Showing posts with label Desserts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Desserts. Show all posts
Cinnaholic is an American cinnamon roll bakery franchise founded in 2010. They appeared on Shark Tank in 2014, where they got an offer from one of the investors. The company then adopted a franchise business model in 2015, and there are now 3 locations in Ontario. 

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit their Danforth location to try a few cinnamon rolls myself. The store was small in size with a few long-standing tables at the front. I'd say this location is more for take-out orders. When I was there, there was a constant flow of customers taking the buns to go rather than eat-in. 

To be perfectly honest, I usually don't care for vegan food as I have had some pretty bad experiences. So my expectations for vegan cinnamon rolls weren't very high. However, I was pleasantly surprised as to how good these rolls were. It was hard to distinguish these from the non-vegan ones I have had in recent years. 

Cinnaholic's cinnamon rolls are 100% vegan and made with the highest quality ingredients. What makes the rolls vegan? It's dairy-free, eggs-free and cholesterol-free. The one thing is that it's not the healthiest dessert, as I believe the calories count for each roll is at least 600 calories. However, if you're not counting calories and love chocolate. Then definitely get the Cookie Monster. It's a roll with vanilla frosting topped off with cookie dough, chocolate chips and chocolate drizzle. 

Out of the two rolls, I liked the Raptors on a Roll more. So fluffy and soft! I'd get this same roll again if/when I am in the area.

If you don't like their pre-made combinations, you can also customize your own cinnamon roll from a variety of Cinnaholic’s signature frosting flavors and toppings. The original hand-crafted custom cinnamon roll starts at $4.95, and you can add a frosting flavor for $0.25 and each topping is $0.50. My fully customizable cinnamon bun consists of cream cheese frosting, marshmallow and sprinkles. 

The buns are made to order, and it tastes great when you eat it right away. However, the frosting does tend to harden overtime, so I'd recommend heating it up in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds if you don't eat it right after purchase. It was a very sweet treat that I thoroughly enjoyed! 

Address: 319 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON, M4K 1N7

Cinnaholic Canada

by on Thursday, January 03, 2019
Cinnaholic  is an American cinnamon roll bakery franchise founded in 2010. They appeared on Shark Tank in 2014, where they got an offer fro...
One of the current food trends in the city is Japanese soufflé pancakes, which has been quite popular overseas in Japan. Traditionally, these pancakes were served after weddings to symbolize good fortune. However, it has since become a staple item as an everyday treat, and I saw plenty of different chains in Japan serving them when I was there last month. 

 If you want some Japanese soufflé pancakes, then look no further as it's now available at Fuwa Fuwa Japanese Pancakes. The restaurant opened up in mid-May in the Annex neighborhood on Bloor Street West at Brunswick Ave. They had a promotion where they gave away 300 free pancakes per day during their opening weekend. I didn't brave the lines for their giveaway, but I did get a chance to attend a tasting a week and a half later. 

 I ended up going on a Sunday at around 6:30 pm, which I thought was a good idea at the time. Who eats sweet pancakes that late in the evening? I was wrong! There was still a line-up of people waiting for both take-out and dine-in. Luckily, I had a reservation so I avoided the line-up in the hot weather. Sorry to those who waited in line, and probably thought that I had cut them in line. 

Fuwa Fuwa Signature ($12.50)

 The kitchen staff appeared overwhelmed that day, and it resulted in a delay in getting the pancakes out in a timely manner. Not going to lie - I was slightly hangry, but I spent the wait time editing some blog photos. I think the process of cooking has gotten better since my visit, as my friend went a couple of days after I did, and she said she only waited 20 minutes for her pancake. So hopefully, people aren't waiting up to an hour for pancakes anymore. I do have plans to return to try the Tiramisu pancake next time, as it seems to be quite a popular choice.

I opted for the Crème Brûlée Pancake ($15.80), which consisted of two fluffy pancakes topped with a caramelized coat, crème brûlée sauce, and a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.  The pancake from Fuwa Fuwa Japanese Pancakes was airy and had a nice fluffy consistency. It wasn't too overly sweet and the tangy fruits added a nice balance. I liked it! They also serve other flavors if creme brûlée isn't your thing like matcha cream and red bean, signature, raspberry/caramelized banana and tiramisu.

Unlike the North American styled pancakes, the ones from Japan are more of a cross between an egg souffle and a hot cake. The pancakes are made fresh to order, so there is often a 20-30 minute wait time for your order. Even in Japan, the wait time was around the same as I waited about 25 minutes for the pancakes at both Flipper's (Osaka) and Light Cafe (Nagoya).

Add a little happiness into your life with fluffy pancakes. Be sure to go on the weekday though if you don't want to wait in line for long.

