Tendou Matcha & Dessert Cafe
Tendou Matcha & Dessert Cafe is bringing matcha soft serve to Markham in a serious way. With special matcha imported from Hoshino Tea Gardens all the way in Japan and classic Japanese flavours like black sesame and toppings like red bean paste, you're sure to leave here satisfied with a nostalgic experience or wowed by something totally new to you.
The soft serve and sundaes as well as smoothies and milkshakes are probably the most popular items here right now, but the dessert skills here know no bounds. It's all tied together with the matcha theme, but they offer many other beautiful desserts like tarts and crepe cakes, and even a tofu cheesecake that doesn't have even a speck of matcha but is incredibly tasty and smooth.
The cafe is nestled in one of the many complexes of businesses that make up Markham's layout. There's an entrance from the parking lot and the inside of a building, and the bathroom outside the cafe necessitates a quick elevator ride. All the kitchen elements and ingredients for Tendou are kept in their small space with minimal seating, though there are a few good tables for four.
Their menu works on a grid format, with options for soft serve flavours (matcha, black sesame, or twist) and then cone, bowl, or sundae combo options. We go for a simple twist matcha and black sesame cone ($5.50), because this is apparently the only place that does that. Like a chocolate and vanilla from a truck but savoury, the flavours combine to create a rich harmony.
A special item that comes in both matcha and black sesame flavours (but not combined) is the creme br没l茅e ($5.50). This special is dine-in only, and it's worth it to crack the delicate surface in the cafe with the back of your spoon and dig into more creamy black sesame flavour.
The matcha frapp and black sesame frapp are best sellers ($6.25), and they both come topped with a scoop of red bean paste.
The aforementioned tofu cheesecake ($5.50) is a Japanese classic available at some other spots, but this one is especially scrumptious. Made with tofu for a savoury flavour and cream cheese, it's topped with blueberries and a tiny slice of strawberry.
Their opera cake ($6.50) was also on offer that day, made with layers of matcha butter and chocolate. These layers are frozen into a mold which is later released with heat, and then the cake is cut into sophisticated narrow rectangular slices. It's garnished with some ground black sesame and a piece of white chocolate.
Tendou means "path to heaven": the bar they've set is certainly divine.
Photos by Hector Vasquez