The Little Tokyo strip just got a bit more decadent. Torontonians are flocking to this newly opened Japanese bakery for its famous cheese tarts and their melt-in-your-mouth flaky crusts.
When visiting Bay and Dundas during the day, you’ll now see a lineup of people in front of a newly established storefront. Pablo, a popular Japanese cheese tart shop, officially opened its first North American store near the intersection on August 18.
At the opening ceremony, Masamitsu Sakimoto, founder and CEO of Pablo Japan, talked about opening the first location on this side of the Pacific. “It has been a bit difficult opening a Canadian store as the regulations are a bit tight. We are not able to bring our Japanese ingredients here to Canada. However, that’s OK—it is actually great news. We are making our regular cheese tarts as close as possible to those we make in Japan. And we are using this as a learning opportunity to create a ‘Toronto unique’ tart in the future. The Canadian manager (vice CEO) Hugo came to Japan and learned how to make the tart from scratch. It is rare, even unheard of, for managers to actually get their hands dirty at this level, and I am very impressed with his passion.” Hugo is the youngest of Pablo’s managers around the globe, according to Sakimoto, and clearly an eager addition to the team. You know the products will be good when the manager himself knows the correct way to do the job.
Freshly baked cheese tarts
Try the original ($14.99), matcha with red bean paste inside ($16.99) or chocolate ($16.99). There is also the “premium” cheese tart with a bruleéd top layer ($24.99). Whole tarts are about 15 cm in diameter.
Currently, Pablo serves up its famous cheese tarts in original, matcha and chocolate flavours. The original cheese tart flavour is reminiscent of egg tarts, creamy and rich. The golden crust is worthy of note for its light flakiness and delicate taste. There has even been debate as to whether the crust is the best part (at least, in this office!). Whereas many tart makers seem to treat the crust as an afterthought, Pablo tart crusts taste like they have been baked with extra care. They are fine examples of the high quality expected of Japanese products. The tarts are worth trying for the melt-in- your-mouth crust alone. For the ultimate experience, Pablo also offers a premium cheese tart that has a caramelized top layer, along with sundaes and smoothies. And for those who just want a small taste, a mini tart will soon be added to the menu.