Address: 408 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON, M5S 2N5

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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

Fuwa Fuwa Japanese Pancakes

by on Wednesday, May 30, 2018
One of the current food trends in the city is Japanese soufflé pancakes, which has been quite popular overseas in Japan. Traditionally, the...
Earlier last week, I had the pleasure of going to the Uncle Tetsu’s Unionville in Markham to try their new Sakura Cheesecake. Unlike the fluffy baked cheesecakes that they are known for, this new one is a no-bake cheesecake. It is also exclusive to the Unionville location, and it is highly recommended that you pre-order in advance due to the craftsmanship that goes into baking them.

This was my first time at their Unionville location, but I have been to the downtown one on several occasions. All of the storefronts in Unionville are modeled as historic village houses, and the Uncle Tetsu’s Unionville's location is no different. It's a cute looking home with very minimal space inside (quite cramp when it's super busy). I went on a Friday evening, and it was busy, so everyone was kind of shoved into a little corner while waiting for their cheesecakes. 

The Japanese-Style No Bake Cheesecakes are available in two different flavours, Sakura and Yuzu. The smaller version was $8, while the large was $35. The larger size may be a little pricey, but it would be a great cake to order for a special occasion to share (like birthdays, bridal shower, Valentine's Day, etc ...).

 The Sakura No Bake Cheesecake was beautifully decorated with cherry blossom petals, gold leaf, and glazed with gelatin jelly. The pink layer was creamy, and has a similar texture to a mousse cake. The cheese flavor was light, and the cherry blossom petals added the aroma to the cake.

Sign up today (FREE) to the Toronto Gourmand Club (link is here) for a 20% off coupon that you can use for the Uncle Tetsu’s Unionville’s Sakura Cheesecake. The coupon expires on February 10th, 2017, but there are plenty of upcoming benefits and discounts for members. 

I was also able to sample the Yuzu Cheesecake as well. The light cheesecake was flavored with Japanese yuzu, and had a nice strong citrus flavor. However, I do like the Sakura Cheesecake a lot more over the Yuzu one. 

Address: 158 Main St Unionville, Unionville, ON L3R 2G9

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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

Tsujiri is a renowned green tea brand that is known throughout Asia for their matcha-based drinks and desserts. The company was first established in 1860 by Riemon Tsuji in Uji, Kyoto, who pioneered the improvement of the tea industry by using a method that enhanced the flavor of the tea. Tsuji’s method and philosophy still remain true today as the company prides themselves in offering the best quality green tea to their customers.

Tsujiri Toronto's first North American outpost opened earlier this week near Bay and Dundas amid much fanfare. This is their first foray into a market outside Asia, but they are planning on expanding to other cities in North America in the future. I had the pleasure of getting a sneak peek of some of the products that Tsujiri Toronto has to offer a day before its soft opening, and got the chance to chat with one of the managers, Tylor Shek. The first Toronto location is at 147 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON, which is right in the heart of downtown. The shop primarily serves as a take-out area, as it is small with only a few high seat tables, and a traditional tatami room in the back of the shop. The tatami was contracted and built by a Japanese company in Vancouver, and is reminiscent of the space in Kyoto.

Tsujiri Toronto's menu is extensive, as there is a great variety of matcha-oriented desserts, hot and cold beverages, and pastries. According to Tylor, Tsujiri Toronto stays true to its Kyoto outpost, as their ingredients are sourced directly from Japan. This way, they maintain the standard consistency that the Tsujiri brand is known for. The menu is definitely on a higher price point, but they do make up for it by producing higher quality products.

(menu courtesy of
We started off with a demonstration on how the O-Matcha drink is made in-store by one of the staff members. 

I started off with the O-Macha (traditional green tea), and chose the hot version. Note that there is a 3-degree (matcha) scale at Tsujiri Toronto (mild, medium, and strong) indicated by the number of leaf icons, and this drink is listed as a 3. If you're new to matcha, then I wouldn't recommend this drink as it has a very strong bitter taste to it. I would probably start light with one of the matcha lattes. Speaking of leaves, the founder discovered a way to transport tea by inventing a tea cabinet that keeps them fresh longer. This resulted in the revive of the popularity of Uji tea, and made the company what it is today. 

3-degree (matcha) scale at Tsujiri
The O-Matcha Black Sesame Latte is part of their hot drinks series, and is well-crafted. The matcha and black sesame blended nicely with one another, without one being overpowering over the other. Compared to other large chains that also offer matcha lattes, the one at Tsujiri isn't too sweet.

For me, the highlight of the evening was the Tsujiri Sundae, as I loved how well the ingredients are layered with one another. The contrasting texture was most welcomed with the layering of the matcha soft serve, brown rice cracker, red bean paste, mochi, and topped off with a sakura cookie. The matcha and red bean flavors seem the most dominant of all, but the crunch of the cracker adds to the texture.

