Inspired by a macaron test I saw years ago, I have decided to test out three croissants from different bakeries along King West to direct any other avid croissant eaters in the right direction. I have to say that if I could have a Parisian breakfast every morning, life might as well be complete…but in the meantime I’ll just have to enjoy them from my favourite little spots on King West; I guess I can’t complain about that either.
It was a stunning Sunday morning as I walked along King West after a grueling spinning class that I realized this “croissant test” could very well be a successful post. So right then and there, I went with it. I first stopped by Her Majesty’s Pleasure which now houses Collette Grand Café, including their delicious treats and croissants. Next, to Portland Variety and lastly I hit up Delysées whose array of sweets was to die for, but I was on a missions here.
When eating a croissant, there are a few key criteria that I first need to consider: colour, taste, and an exterior flakiness complimented by a countless buttery layers of pastry on the inside. Breaking it down into these criteria, I have written up more of a report on my findings.
Delysées (on the far left): In terms of colour, the inconsistencies in the croissant made me a little skeptical. (Although it looked better when I first got it, there may have been some squishing as I made my way home) I picked this one up anyway to find that the outside was definitely flaky but lacked as it didn’t break loose like the others. Taste-wise it hit the right notes just like any traditional Parisian croissant that has been slathered in butter but fell short in texture on the inside. Unfortunately, this was my least favourite of the selection but still not a bad choice if you’re in the mood for a good morning snack.
Collette (middle): The crunchy and lightly browned outside of the croissant definitely had me rejoicing. Breaking the croissant open was exactly like I had imagined as bits and pieces of the exterior fell to my plate and the soft layers and bubbles on the inside were lightly packed with air and full on flavour. This croissant was definitely a win, but it still didn’t hit the nail on the head but closer to what I had in mind.
Portland Variety (on the far right and right above): It’s hard to beat around the bush here; it was perfection. I’m not basing this on any other experience or endorsement here but this croissant was truly flawless. The layers of golden pastry were evenly rolled and baked in a way that made breaking into it part of the experience. Once that barrier has been broken, the countless inside layers were buttered in a way that only accentuated this characteristic of airy, thin layers that melt instantly in your mouth. Without being overly sweet (nor buttery), the pastry can make even the most unassuming of people picture themselves walking along the Seine as the warm sun rises. Although this time I was only picking up a regular croissant to keep our variables consistent, the almond croissants here are also a killer!
Call me crazy but it was one of the best breakfasts I had had in a long time, luckily I didn’t need to down all three on my own but if I had to I very well could have.