Kouign Cafe, located in Vancouver’s Chinatown, is the dream of pastry chef Andrew Han. According to the website, the place is a “balance between sweet and savoury notes in classic European and Asian pastries inspired by my memories of growing up in Chinatown learning everything I could about food, hospitality, and ingredients from my mother”.
What caught my attention was the white rabbit pastries. I grew up with the stuff. If you don’t know, white rabbit candies originated in China in the 1940s, and are a milk candy. They have a rice paper wrap that is edible.
I was also excited that the place offered kimbap. Basically, Korea’s version of sushi. The kimbap was just ok. I had the Adam: “kimbap with roasted nori, sushi and sesame seasoned rice, seared Spam in BBQ pork marinade, Thai basil, house made Kimchi, Kewpie mayo, cucumber, dill cream cheese, scallions, and toasted white sesame”
The ratio of spam to other ingredients was off to the point where I could not taste the spam. This is a shame as the chef put effort and care to marinate it. The cream cheese was also unnecessary and overpowered everything else. I also tried the Eve: “kimbap with roasted nori, sushi and sesame seasoned rice, tuna salad, Thai basil mint and lemongrass salsa verdé, Japanese mayo, daikon pickled lightly in kimchi brine, scallions, and toasted black sesame”. These were better than the Adam. I think these have potential if they can tweak the recipes.
On the other hand, the pastries were fantastic.
Bunny Basket – (The white rabbit with mini eggs) Mochiko and wheat flour blend cookie, lightly studded with dark chocolate chips, and baked with White Rabbit Candy and Maldon sea salt; with mini eggs for Easter. The texture was soft and all the flavors and ingredients went well together. I loved the touch of sea salt which came out at the end.
The Dark Moon – Mochiko and wheat flour blend brown butter ube cookie with ivory white chocolate, fresh steamed ube, house made ube jam, toasted white sesame, and Maldon sea salt. This was also good texture wise. The ube flavor could come out a touch more but I would still order this again.
The White Kouign – “classic Kouign Amann with our White Rabbit Cookie dough and coconut butter mochi heart, caramelized sugar crust, chrysanthemum honey glaze, toasted sesame, White Rabbit Candy, and 24K gold CUZ OPULENCE! This was very delicious. The honey glaze gave it a nice crunch, the butter made every bite smooth and creamy, and the sweetness level was just right.
Overall, the pastries are delicious, and creative and I would definitely order them again. I would also like to try their various other pastries.