Laurence and Chico Cafe is a fusion of eclectic design and food. Personally I’ve always thought food and design go hand in hand – the creativity to make whimsical and thought provoking pieces translates well into making an ordinary meal into something quite extraordinary.
At the recently opened Laurence and Chico cafe, that’s what they want to exude. There are many passerbys who stare into the space – mostly because the fuzzy monster chairs are eye catching. But places that catch your eye and places that are not afraid to be loud and weird are what we need more of in Vancouver.
Vancouver has definitely become quite saturated with exposed brick, high ceilings and rustic wooden panels (read clean, modern designs), so to have a cafe where even your bathrooms are Instagram-worthy is a loud statement of their presence.
Laurence and Chico are partners – one a designer, the other a marketer and this is their love child.
Their pastries are crafted by their in-house pastry chef but they do collaborations with their high tea sets and partner with local bakeries and chefs. When I went, the food options were created by Chef Tobias Grignon of Rabbit’s food.
Their high tea set comes in a sturdy branded box – which means you can take it to go and enjoy anywhere.
The box contains 4 bite sized portions and a cup of tea. On the savoury side, there is the Chicken liver Onigiri with onion jam and brioche crumbs and Smoked tuna and spinach crepe.
The Chicken liver onigiri is a nice balance of crispy and savoury with a slight sweetness.
The smoked tuna and spinach crepe was my favourite part of the box, just the marriage of smokiness and savoury flavours with a nice crunch on top to finish.
On the other side of the box is the Corn & Nectarine Tart, with chili and chicharron and Beet and Buttermilk eclair with Italian meringue and pistachios.
The Corn and Nectarine tart is another great show of balancing flavours – crispy, sweet with a nice spicy after kick – it was definitely one of the highlights of the box.
The last item is the Beet and Buttermilk eclair with Italian meringue and pistachios. This bite was more muted in flavour.
We also got to try a couple of the desserts: Blackforest Mousse Tarte ($6.80), Tropical Mousse Tart ($6.80) and the Raspberry Garden ($7).
The Tropical Mousse Tart is a bright, flavourful tribute to summer. It starts off with Mango Passionfruit Mousse on top sprinkled with toasted coconut and inside the vanilla shell is a contrast of almond milk and black rice pudding.
Up next is the Raspberry Garden – with hibiscus marshmallow, raspberries and fresh mint in a vanilla shell. This was one of my favourites – it had a nice texture with the marshmallow (almost mochi-like) and the incorporation of herbs into this and the Blackforest Mousse Tarte show how to properly balance sweet and herbaceous flavours.
Finally, the Blackforest Mousse Tarte. Underneath the cherry mousse, you’ll find chocolate cherry truffle wrapped within the chocolate shell.
“We want our desserts to be as loud as our brand.” Sherry, the store manager told me. Each individual dessert has been given the love and attention in both flavour and aesthetic.
There are smaller desserts and treats you can order – they’ve sourced it from local favourites including French Made Baking and La Glacè.
And of course, being a fashion brand they have some small souvenir items you may purchase in the store (iphone cases, postcards and illustrations mostly).
I would definitely recommend checking this place out – I’m excited to see what they have in store for the coming seasons and how they plan to expand their menu.
Disclosure: I was invited by Laurence & Chico to check out the space and my meal was paid for.