Expectations are strange things, aren’t they? I came to Bonchaz (downtown Vancouver on West Hastings) looking forward to indulging myself in delicious French brioche. An expectation I got from a friend claiming Bonchaz has ‘amazing brioche buns’. If you throw around a word as glorious as brioche, well that pastry better deliver. When I think ‘brioche’ I think thick, flaky crust, rich and tender crumb, all thanks to French pastries’ ample egg and butter content.
So, after ordering and tasting my pastry, I discovered it wasn’t very close to a traditional brioche. It had the texture and consistency more like the inside of a Chinese pineapple bun (a white flour, sweet bun).
The company describes their product as an “oven baked milk bun topped with a crisp golden crust and a hint of fresh ground coffee”. Ok, that description sounds a little more accurate than my friend’s brioche claim. Although, my bun didn’t have a crisp crust; it was very soft and included chocolate sprinkles.
Bonchaz buns come in the following flavors: original w/ sea salt, banana walnut, chocolate truffle, apple cinnamon, and matcha green tea. I ordered the chocolate truffle bun – it was very soft and super light like a cloud, not too sickingly sweet, and easy to eat. Its convenient size made it handy to carry and enjoy on the road.
Preconceived notions aside, I did enjoy my chocolate truffle Bonchaz bun and great tasting, fair trade, organic, French press coffee. I especially enjoyed the price. We arrived before 10:30am, so we were able to purchase their special “buy either size coffee (12 oz. $1.75 or 16 oz. $1.95) receive a free Bonchaz bun”. I’m not sure if this is a daily special, or if we just got lucky that particular morning.
A great cup of coffee and a pastry for $1.75 – there aren’t too many places in Vancouver you can get that great deal!
Tip: Snag the funky red chairs at the back of the cafe, they’re comfy.