Street
Price Range: $10 or less

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: n/a haven’t tried enough + soft opening
Service: n/a
Ambiance: 4
Overall: n/a
Additional comments:

  • Pastry Chef Thierry Busset
  • Award winning pastry chef
  • Part of Top Table Group
  • Specializes in desserts
  • Artisan pastries/cakes
  • Handmade artisan chocolates
  • High quality ingredients
  • Limited gourmet sandwiches
  • Organic & Fair trade Coffee/Tea
  • Pay at cashier service
  • Wine & Beer/Fully licensed
  • Casual, but sophisticated
  • Eat in/Take-out
  • Outdoor patio seating
  • Gift shop
  • Open daily Mon-Sun 7am-12am
  • Thierry Patisserie Visit 2 from Aug. 31, 2011
  • Thierry – Visit from Feb. 24, 2014
  • Twitter: @thierrychocolat

**Recommendations: Fruit Tarts, Chestnut Tart, Gianeuja Parisian Macaron, Hazelnut Choux, Passion Fruit Ganache Chocolate, Bouchette Feuillantine Chocolate

Thierry’s Assorted Parisian Macarons (about 12 varieties)

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of desserts and I’ve stressed in previous blog posts that I feel there is a major lack of love for them in Vancouver. It just doesn’t feel like a dessert destination compared to other notable food cities and it’s really such a shame. It’s the official last course, that’s as important as the first, and it requires precise technique, and a strong understanding of science and art. It shouldn’t be denied. Dessert isn’t a food group, but I’d petition for it to be one, and with the opening of Thierry I can only hope to see the love for desserts grow.

Thierry’s Assorted Hand Made Chocolates

I haven’t tried all the pastry chefs in the city, but I do have ones that top my list. My favourites have actually always been Thomas Haas and Thierry Busset, so you can only imagine my excitement when I heard that Thierry was opening his own chocolate and pastry shop.

Thierry was the award winning Pastry Chef at Cin Cin Ristorante, which is part of the Top Table Group restaurants, and together they have opened Thierry in the heart of downtown Vancouver. Being that Cin Cin is a fine dining restaurant, it’s nice to have his desserts more accessible, and even better is that this cafe is open until 12am every day.

Other Vancouver based pastry chefs that have been responsible for my toe curling reactions are Eleanor Chow from Chambar, Chris Janik from Miku Restaurant, Bruno Feldesisen from the now closed dB bistro Moderne, and the pastry chef, who’s not even the executive pastry chef, that invented the Sugar Bun at Giovane Cafe. Anyways those are a handful of my favourites, but I have so many more to try and I’m a huge supporter of restaurants that actually hire pastry chefs to create their desserts if they can.

I’ve been anticipating the opening of Thierry for months now, and the day had finally arrived. I came on the official third day of what was considered a “soft opening”, which is very rare for me. I like to visit and blog about restaurants at least a good month after the official opening because I understand there’s always kinks to work out in the menu, recipes, pricing and service. That being said, I don’t feel any restaurant should ever be at 100% otherwise it means they’ve stopped trying to improve. Anyways, I couldn’t resist with this one, and there wasn’t even a sign up for it yet.

The ambiance was sophisticated and classy and they used the same designer as Thomas Haas, who has also updated the looks of other Top Table Group restaurants. It was clean and modern, and still very European.

As for the prices, those were also very European. I can’t deny that I was quite sticker shocked even anticipating that these desserts would be on the pricier side. The quality of ingredients are high, and the labour is intense, but the value was really hard to see especially for the portion, and at times the execution. Trust me, I am willing to pay for a dessert, but this was even hard to accept.

Being that I visited on the third day, there’s understandably things they still need to work out. At a quick glance and first bite it seems rather dandy and perfect, but from a professional or “gourmet” standard, there were some inconsistencies and some things weren’t as finely executed as I would have hoped.

From what I tried it wasn’t bad, but just not as flawless as it should be for the brand and the price. Part of me would rather pay 1/3 more for the desserts he once made at Cin Cin, which were exquisite, controlled and divine. I’ll certainly revisit Thierry, but these early stages are still tender so I suggest waiting a bit longer before you visit as well, or if you go, just don’t judge it too early. I have faith. **Please consider this post as a teaser.

On the table:

Elderflower Apple House Made Soda 2/6

  • $3.95
  • I found this to be overpriced considering it came from a prepared syrup.
  • It was light and refreshing, but it actually tasted like carbonated aloe vera to me and I definitely think there was some aloe vera flavouring in it.
  • It was more sweet than tart, but not too sweet at all and actually not tart at all.
  • There was a hint of apple and I couldn’t taste the Elderflower at all, and there was no floral scent of it either.
  • I loved everything in it, but the ingredients were very muted and for $4 I would expect some garnish, or muddled herbs, or fruit puree, or something to that degree.

