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Oct 12, 2008 02:17 PM

Ruelo - A new French Patisserie in Richmond Hill

Whilst picking up my take-out lunch from Richmond Court in Time Square today, I noticed a new pastry shop just opened up directly across from them. Went in and bought a few to try out. The result, surprisingly good!!! A real find!

I had the 'Ruelo' - Valrhona chocolate mousse, crispy praline, vanilla creme brulee, almond chocolate cake and the 'Macha Seasame Red Bean' - Green tea bavarois, sesame bavarois, red bean paste, sesame almond shortbread crust. Presentation was very nice, the crust and cake components were very aromatic and buttery. The chocolate very velvety.

Looking forward to trying out some of their sold-out items eg., 'Raspberry Lychee' - Raspberry bavarois, lychee jelly, chocolate cake and 'Green Apple Caramel' - Apple mousse, caramel bavarois, caramelized apple jelly, walnut dacquoise.

BTW, though Chinese, the pastry chef/owner was trained in Paris and has certificates and diplomas on the wall to proof it.

Now, I don't have to drive all the way down to Bayview, Mt Pleasant/ Eglington to get my French pastries!.

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  1. Tried the Green Apple Caramel last night -- quite good, though I don't think I would necessarily try it again as it didn't seem to harmonize quite well. The caramel bavarois bit however, was superb; I wouldn't mind a cake built mainly on that. Also, the presentation was lovely, but there was a little neon green bit with dot cut-outs around the lower half of the cake which looked great, but was nothing texturally or taste-wise and was more off-putting than anything.

    However, I'm definitely going to try all the other cakes as the execution and presentation was quite decent and it's a step-up from the usual cakes one gets in Richmond Hill.

    1. A second taste of Ruelo has changed my initially reluctant opinion of this shop. It really is quite good as Charles endorsed.

      I picked up individual portions of the Ruelo and the Apricot Crème Brûlée Tart , which were both smashing. Nice contrast of textures and rich flavours along with simple and elegant presentation. The tart paired a nutty and buttery almond shortcrust shell with almond cream and apricot morsels, topping it with rich crème brûlée -- delicious.

      I also like that they're served in little plastic gold plates with fluted rims so if the cakes go sliding around in the box (this always happens to me), they won't as readily smash into the wall or other things in the box.

      They do seem a bit pricey ($3.95 each) considering their more diminutive size in comparison with other shops in Richmond Hill/Markham, but you are saved the drive to midtown or downtown. Then again, I quite like their smaller sizes -- rather like the pastries found in the patisseries in Japan.

      They also had madelines and small lemon pound cakes ($4 each) for sale and coffee and other espresso-based drinks available, so you can eat there as well. I picked up a menu card and here's a few of the other flavours -- Chocolate Earl Grey Tea (milk chocolate mousse, Earl Grey tea bavarois, ginger sponge cake), Mango Almond (mango mousse, chopped mango pieces, almond bavarois, almond dacquoise), White Chocolate Exotique (white chocolate mousse, exotic fruit jelly, flourless chocolate cake), and Banana Chocolate Tart (chocolate shortcrust, carmelized banana, milk chocolate mousse).

      1. I am curious to try this bakery since there are no (as far as I have found) any bakeries offering real French pastries in Richmond Hill. Charles, I know that you said that the pastry chef is Chinese but trained in Paris, but are the desserts geared to Chinese tastes? I am Chinese myself, and I know most Chinese people don't like very sweet desserts. I tried a bakery on Yonge a couple of years ago which claimed to offer French cakes and pastries and the cake that I ordered was definitely not French. It was run by a Chinese lady and I suspect it was meant to offer, shall we say, 'Chinese-style French pastries'! I like sweet, rich and decadent!!

        5 Replies
        1. re: Chocolatemama

          FYI, I have SWEET tooth and have lived and worked in Paris for 2 years! During that period I've eaten pastries from Laduree, Millet, Pierre Herme,Stohrer and Lenotre.....etc. Based on that I can vouch that the products from Ruelo are indeed based on authentic French technique. However, the creative use of some ingredients like lychees and green tea do render some of the cakes 'pseudo-fusion'. No matter what, if a patisserie takes the time to use real Kirsch creme and Port soaked cherries in their Black Forest, it must tell you something about the pastry chef and her products! If you like 'sweet. rich and decadent' then you must try their 'Ruelo'! Enjoy and do report back!

          1. re: Charles Yu

            I'll stop by this weekend and give it a try. Given that they are using "authentic French technique," how do they compare to Parisian patisseries (I'm assuming they aren't at the same level as Ladurée, Pierre Hermé, et al.)?

            1. re: tjr

              Actually the chocolate dome 'Ruelo' reminds me of a similar cake I had at Dallayou, Paris. Obviously the Parisian version is better. But, for Richmond Hill to have such a decent Patisserie, I am more than satisfied for now!

              1. re: Charles Yu

                We dropped in and picked up a green apple caramel, a Ruelo, the matcha red bean and some madeleines. The cakes/tarts were quite good, fairly decadent though not overly so (a good, French decadence, not a heavy, overly sweet, American decadence), and well-made (the technique, as Charles mentioned, is definitely there). The matcha red bean was very good, and reminds me a lot of wafuu-French sweets in Japan.

                The only miss was the madeleines, which were far too dry.

            2. re: Charles Yu

              OOOOHHH! I am so excited to hear your comments! I will definitely go and give it a try! Thanks, Charles!

          2. Pay Ruelo another visit this lunch time.

            Bought 3 more cakes to try out. This time selected two traditional - Fruit tart and Blueberry cheesecake and one 'creative' - Apricot creme brulee tart.

            lsk's description of the apricot creme brulee tart was spot-on! The ultra-buttery shortbread crust was so aromatic and yummy as with the rest of the cake! Unfortunately, the other two was a bit of a dissappointment! The presentation and taste were both kind of 'rough on the edge'! The cheesecake a tad too 'salty' and the fruit tart's shell a bit too crumpy and dry with not enough custard or fruit to offset it'. Futhermore, for a $1 more, the 'Rahier' fruit tart counterpart is much better value with a more refined and gorgeous presentation, much bigger size and lots more fruit. An overhaul is definitely warranted for the latter to make them more appealing and attract repeat customers!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Charles Yu

              So excited to read about this! Yay for more food coming to Richmond Hill! Now...will the man make us macarons a la Pierre Herme? I will pay the shop a visit and see if he knows how to make them!

              1. re: Sandybandy

                Hello Sandybandy,
                'Macarons a la Pierre Herme'!! - Now thats wishful thinking for Richmond Hill!!
                Next, we'll be wishing for ' Tarte fin aux truffe a la Joel Robuchon', Ha!
                BTW, Ruelo's owner/pastry chef is a she!!

            2. I went to Ruelo this afternoon and picked up the Ruelo, the Green Apple Caramel and the Apricot Creme Brulee Tart. My husband and I thought they were all delicious. The Green Apple Caramel was so FRESH tasting...I don't think I've ever tasted such a fresh apple flavour in any dessert before! The other 2 were amazing! My favourite was the Ruelo, just because I love chocolate, but my husband favoured the brulee tart.

              I thought the prices were reasonable for the quality that you get, but as someone else had already pointed out, they are a little small. I personally would prefer to pay $1 more for a slightly larger portion.

              I went there at around 3:30 pm and there wasn't much of a selection. They only had the 3 types I purchased, the blueberry cheesecake and another petit fours-type thing there. It would have been nice to have a larger selection, but I guess it was late in the day.

              I will definitely be going back again! We need to spread the word on this place to make sure it remains open. I thank you Charles for introducing me to this place but my waistline hates you for it!!!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Chocolatemama

                You are most welcome!
                BTW, I'm more concern about my cholesterol level than my waistline! Ha!