It gives me such extreme pleasure when I get to report on a brilliant new bakery. It is not exactly new as it will be two years old this coming February 2017, but it was a new discovery for me thanks to a recommendation by my friend and fellow foodie, Munching Moez. I am a HUGE fan, and I think that Roselle makes some of the best pastries in town.
Roselle is a tiny shoe box of a store on 362 King Street East, just east of Parliament. This area is called Corktown and is where Irish immigrants came to settle. The area was quite desolate for years but is seeing a new resurgence and energy because of small businesses like this.
Steph Duong – whom I had the pleasure of meeting – and her fiancé Bruce Lee (great name!) are the proprietors. They met at George Brown School where they studied culinary arts, then traveled abroad to France where they both worked in Michelin starred establishments and honed their skills. Then it was off to Asia to do the same. Thankfully for us they came back to Toronto and opened this space together. As I mentioned, will have been open for two years as of February 2017. They are now partners in life as well as business.
The decor is simple with lots of red and white accents. There are a few tables where you can sit to enjoy a coffee or a carefully curated tea selection from Pluck. They have a case that displays their beautiful delicacies. Steph said they can vary depending on the season. Too bad I missed the soft serve season because I desperately want to try their soft serve.
Everything I tried was outstanding. From the banana cream eclair with rum caramelized bananas, vanilla custard, and whipped white chocolate ganache, to the turtle tart – a milk chocolate mousse, on a rum soaked biscuit, with salted caramel and candied pecans in an almond tart shell. The mini lemon tart with the silky lemon cream, fluffy toasted meringue on a gorgeous almond tart shell was perfection. A dessert called ‘the chocolate one’, was a dark decadent chocolate mousse layered with a dark chocolate biscuit, a dreamy ganache and chocolate crispy pearls. I also tried her cookies, which I also take seriously, and I can report hers are good. The chocolate chip is crispy on the outside and chewy inside. They use good quality chocolate, and believe me, you can taste the difference. The ‘double chocolate soufflé cookie’ and all the others were equally stellar. Steph had a pumpkin bunt cake on display as one of her seasonal items as well. She also makes the most buttery and natural fruit puréed caramels in all different flavours. I am spoiled for life now as caramels will never compare to these.
They offer some special desserts for sit-down only that are made-to-order. These have included: vanilla mille-feuille, strawberry pavlova, fresh baked madeleines, and Paris–Brest.
This gem is not centrally located for most people, but I am telling you, it is worth the drive to experience the love and passion of these two young people. They make delicious French-inspired desserts, and as their slogan says, “desserts make you happy”. Well, their desserts certainly do!
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11am-8pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 11am-6pm and 8pm-11pm, and Sundays from 11am-5pm. The weekends get busy, especially in the evenings, so get there by 8 or later, around 10pm, if you hope to secure a seat in their small shop.