After seeing all those pretty pictures of their pastries on Instagram and other social media, I finally had a chance to visit Duo Pâtisserie & Café. It has been on my “to-go-when-you’re-uptown list since its opening, but as a downtowner, I don’t go uptown when I have no purpose to be there.
The struggle is real when you have to drive downtown to uptown or vice versa.
Located Markham, Duo Pâtisserie & Café is a breath of fresh air in an area mostly dominated by Chinese bakeries, by offering French-inspired pastries and confections. The moment I went in, I kept thinking (like I always do when I’m in front of such beautiful pastries), “these are too pretty to eat, these are too pretty to eat…”
The Lemon Tart ($4.50) features an almond shortbread crust with a smooth, lemon filling with tiny bits of basil. It is not very tart nor too sweet, while the shortbread crust gave it a cookie crunch, really different than the usual pastry crust on tarts.
As a chocolate lover, my immediate choice went straight to the Hazel ($6.50), a dark chocolate mousse atop a shortbread crust covered in black and white sesame. While it is a decadent dessert with presentation and texture, and it satisfied my never-ending craving of chocolate, there was one main drawback: the sesame gave it a roast-y flavour, but sesame also has its strong flavour that overpowered the dark chocolate. Nonetheless, it was still a really lovely chocolate creation.
Also got two Oolong macarons ($2.50 each) to go. They kindly kept it in the temperature controlled display for us and said that we can get it when we leave as it would melt in the Summer heat. Well, by the time I got home, the filling totally melted LOL :(. Nonetheless, it was still edible and while the oolong flavour was evident, it was a little too sweet.
While you cannot compare apples to apples with the prices in the area (one can get a bunch of Chinese bakery buns with $6.50), it’s pretty on par with the high-end patisseries in downtown. Some may complain that it’s pricy, but you have to keep in mind that there’s quality ingredients and the labour that goes into creating these pastries.
Duo Pâtisserie & Café
230 Commerce Valley Dr., Unit 4