It’s winter break and I’m back in Vancouver!! After being away for a few months, I always like to check out new places, visit old haunts and see how the city has changed.
Naturally, no trip back to Vancity is complete without a visit to Thomas Haas.
This time, I went just a couple of days before Christmas and I realized that for most of the year, Thomas Haas is a high-end chocolatier/patisserie. In the couple of weeks before Christmas and the end of the year, Thomas Haas transforms into a Christmas factory. I am not a particularly religious person and I don’t really celebrate Christmas, but being in the store right before Christmas Day really made me get into the spirits.
We went in around 2pm and I managed to snag these three desserts. The store was incredibly busy, the line-up was through the door that day and the desserts were literally flying off the shelf.
The champagne truffle with the gold leaf is an old classic at Thomas. While the dark chocolate was rich and sweet, the cake still tasted light. The mousse and the cake was sweet and melt in your mouth soft, while the crumbled nuts in the layers added some texture. You can also taste the champagne in the dessert but it was not overwhelmingly boozy.
The gluten-free caramel brownie cake in the middle is a recent addition I believe. I was worried that the caramel might be too sweet. But the mousse actually just tasted like sweet chocolate with a little bit of caramel and was very smooth and airy. It was a very decadent dessert but not too heavy on the stomach at all.
The matcha yuzu cake was the special of the day, so I had to order it. This was a nice contrast to the other two chocolate desserts. The citrus-y yuzu was super light and balanced well against the rich chocolate. The matcha mousse sits atop a piece of matcha biscuit that was buttery and flaky. The nutty matcha flavor in the cake was not the strongest that I have ever tasted; it was not bitter but just a subtle taste that I think is enough for the dessert.
Again, I was very happy with the three precious treats I got. But the thing that really blew my mind on this Thomas trip was the double-baked almond croissant(affectionately known as the “DB,” because I love it so much). Let me set the scene here, because I think it adds to the experience…
While I was waiting in line, I saw the staff empty out the DB in the display case. I then saw them immediately bring out another tray, so I wasn’t too worried about missing out. But then, because the line was so long that day, I literally watched the staff sell out the entire tray while I waited, including boxing up the last six croissants for 1 customer(who buys six of them at once, anyway? and during the holiday season? It was like blasphemy!). I was literally dying inside while I watched the last croissant being taken away. Fortunately, the staff was already preparing the next batch so I prepaid and patiently waited for 35 minutes while the croissants were baked and prepped.
I will say this. Thomas’s double-baked almond croissant is fantastic after it has cooled, sitting in the display case. But the croissant was literally out of this world amazing when it came fresh off the tray, still warm from the oven, flaky, buttery and just a dream. Yes, the DB is quite pricey at $4.90 each. But if you have had one before, then you know that the DB is quite heavy and that Thomas does not skimp on the ingredient. If you only try one thing at Thomas, get the DB. Worth. It!
During this trip to Thomas, I also saw the Santa Claus Thomas hired to visit the store. The Santa Claus was actually handing out Thomas’s chocolate truffles to all the customers in the store. As a customer, it was incredibly sweet to see. I even saw Thomas Haas himself working and running around in the store and handing out gifts to his staff. You know my love for Thomas Haas is deep and true, but I think after this trip, I fell in love with this magical heaven even more.