Showing posts with label chocolate croissant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chocolate croissant. Show all posts

Bake Code (Toronto) for delivery

Note: Prices in post are based on regular menu prices and may be higher when using delivery services

Bake Code started their own online delivery system with a $3 service charge (for using the system), but no mark-ups on the products or extra delivery fees. Run through Door Dash, it’s surprisingly quick and in no time, we were tucking into Taiwanese baked goods.

If you’re not sure what to order, their bread box ($20) includes a variety of best sellers: different sausage buns, chocolate buns, coffee buns, and whatever their bread-of-the-month happens to be. It’s the most economical option, not only providing a slight discount over purchasing them separately but also a tax-free purchase as well. Normally, at bakeries if 6 or more items are purchased, the order is tax exempt. But, because Bake Code pre-packages them into bags, the tax is applied to everything except when they are then put into a box. Never thought you’d get a tax lesson at Gasto World huh?

My favourite item from the bread box is the roasted coffee bun ($3.50), consequently also the item that holds up the best as even after being two-days old it was still delicious. After taking it out of the bag, the bun felt harder – oh no, it’s stale, I thought. Nonetheless, it was still light and airy and tasted like a cross between challah and milk bread.  The coffee flavour comes from the brown topping (sort of like the “Mexico bun”), which isn’t overly strong. So, if you want a more intense coffee taste, eat the bun upside down so the crust hits the tongue first.

The baseball-sized black sesame QQ bread ($2.90) looks like a typical bun but as you tear the bread, you realize the glutinous rice flour is going to put up a fight. Once you get through, the centre is hollow, and the pastry reminded me of sweet dough crullers (ham geen bang) that’s served in congee restaurants. The QQ bread has the same light sweetness and chewy texture but without the oiliness. It’s also smells lovely, giving off a sweet nutty aroma.

Their ube croissant ($4.50) also smells wonderful, a mixture of sugar, butter, and taro … the promise of good things to come. Indeed, the ube custard is packed with flavour and the cream light enough that it doesn’t take away from the flakey air pockets in the bread. It is less buttery than a traditional butter croissant, more dessert than pastry.

Surprisingly, the taro mochi ($4.50), which sounded so good on paper - taro, puff Pastry, Korean rice cake – was my least favourite (but was one of my husband’s top choices). Apparently, it’s one you must eat on the first day as after 24-hours what I expected to be chewy mochi was just a lump of dough that tasted raw. Unlike the croissant, the taro existed more in colour than flavour. A hit or miss indeed.

Bake Code’s Denmark crust BBQ pork croissant ($4.90) is popular; despite placing an order the moment the North York location opened, a call advised there was only one left. I can see why it’s beloved: it incorporates big chunks of BBQ pork that’s sweet enough without being too sugary, there is the requisite buttery “pineapple” topping, and the dough is a mixture of croissant and bun. It’s perhaps the most decadent bun of the bunch and one that also tastes best on day one.

The lack of up-to-date inventory is perhaps the most annoying part of the experience and something Bake Code must rectify. My suggestion: hold inventory for online orders separately from walk-ins so that the system updates properly. Staff can always add to or reduce the online inventory (when swapping with the retail bakery) and update the backend system to keep it current. This would prevent people from ordering order items that are sold out already (or at least reduce the chances of it happening).

As noted, I placed my order as soon as the store opened and was told that there would be three missing buns. Since I had already purchased so many other items, there were no desired replacements, so I asked the caller to refund whatever they couldn’t fulfill. It wasn’t until later in the day that the staff member called back and told me they couldn’t process refunds and my only option was to have a credit on file with their North York store that I could use on a future online/in store purchase.

For anyone that knows me, forced store credits are something I despise. Sure, they are reasonable in situations where an establishment’s refund policy explicitly states store credit is the currency for returns (in that case, I rarely purchase from that brand), but to force me to get store credit when it was their inventory mismanagement is a terrible experience.

So, not one to take no for an answer, I was told that I’d have to contact head office to have the refund done.   

Fail number two for Bake Code: their “contact us” form on their website doesn’t work and they do not publish an email or phone number on their website. So, I resorted to contacting their “head office” through Instagram and Facebook, which appears to be manned by a PR agency that isn’t exactly the most timely at responding to messages and has no clue how to process refunds (not their fault).

After a week with no resolutions, I finally called back the North York store and asked for a manager. Thankfully, there was finally someone who understood that customer satisfaction is important. He reiterated that unfortunately they couldn’t do a refund, but we came to a mutually satisfactory agreement that they would deliver the three missing buns that day (and ended up throwing in a drink and extra buns for free, a great surprise). And that, is how it’s done.

