Patisserie Royale

Patisserie Royale

Patisserie Royale has been serving up some of the city's best baklava since 1987. Today, the family-run bakery is still going strong. 

No longer renting the old plaza unit on Lawrence Avenue where they first opened more than 20 years ago, the Lebanese institution now doles out its orange blossomy sweets from a sleek shop on Kennedy Road.

patisserie royale torontoThis plaza space is definitely an upgrade: elegant and shiny, the store is lined with a curving case displaying Middle Eastern pastries like namoura (semolina cake) and coconut macaroons. 

patisserie royale torontoEven those unfamiliar with Arabic sweets can tell how good Mounzer Jamous' recipes are.

patisserie royale torontoThe owner learned his trade from the Syrian bakers behind Montreal's renowned Patisserie Mahrouse, then brought it to Toronto where he's dazzled baklava lovers of all backgrounds. 

patisserie royale torontoA large part of Patisserie Royale's success may be the fact that they only use clarified butter, which lends to the pastries' tender flakiness.

patisserie royale torontoOpen seven days a week, everything at Patisserie Royale is prepped upstairs and typically sold by the kilogram. Otherwise their housemade confections are sold in packages. 

patisserie royale torontoTheir famously good baklavas come in all shapes and with an assortment of fillings. Finger baklavas are tightly rolled while burma are shredded filo-wrapped bundles of goodness. You can get a mixed box of baklavas for $32 per kilogram.

If you have a sweet tooth these hefty little pastries will definitely hit the spot. Anyone with allergies is out of luck: as with all Arab desserts, Patisserie Royale's sweets are overflowing with Persian pistachios and  nuts from California.

patisserie royale torontoThere are also maamoul's: dusty shortbread cookies most popular during Eid celebrations. You can get them filled with dates, walnuts or pistachios from $15 to $20 per dozen. 

Aside from the baklava is another immensely delicious pastry: kanafeh, a traditional dessert made with cheese and doused with fragrant syrup. On weekends only, they're offered with cream along with cheese-filled nabulsi and beinnaren with ashta (cream) inside. 

patisserie royale torontoWhile you can often get forms of kanafeh at other Arabic pastry shops, one thing I've never tried is cheese kanafeh in a thin sesame seed bun ($5). 

patisserie royale torontoAccording to Mounzer's son Bilal it's a popular breakfast meal in Lebanon – in fact, eating kanafeh in a bun is far more popular than eating it without. After trying, it may be the only way you want to eat kanafeh again. 

Scattered around the store you'll also find a lean collection of imported goods from Greece, Turkey and the Middle East.

patisserie royale torontoGrape leaves are available in jars to make warak anab (rolled leaves stuffed with rice and meat), and packs of Al Shira dates for $12. 

patisserie royale torontoIn the fridge to the right they also stock cheese and bottles of the popular Lebanese green apple drink Laziza for $2. 

Filing up quickly in the evenings, Patisserie Royale is a hub for everyone in and around Scarborough who enjoys these sort of pastries. Holidays are especially busy, but with baklava this good, every day is a good day to celebeate. 

patisserie royale toronto

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