Restaurant: Sweet Revenge Patisserie
Last visited: December 28, 2011
Location: Vancouver, BC (Riley Park/Little Mountain)
Address: 4160 Main Street
Bus: NB Main St FS E 26 Av
Price Range: $10-20
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: FMF Must Try!
Food: 2.5 (based on what I tried)
- Desserts only
- All natural ingredients
- No preservatives
- Cute/quaint atmosphere
- Intimate/cozy room
- Neighbourhood favourite
- Long waits/line-ups
- Organic coffee/teas
- Limited seating
- Reservations recommended
- No reservations Fri-Sat
- Sunday – Thursday: 7pm-12am
- Friday – Saturday: 7pm-1am
Sweet Revenge Patisserie is one of Vancouver’s few dessert only restaurants. I haven’t been here in over 10 years, but it’s been around for ages and it’s part of the Main Street classics. Given that I have a major sweet tooth and obsession with desserts “Sweet Revenge” and “dessert only” should be music to my ears. However I can also get quite particular with them and specific with what I look for.
If you’re more than 2-3 people, it’s really difficult to get seated here. There is almost always a line up and the place seats maybe 25-30 people, but it feels like it’s made for 10. It’s a very intimate atmosphere and it gets really warm, so make sure you like who you eat with.
The restaurant feels like eating in grandma’s living room and apparently some of the chef’s recipes are from Grandma as well. With the vintage furnace, floral upholstery and old fashioned trinkets, it was almost like playing house, or admiring a Main Street garage sale.
Unfortunately my experience fell short of my infatuation. The service wasn’t great, a bit passive and quite inexperienced, and I already expected very casual service to start. However, even overlooking the service the desserts I tried were quite average, although I appreciated the use of all natural ingredients. It just wasn’t very inspiring for a place that’s supposed to be dedicated and passionate about desserts.
It’s a traditional menu, but what I had didn’t make me want to explore much further, and for the size of the restaurant it’s attempting a lot. Therefore it’s assumed that their desserts will be quite basic and somewhat premade as much as it attempts to avoid being in that “mass-produced” category. The desserts just seemed a bit dated and routine rather than progressive and improved. I was charmed by the quaintness of the room, but the home made aspect of the desserts didn’t translate nearly as much as the ambiance suggested.
On the table:
- A torte-like cake, rich and dense, coated with dark chocolate ganache $6
- This is supposed to be the signature dessert.
- For being called the “Sweet Revenge” it wasn’t that sweet at all except for the chocolate coating.
- It wasn’t rich in the initial bites, but it’s a heavy cake so the richness catches up.
- It was a cold and dense cake coated with a hard, sugary and sweet chocolate ganache icing.
- I prefer a stronger chocolate than sugar aspect to chocolate ganache, so this was one I kind of scrapped off. At the same time it was the only other component to the cake so it almost needed it.
- The strawberry garnish kind of bothered me since it’s out of season, but the restaurant doesn’t emphasize local ingredients, so I can overlook it.
- The torte-like cake had maybe one thin layer of chocolate or buttercream in between, but it was barely noticeable.
- It was very simple and I wanted many more layers. Usually a torte will have many more distinct layers.
- The cake was quite dry, crumbly and nutty and made with ground almonds.
- Naturally a torte will be on the drier side, but this one was drier than normal.
- This just lacked some love and detail and there was nothing very memorable about it.
- As a signature dessert I just expected more “wow” factor.
- Served warm or cold, with real whipped cream $7 (a la mode + $1.50)
- This reminded me of the Baked Apple Dumpling from The Oakwood Canadian Bistro, but this came first.
- This had a very premade aspect to it. I kind of expect that from most pies, but I hoped it wouldn’t come across so easily in the taste.
- It almost seemed warmed up in the microwave rather than baked in the oven and the shell wasn’t crispy, but almost soft and very chewy.
- The pastry shell or crust is a very important part to a great apple pie for me and this one wasn’t flaky or that buttery.
- The filling was quite stiff rather than creamy and most of the caramel sauce inside had somewhat absorbed.
- The apples were more crunchy than tender and more tart than sweet and spiced with cinnamon.
- It was on the gummy side so there was probably a bit much cornstarch in the mixture.
- For a mom and pop shop I understand it would be difficult to make ice cream, so the store bought didn’t bother me.
- I’m really not keen on Breyers ice cream though, but if I had to choose one of their products it would be the All Natural Vanilla ice cream which this was.
- I’m still not crazy about it and I find most Breyers ice creams too creamy, and for store bought I generally prefer Häagen-Dazs.
- I think it would be great if they served the Mountain Dairy Ice Cream in Abbotsford or The Udder Guy’s Ice Cream Company especially since they’re local too.
- Personally I prefer the Apple Pie from Savary Island Pie Company.
- Fresh raspberries and mascarpone cheese with whipped cream, layered over raspberry liqueur-soaked chocolate sponge cake, sprinkled with white chocolate shavings and drizzled with raspberry coulis Single: $10.00 Double: $19
- This is supposed to be one of their favourites.
- It was smooth, moist, somewhat light, but still creamy and the better one of the three desserts.
- It tasted like a Raspberry Black Forest Cake, so it still wasn’t that special and possibly something you’ve tried before.
- If you cringe when you hear “Black Forest Cake” because you think of those gross artificial cherries, this wasn’t like that. This was better, but still not particularly better than a fresh Black Forest Cake.
- The chocolate sponge cake was quite standard and it wasn’t dry or even wet from being soaked. It wasn’t as moist as Betty Crocker’s “Super Moist” either.
- I couldn’t taste any of the raspberry liqueur soaked into the cake and it actually didn’t seem like it was soaked in anything.
- The chocolate flavour in the cake was very subtle and it tasted quite plain.
- I tasted more white chocolate and whipped cream and hardly any mascarpone cheese.
- The mascarpone cheese was really the selling ingredient for me that was supposed to make it different too.
- There were some actual fresh raspberries folded in the whipped cream and they were quite tart being out of season.
- There was kind of a sweet and tart balance, but it tasted much more simple than the description.
- Framboise, Mort Subite, Belgium $6
- This is my kind of beer.
- I’ve had it in The Netherlands before and found it again at Gudrun Tasting Room in Richmond, BC. That was Früli strawberry beer though.
- It was nice to know I can get it here too now and it’s more affordable.
- I would have appreciated a mention that I would be charged for hot water before the bill arrived.