First Look: Bake Code brings Asian-European baked fusion to North York
The three men, Kenton Chan, Vincent Lau, and Thomas Wong, who brought Chatime to Toronto have now also given us our first taste of Bake Code, the popular Taiwanese bakery that fuses Asian and European influences.
Image: Suresh Doss
Continuing in the trend of modern Asian patisseries and cafés that are popping up all over Toronto, the newest is the first Canadian location of popular Taiwanese bakery Bake Code.
Bake Code Toronto's three owners: Kenton Chan, Vincent Lau, and Thomas Wong.
Bake Code, with a combination of European and Asian influences, was brought to Toronto by three school friends. "We consider ourselves well-travelled and during a visit to Bake Code in Taiwan, I was blown away by some of the pastries and breads I had there," Wong recalled.
The bakery has multiple locations in Taiwan, one in Malaysia, and recently opened a shop in LA.
The group enlisted Fuel* DesignLab to help them re-do the former Second Cup space on Yonge, two blocks north of Sheppard, to create a bright modern cafe space. Doors officially opened yesterday. The cafe blends European and Asian styles of baking and ingredients to produce an array of breads and pastries with interesting flavor combinations. "We've mixing the best we've learnt from both styles, we've borrowed a lot from European baking techniques and Asian ingredients. The result is something unique," Lau said.
Bake Code's red wine longan roll bread
Bake Code's bread menu is the star attraction, featuring 40-50 different styles of loaves on any given day. The loaves may look familiar but their textures and tastes are something else. Red wine longan roll's ($6.50) exterior is incredibly soft, with a chewy center. The Gojiberry roll mixes raisins, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, goji berries, and almonds. "Our star attraction is the gagnam star roll ($4.90)" Lau said with a big smile.
The star-shaped constellation of buns look like dinner rolls, but they're stuffed with kimchi cream cheese.
The owners plan to implement a digital timetable (online and in-store) to share the exact baking times of various loaves. The idea is to transition from breakfast breads to a slew of snack buns — cheese triangles ($3.90), sausage baguette ($3.50), and cranberry cheese pastries ($2.60) — throughout the day.
"We're trying to use as many local ingredients as possible," Lau said as he toured me through the bakery's bun selection.
There's a sausage baguette, similar to hot dog buns you find at Asian bakeries, except its wrapped in an epi baguette. "Local mills for our flour and the sausages come from a local producer."
An assortment of desserts are also available, the multi-layered mille feuille was a highlight, 20 layers of crepes sandwiched around custard cream. The Hokkaido chiffon cake is lighter than its sponge cake counterpart. There was also an assortment of fruit and custard tarts available. According to Lau, the bakery brigade will be making 10-15 different pastries daily.
Bake Code's iced sea salt coffee.
The owners of Bake Code also operate a number of Chatime locations throughout the GTA. They wanted to incorporate the modern tea house and its menu into Bake Code. "It's a natural fit, we wanted to have our drinks menu available to complement the baked goods," Lau said. A variety of iced teas and coffees are featured along with Chatime's signature milk teas.
The space seats 12 inside with a patio for 18. The owners are confident in the success of the bakery and have already made moves for a second location. A lease has been signed for a space at Hillcrest Mall, which is slated to open later this year. "We're also looking at bringing a cafe to downtown Toronto," Lau said.
Bake Code Toronto is open daily from 8 a.m. to midnight.
Bake Code, 4910 Yonge St., 647-346-3888