Overall mark - 6 out of 10 

How To Find Them
 Location: Multiple locations in Ontario
 Delivery: store delivery, Uber, Doordash
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Gastro World's Grading System
  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never order again
  • - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!

Is That It? I Want More!

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Patisserie Sebastien (Toronto)

From the outside, Patisserie Sebastien, a neighbourhood French bakery, doesn’t seem too Parisian. However, once you open the oversized door (perfect for strollers and assisted walkers), the smell of tantalizing buttery pastries and comforting espresso mixed with milk instantly greets you.

Sebaastien’s is busy but not in an overwhelming manner: there’s always someone occupying the handful of tables situated around the windows but I’ve never had to wait. If you’re there for just a sweet and drink, a row of stools by the coffee bar entices you to stay and enjoy the concoctions in their full glory. In fact, I highly recommend you stop and eat the pastry there as certain ones are not nearly as magnificent once suffocated in a paper bag and left sitting around at home.

At the restaurant, the canale ($2.95) has a wonderfully caramelized crust and airy sweet cakey custard centre… the ideal two bites of sweetness with a hot frothy cappuccino. Once they’re brought home and especially if they’re left overnight, they’re still good but becomes chewy.

Go early on Saturday for your best chance at getting one of their French doughnuts ($2.95). Even then, sometimes they can quickly run out when families run in to grab a dozen for the cottage and there won’t be another batch on Sunday. Sebastien’s take on a cronut, these doughnuts are sinfully delicious with layers of flaky buttery pastry with a crispy sugary crust. By far my favourite doughnuts in the city.

Their butter croissant ($2.25) incorporates the same airy dough but really needs some condiments as it’s not really flavourful. For those who like croissant sandwiches, this is ideal for stuffing with cheese, vegetables, and meat. Similarly, the chocolate croissant ($2.50) is not nearly decadent enough. With only two slivers of chocolate along the middle of the pastry, you don’t always get some with each bite – if there was a bit drizzled on top the pastry would be better.

I prefer the apple Danish ($3.10), topped with numerous thin apple slices and a sweet earthy almond paste underneath. This is a pastry you generally can’t find everywhere else.

For a light lunch, Sebastien also offers sandwiches, soups, and quiches. The baguette used as the sandwich’s base is delicious – soft, chewy, and has a lovely bread aroma; it’s a crusty bread that’s not hard so you won’t have the jagged shards that can cut your mouth.

Meanwhile, the sandwiches’ fillings can be improved. The Parisian ($9.50; half order pictured below as they thoughtfully split it for us) uses French style ham, gruyere and mustard. Nothing is strong enough so the flavours sort of just meld together: the ham isn’t smoked and the gruyere also fairly mild. The only saving grace is the lovely mustardy creamy vinaigrette on the salad … if devil's egg can be made into a dressing.

The legume sandwich ($9.50) could be good if the eggplant was hot. Maybe it’s me, but biting into a bun and being greeted by an ice-cold vegetable is a letdown, no matter how creamy the goat cheese.

Sebastien’s French onion soup ($8.95) has all the elements to satisfy without the guilt factor. In lieu of the cap of cheese and bread, a few slices of gruyere is laid on top so it slowly melts without leaving a pool of oil. Baguette croutons are served on the side so you can add them gradually to the soup to help retain some crispiness. Given the accompaniments are lighter, the broth gets a chance to stand out - it’s not overly salty so you can enjoy the sweet onions.

Of all the brunch dishes, my favourite is their individual quiches – combining a bite of flaky crust and savoury egg with each bite. Their quiche Lorraine ($9.50) incorporates plenty of ham and cheese so is flavourful and creates nice gooey bites with caramelized onion for sweetness. The quiche’s crust is flakey but still light enough to not feel heavy, especially when balanced with the same mustardy aioli vinaigrette salad that’s served with sandwiches.

What I like most about Patisserie Sebastien is that there really is a Sebastien. When it’s busy, he’s generally in the kitchen, preparing the baked goods, sandwich, quiche, and soup orders. Once in a while, he’ll make his appearance in the dining room, bringing over the food in a quiet non-opposing manner. It’s impressive the number of confections one person can create for a bakery. Splitting a soup and French doughnut with my own quiche, that’s my go-to weekend lunch treat. 

Overall mark - 8 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 3306 Yonge Street

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:

Patisserie Sebastien Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato