We headed to Cadeaux Bakery, Gastown’s latest culinary offering, a few days after their soft opening on a rainy Saturday afternoon. With artisan bakeries becoming as ubiquitous in Vancouver as Neapolitan pizza we were curious to see how this new addition would rival our perennial favourites Sweet e’s and Butter, not to mention the recently opened Thierry and Bel Café. Cadeaux, located on the eastern edge of Gastown, is part of a larger revitalization of this former no-man’s land and is yet another reason to head past Powell for culinary delights. It’s nearly impossible to ignore the delectable, overwhelmingly sweet aromas emanating from Cadeaux which travel at least a block away from the bakery. We followed these intoxicating scents all the way to the simple, sparse and elegantly appointed spot.
The bakery, opened by former Chambar veterans Eleanor Chow and Slavita Johnson, somehow perfectly fuses a contemporary, minimalist aesthetic with an inviting, French-country feel. Their expertly prepared and visually appealing pastries and baked goods vie for attention on raised platters behind the glass display case. With selections that range from the incredibly sweet — salted-caramel brownies and white chocolate and pear scones — to the savoury — cheddar and chive scones and dill and goat cheese stuffed croissants — Cadeaux has something that will appeal to any palate and desire. The melt-in-your-mouth lemon meringue tartlette was our personal favourite with its flawless balance of tart lemon custard and sweet meringue. The brownie also hits the perfect note with its salted caramel topping offsetting the richness of the chocolate. Everything is baked fresh on the premises, which accounts for the intoxicating smells, and you can witness the bakers’ technique and view all the action in the large open-concept kitchen that is adjacent to the small seating area.
Cadeaux is still in the soft launch phase and plans to roll out more products, including a selection of frozen treats, before their official grand opening next month. If you’re at all indecisive, beware. It’s likely that you’ll spend a considerable amount of time staring at the selections desperately trying to decide what to order. In that case, do what we did and order one of everything. You won’t be disappointed.