Chocolate Succé Cake3.5/6

  • Hazelnut meringue and chocolate mousse, 70% chocolate ganache $6.75
  • When I saw these I immediately thought back to Thierry’s amazing chocolates he made at the West Coast Chocolate Festival last year – see here.
  • They looked almost identical except this one was bigger. It’s about the size of four chocolates.
  • I think this would have done better as a single bite chocolate though because it was really chocolatey and quite rich as a big solid piece.

  • The Chocolate Succé Cake or “Chocolate Success Cake” wasn’t as much of a cake as much as it was a giant piece of chocolate filled with ganache.
  • I think it would have been better as a multi-layered cake because it was lacking a bit of texture and it was a bit too chocolatey even for what it was.
  • It had a hard chocolate shell that cracked when you cut it instead of a creamy chocolate ganache which would have been perhaps more appropriate.
  • The texture and crunch came from the chocolate shell more so than the hazelnut meringue and I wish it was the other way around.
  • The hazelnut meringue gave it a slight crispiness and a little nuttiness but it was almost overpowered by the immense amount of chocolate.
  • I actually thought it was a mix of hazelnut and almond in the meringue. It’s basically nut crumbs folded into baked egg whites and sugar.
  • The chocolate ganache was excellent though. It wasn’t fluffy like a mousse and not dense like a ganache and right in the middle.
  • The texture was smooth, but it a bit too sweet for me, although lighter than a typical ganache.
  • It was maybe a 65-70% chocolate and I could have gone at least 75-80% and less sugar. Trust me there is a noticeable difference with 5%.
  • The chocolate he’s using is amazing though, and that’s where it totally picks up points. It’s earthy, deep, rich, flavourful and a blend of cocoa beans. It doesn’t have citrusy notes, but the flavour is intense and speaks of premium quality.

Parisian Macarons – 3/6

  • Individual $1.75 Chocolate Dipped Macarons $2.45
  • 7 pack $11.95 12 pack $19.95 Chocolate Dipped 7 pack $16.95 Chocolate Dipped 12 pack $27.45
  • The prices sound pricey, but they are larger than normal, and a bit smaller than the ones from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery – see here.
  • These are Westernized macarons. In France they’re bite sized.
  • I originally just bought the chocolate pistachio macaron, but the other three were an unexpected surprise from the cafe.
  • I love Parisian Macarons, and I’ve loved them for years, which also means I’ve had a lot of them and now I’m just super picky about them. See my post for “The Perfect Parisian Macaron“.
  • Were they good? Sure they tasted good, but for a macaron the execution was quite “mass produced” and a bit rough around the edges.
  • Macarons should be crisp and have an airy layer between the cookie and the shell, and these ones were soft and chewy all throughout.
  • The tops weren’t always smooth and the feet of the macaron along with the filling were a bit uneven, but at least they were moist and for the most part the flavours did taste like what they were supposed to be.
  • Overall I would prefer Thomas Haas‘ macarons or Soirette Macarons & Tea.

**Gianeuja (Hazelnut) Macaron5/6

  • $1.75
  • This was easily my favourite macaron and it’s actually the best seller.
  • As mentioned, a macaron should be crisp and have an airy layer between the cookie and the shell, and this one was soft and chewy all throughout. It was nice and moist though.
  • I’m quite sure the macaron cookie was just his regular chocolate, and then the filling was when the gianeuja came in.
  • Gianeuja is a chocolate with 30% hazelnut paste and the quality he’s using is high and it was stronger than the chocolate macaron which I liked.
  • The filling was intense with hazelnut paste and I could really taste the texture and flavour of the roasted hazelnuts. It tasted more than 30% hazelnuts to me.
  • The hazelnut filling was so nutty and almost buttery like caramel and it would make Nutella taste like pure chocolate.
  • It put Nutella to shame and I actually like Nutella, not that they would use it here. The filling really made this though.

Chocolate Pistachio3.5/6

  • $1.75
  • Again this one was soft and chewy all throughout, and it shouldn’t be, but at least it was very moist.
  • The chocolate flavour was more sweet than bitter and it wasn’t as chocolaty or dark as I was expecting it to be.
  • The pistachio ganache was a white chocolate ganache and since the chocolate cookie was more of a milk chocolate I could still taste a hint of pistachio, but had it been a higher quality dark chocolate, then the pistachio flavour might have been overpowered.
  • It was still good, but I would have reversed the flavours with a pistachio macaron and a chocolate filling.

