Duo Patisserie is a unique concept for the Richmond Hill/Markham area. While traditional Chinese bakeries are rampant here, one may have a hard time finding French-inspired desserts. Duo fills this void.
Good friends Eric Chan, Rocky Yuen, and Debra Kwan realized their dream of opening a bakery in November 2014. Eric is the head pastry chef, using his 10+ years experience in the industry to construct the menu. Rocky takes care of the coffee, using his extensive knowledge as a barista and Debra runs the front of house.
The decor here is minimalist, eschewing the 'less is more' philosophy of the owners. The white and grey tones give the space a bright and clean look, with a modern, Japanese feel.
The menu is concise with a selection of croissants (sweet and savoury), a few flavours of macrons, and a handful of pastries. For a hot beverage to pair with your dessert they offer a good selection of espresso drinks, with beans sourced from local favourite Pilot Coffee Roasters .
I start with a plain croissant ($2.50), presented beautifully on a wooden cutting board. The croissant is quite buttery, with fluffy, rich layers. The outer part was unexpectedly crunchy, and not as flaky as I would have liked.
The lemon tart ($4.50) is my favourite sampling of the day. It consists of a light lemon filling that has a silky smooth texture, atop an almond shortbread crust. The filling is a real winner; it has the perfect amount of tartness, and it is not overly sweet. The shortbread provides a nice cookie texture to balance the filling.
The Mont Blanc ($7.00) is a top seller. This mountain shaped pastry consists of chestnut puree, and whipped cream over a shortbread crust. The filling is light, and airy with subtle chestnut flavours. This pastry shows some strong Chinese influence and should be a hit for those who prefer their desserts less sweet.
To accompany my pastries, I try their Flat White ($3.50), prepared using Mod Bar equipment and presented with beautiful latte art. The Flat White is quite strong which complements my desserts nicely; although it lacked the smooth, creamy consistency I was hoping for.
With their attention to detail, friendly customer service, and ever-growing menu Duo Patisserie should mature into a local favourite, and hopefully prove that there is room for this kind of concept in the Markham area.