I enjoyed the sundae, but the Tsujiri Soft Serve on its own is sure to be a crowd pleaser. The soft serve comes in three flavors; matcha, vanilla or mix (cone or cup). I opted for their matcha cone, and found it to be rich, full of matcha flavor, and wasn't overly sweet. It should be noted that it had a nice thick consistency, as it wasn't watered down.

The Tsujiri Float is their variation of an ice-cream float with matcha ice blend topped off with soft serve. Perfect for a warm summer day!

The Houjicha Latte consists of a vibrant tea blend that has a nice subtle roasted flavor.

 Tsujiri Latte (cold)

Tsujiri Shaved Ice

Uji Kintoki

Yuzu O-Matcha

Chiffon Cake Sundae

Additionally, they also have drinks made exclusively for the Toronto location with the infusion of matcha and maple syrup into their hot drink series (not pictured). 

Tsujiri Toronto is a wonderful addition to the Yonge/Dundas area where there has been several Japanese businesses as of late. They have an extensive list of matcha items on their menu, and I truly believe there's something for everyone here (especially those who have sweet tooths). As a fan of matcha and Japanese culture, I am excited to return to Tsujiri again when I am in the area next. Thank you to the management team and staff at Tsujiri Toronto for the invitation and warm hospitality.

Address: 147 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5G 1P5

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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

TSUJIRI Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tsujiri Toronto

by on Friday, March 11, 2016
Tsujiri is a renowned green tea brand that is known throughout Asia for their matcha-based drinks and desserts. The company was first esta...
Cacao 70 is a popular chocolate cafe franchise from Montreal. They recently opened in the space that temporarily housed Balzac's Coffee Roasters earlier this November. The timing couldn't have been more perfect as the cafe's launch coincided with the popular annual Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery District during the holiday season. I was invited to Cacao 70 Distillery to try a few items on their menu, and I didn't hesitate, as I have a major sweet tooth. This was actually my dinner that Thursday night (chocolate dinner FTW). Cacao 70 Distillery's space was bright with an open kitchen concept, so you could see the kitchen staff make the chocolate dishes. Open for brunch (weekend), lunch, and dinner; I would say that it's the perfect spot if you love sweets, and chocolates.

While perusing the menu, I realized just how extensive their premium chocolate offering was. They have a great chocolate collection consisting of chocolates from worldwide ($9.75 each) consisting of various cacao content. I opted for the 66% Mexico - complex aromas of subtle taste and with a long lasting taste which reveals warm, woody, spicy and tobacco flavors. Each hot chocolate arrives in a metal mug of regular hot chocolate, and a cognac glass containing the respective premium chocolate, and rimmed with the chocolate as well. You have to mix the liquid content with the melted chocolate to make your preferred hot chocolate mixture.

I started off with the Nutella and Fruit Crêpe ($11) - a thin French crepe with Nutella and fruits (choice of strawberries, bananas or raspberries) drizzled with chocolate sauce. Strawberries, and chocolate hazelnut spread are the perfect combination when it comes to sweet crêpes.

My favorite dessert of the night was the Strawberry and Cheesecake Crêpe ($15.75) - a thin French crepe stuffed with cheesecake and served with fresh strawberries, homemade berry sauce, melted chocolate and chocolate-covered ice cream. This was a perfectly decadent dessert stuffed with pieces of rich and creamy cheesecakes, and it definitely satisfied my chocolate craving.

Besides sweets, Cacao 70 Distillery also offered some savory options such as various crêpes. J ordered the Feel Good About Yourself Pressed Crêpe Sandwich ($14.25) - smoked turkey, mushrooms, tomatoes and Swiss cheese served with a green salad, which was a surprisingly light dish.

He also got a small cup of American Style Hot Chocolate (small is $5.25) - Cacao 70's classic hot chocolate served with marshmallows and drizzled with melted chocolate (choice of milk, semi-sweet, or dark).

We visited during their opening week, and noticed that there was an issue of the cafe being understaffed. Due to the media exposure, and The Toronto Christmas Market, they had a consistent amount of customers coming into the cafe to dine. This issue was relayed, and I was told at the time that they were working on getting more staff. I am assuming that by now that the issue has been resolved, and the service is more steady. It didn't completely ruin my dining experience, as I found the desserts to be quite delicious. Although, Cacao 70 Distillery specializes in chocolate-based desserts, they do have their fair share of savory options, and a full brunch menu until 4 pm. Be sure to pop by this chocolate cafe located in the Distillery District if you're craving for some sweets. It's a great place to catch up with some girlfriends, and even date nights.

Address: 28 Gristmill Lane, Toronto, ON M5A 3C4

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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

Cacao 70 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cacao 70 Distillery

by on Tuesday, January 05, 2016
Cacao 70 is a popular chocolate cafe franchise from Montreal. They recently opened in the space that temporarily housed Balzac's Coffe...