Pistachio & Apricot3/6

  • $1.75
  • Again this one was soft and chewy all throughout, and it shouldn’t be, but at least it was very moist.
  • The apricot flavour was just a piece of fresh apricot in the centre of the filling.
  • It was a random but interesting surprise I guess, but I thought the apricot flavour would be more incorporated into the macaron.
  • It had a surprising amount of pistachio flavour and together with the almond base it was extra nutty and delicious. I loved it.
  • It was probably a bit more almondy, but I did taste the pistachio.
  • The white chocolate ganache filling was also made with a bit of pistachio paste, although I could have used more.

Raspberry Macaron 2.5/6

  • $1.75
  • Again this one was soft and chewy all throughout, and it shouldn’t be, but at least it was very moist.
  • This is made from local raspberries and it tasted more like almonds than it did raspberries.
  • It was more sweet than tart and the filling seemed like a raspberry butter cream instead of a chocolate ganache, and macarons should really have chocolate ganache for the filling.
  • The butter cream is usually the cost effective alternative, but it doesn’t mean it’s not good.
  • The only time it really tasted like raspberry was when I hit the middle and there was a nice dollop of raspberry jam. The seeds I found a bit distracting and those probably should have been strained out.
  • Overall, without the raspberry jam, I would have thought this was an almond macaron with my eyes closed.

**Raspberry Fruit Tart 5/6

  • Raspberry Jam, seasonal berries, light pastry cream $6.75
  • This was easily my favourite. I expected the fruit tart to be nothing too exciting or original so I initially passed, but ended up trying it later.
  • The berries were incredibly plump, fresh, sweet and delicious, and best of all local.
  • The tart had the perfect balance of crust, custard, and berries, although I didn’t get much of the raspberry jam aspect.
  • The crust was even and crisp and incredibly nutty and caramelized in flavour. I could have eaten that on its own. It made the tart.
  • The crust was like a light crispy fine crumb cookie that was likely made of ground almonds. It wasn’t wet, soggy or chewy, but truly perfect.
  • It was a very tender crust and almost like a pie crust and it melted away as soon as I started chewing it. It was similar to a buttery nutty shortbread or sable cookie.
  • The pastry cream had specs of vanilla bean seeds but the vanilla flavour didn’t come through and it was more on the eggy side.
  • It was very light, smooth and creamy rather than rich and thick and it was barely sweet as to not overpower the berries. The crust was sweet enough anyways.
  • The sweet and tart balance was perfectly played and it’s easily enjoyed as a tea time snack or as a light dessert.

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Thierry on Urbanspoon

19 Comments

  • Jayda Home says:

    oh boy! oh boy! oh boy! I can’t wait to try out this place! Will be having macarons at Pierre Hermes and LeDuree next week (two very different takes of the heavenly ‘cookie’). I really love macarons so I’m so happy to have another place to find them in Vancouver. Kitchening with Carly is my favourite in Vancouver so far….plus she’s super nice. PS do you want anything brought back from France? I’m always happy to bring things back for people (especially food) as it allows me to have an excuse to go the the food galleria at Galleries LeFayette.

  • Sherman Chan says:

    How is it I’m not surprised you were looking fwd to this? LOL… Hmmm… Sad to hear the macarons are not as good as I expected. I’m still spoiled by the Pierre Herme macarons I had. Nothing I’ve had compares to that. I agree that locally, Carley and TH are the best. The display does look pretty though!

  • Vivian says:

    Wow I could tell you spent the equivalent of a meal just on dessert! I’m excited to give this cafe a try. I wonder if Thierry would be spending less time at cin cin now that this shop is open. Have you checked out the Sweet Spot in steveston?

  • Tira says:

    wow~ you are one step ahead of me. I’m waiting to try at this new pastry shop.

    Which place’s Macarons you like better? This new shop or Thomas Haas ? I tried at Thomas Hass and found it’s too sweet compared to I had in HK. Again, Western people tend to have a sweeter taste bud than Asians.

  • Jayda Home says:

    Check out this place sometime if you get a chance… it’s so cute! I haven’t tried the macarons there yet though.

  • KimHo says:

    IMO, if it is open for business and charging full price, then it is fair game.

