325 Weston Rd, Toronto ON. M6N 4Z9 . Tel: 416.537.9696
"Dessert Trends, recent addition to Toronto's culinary scene is a café and patisserie conveniently located on the outskirts of campus among the many delicious options of Harbord Street. Since its grand opening in August, Dessert Trends has been offering its patrons an eclectic array of savoury and sweet delights in a soothing and fresh environment. As the first restaurant venture of Vietnamese chef and owner Donald Duong, Dessert Trends menu reflects the fusion of European and Asian sensibilities.
Dessert Trends provides the famished with both lunch and an array of delectable pastries. The lunch menu offers mainly light fare with a variety of gourmet sandwiches and salads. Chef Duong's Asian heritage and European education (he was partially trained as a pastry chef in Switzerland) can be tasted in such options as the Braised Beef salad with lemon grass. Accents of French cuisine are also scattered across the menu in such temptations as the lemon garlic shrimp sandwich on fresh baguette and duck-egg omelette as well as the quiches which change on a daily basis. When I had a chance to eat there, I was able to enjoy the roasted chicken and artichoke heart quiche with a mixed green salad. Also on the daily special menu that day was a mushroom and Parmesan cheese quiche. The breads and cheeses used in the sandwiches and salads also stood out as some of the highlights of the menu.
Those who have a weakness for the sweet stuff can sink their teeth into decadent desserts such as the white chocolate mousse tower in either raspberry or passion fruit as well as a spectrum of mini cheesecakes and fruit tarts. Although it took some time to commit to only two choices, I settled on one mini lemon cheesecake and one Bailey's cheesecake. The lemon was remarkably fluffy. Its tartness was tamer than expected but still refreshing. The Bailey's was the heavier and denser of the two. It is also notable that many of the desserts in the case are flourless, conforming to the current trend in North American culinary arts. Dessert Trends diners can also look forward to pairing their dessert with a killer cappuccino which I can definitely vouch for.
Although Dessert Trends has barely been open two months, some patrons may have unknowingly enjoyed one of their pastries before. Chef Duong has worked out of his bakery on Weston Road for a number of years and has sold his goodies at several downtown locales such as gourmet grocery stores Pusateri's and Whole Foods as well as various restaurants throughout the city. In fact, he has become one of the most internationally acclaimed pastry chefs in the world. In addition to being a restaurateur, he also specializes in the catering of special events and weddings, which can be deduced from the elaborate wedding cake on display in the window of the café.
Chef Duong's atmospheric concept stays true to the mellow aura of Harbord Street. The café's interior boasts a low key design incorporating both natural light and shadow with large windows overlooking the street and a mainly matte white interior. Both of these components also work together to create the illusion of a much larger space. The space's design is clean but I wonder if it won't be slightly cold when the winter sets in. Bathrooms which are located on the lower level demonstrate a much appreciated attention to detail with vases of exotic flowers and a rock garden.
Dessert Trends still has some kinks to work out in terms of scheduling as the kitchen closes entirely at 3:00pm, leaving late lunchers very limited choices. However, with a fresh and enticing menu as well as its humble and enthusiastic service, it is quite possible that it may flourish to become yet another Harbord Street landmark well deserving of its culinary neighbours."