Jamie Tung, owner and founder of Buttermere Patisserie, is no stranger to owning a bakery business, even without a brick-and-mortar shop. She’s been doing it for the past three years by taking orders online through her website and WeChat, the multifunctional Chinese social-media platform.
But Tung has finally found a permanent home for her pastry shop, and guests can do more than merely ogle Instagram images of her photogenic sweets.
Buttermere Cafe (636 Main Street) opened last month, occupying the former home of Greenderful Juice and Salad. The 1,000-square-foot space can accommodate 16 guests, and maintains pretty much the same interior as its predecessor, save for some fresh coats of accent paint and minimal décor.
The young pastry chef still works out of the commissary kitchen at Torafuku (958 Main Street) down the street, but Buttermere’s followers now have a spot to sit down and enjoy dessert without having to commit to a cake order that usually has to be placed 48 hours in advance. In other words, its customers don’t have to plan ahead to enjoy its sweet treats.
The neighbourhood spot specializes in French baking infused with Asian flavours, and its creations are noticeably lower in sugar, without compromising on taste.
“To start, we have cake rolls with mostly Asian flavours because we are in Chinatown, so we just want to tie in with the environment and community,” Tung told the Straight in an interview at her new café.
Those flavours include mango, Thai empire tea, and hojicha, while other menu items like salty egg-yolk cream puffs, mango cheesecake, and yogurt cloud (made with raspberry sponge and yogurt mousse) are also available.
At the coffee bar, beverages like cappuccino, Americano, espresso, and hot chocolate can be found. A unique hot cocoa, “ruby is the new black”, made with Barry Callebaut’s inventive ruby chocolate, is also served.
Don’t expect to find the same treats each time, because the offerings are seasonal and will rotate often. Tung travels extensively to attend master classes and workshops, which ultimately inspire her cakes and pastries.
“In Chinatown, I think there’s a lot of diversity and [it’s] a good place to blend in and attract a diverse customer base,” said Tung. “I’m also going to try experiments with vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free products.”