    Having said that, I think it might be a bit of an understatement that you like your sweets. Notice I didn’t say desserts because we know there are some forms you don’t like! 😉

    As for the cost of dessert (and this place in this case)… Well, I would rather get an additional appetizer or just go to McD’s for their soft serve. That shows you how much enthusiasm some others have for dessert… Now, if it is candied bacon, maybe! 🙂

  • Mijune says:

    @Jayda Home – OMG really?!?!? Are you sure!??! I will certainly pay you back for some macarons from Pierre Hermes and LeDuree! only if you can! Macarons can only last a couple days so I’m not sure if you’ll be able to bring them back though :(… let me know! Would love to meet you regardless 🙂

    Heads up… Thierry’s macarons were a bit rough around the edges and in my post I wrote I like Carly’s the best too 🙂

    Thanks for the link too!! Will have to check it out!!

    @sherman – Pierre Hermes I haven’t had… YET! Display is nice… prices aren’t very though :S

    @vivian – Thierry is officially “off” from CinCin and they’re finding a replacement.. he’s fully at Thierry and it’s a Top Table Restaurant anyways. But yes, everything cost as much as a dinner. No! I still have to go to Sweet Spot!! Thank you for the reminder Viv!

    @Tira – I wrote about whose I like better in the post under the macarons section 😉 lol

    @KimHo – i think your first sentence is fair to some degree… but then again if people read my first blog post ever and never visited my blog again… I’d be pretty sad. It’s hard to be “perfect” when you’re just starting out.

    Kim, you know me too well! There ARE some desserts I don’t like!! 🙂

    Okay you can’t compare McD’s soft serve to this!! Totally different category.. you can compare Thomas Haas to this… or Giovane Cafe or something.

  • KimHo says:

    The dynamics between a blog and a restaurant is completely different: I don’t have to pay to read your blog, while you have to spend your hard earned $$$ when visiting a restaurant.

    To me, because I don’t care much about desserts and what not, any form of dessert will usually work for me (and, if it does not work, it will be the same as you do with certain “red dessert” in Chinese restaurants!). That’s the reason why I bundle them in the same category. For example, I don’t care much about macarons yet I visit Thomas Haas for their other goods (namely, chocolate). Giovane? Actually, I didn’t care for anything (it felt borderline expensive hotel “cafeteria” food).

  • Carly says:

    Love your comment about dessert needing to be a food group of its own Mijune! Yes, I have had the “why so expensive” question before regarding our macarons and others’ in general. Quality is worth it, especially if you can get that refined Handcrafted touch, Real ingredients and an experience rather than just a dessert! I’ll have to check this place out. Thanks for all the support peeps! We love making the best macarons we possibly can. Come check out our Gastown Pop-Up Macaron Shop at Ishara’s Boutique (38 Water Street). Launch Party tonight and then a 4 week run.

  • Jayda Home says:

    Darn Carly…. we’ll be in France so I’m going to miss out on this opportunity. Can you keep us informed if you set up another Pop-Up Shop? Thanks!

  • Jayda Home says:

    Hi Mijune…. we will be coming back at the end of Sept. so I will try to stop in Paris on the way to the airport so that I can get the macarons as fresh as possible. Can you give me an idea of how many/what flavours you would prefer? Both La Duree and Pierre Hermes have great websites. I can’t promise anything, but I’ll certainly do my best (for Bruno and I too!). We usually reach our weight capacity bringing back chocolates, foie gras, terrines, pastries etc etc….. our souvenirs are always food!

  • Oh… my goodness they look soooooooo… fabulous and tasty. I wish I was you with the job you have created for yourself!

    Lovely Macarons. Yum.

  • Mijune says:

    @KimHo – your first paragraph, I see your point. But if you’d like to pay me, i’ll accept =p

    @Carly – Congrats! Keep doing what you’re doing! Keep your quality and standard… I know you will! This is all healthy competition 🙂

    @Jayda Home – you’re amazing!!! I’ll get whatever they say the signature of “best seller” is. Pistachio, Salted Caramel and chocolate and vanilla would be great at Pierre Herme and I’m not sure if he’s making his lychee rose water one which sounds divine! At Laduree if they have the same flavours that would be great, but I know they have more fruity ones so perhaps the chocolate lime, chocolate sour cherry and green apple? But of course, I’ll take whatever you have room for, even if it’s only one of each. I truly appreciate it!! Again if it doesn’t work out, don’t worry about it 🙂 Thank you!!

    @Simply Inspired Home – Welcome! I can’t complain 🙂

  • Linda says:

    you know what happened after i read your post? i told my bf about this place and on my birthday, he bought me a dozen macarons! the super funny part was that after we ate them, he said “you know mijune likes the ones from thomas haas better” haha 🙂

    mmm i love the ambience of this place, i’m totally in love with everything parisian and this place definitely screams european cafe 🙂

  • Mijune says:

    @Linda – awwww that’s so cute!!!! lol I’m so happy you guys enjoyed them. I’m just a macaron “snob” i think… but they are still good! Happy belated dear!

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