This café produces delicate handmade Japanese confections in a delicious array of flavours.

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If you are not already familiar with J-Town, Sasaki Fine Pastry is yet another reason to make the trip to Markham. The small hidden gem of a café turns out some of the most delicious wagashi (handmade Japanese sweets) one can imagine eating outside of Japan.

The day I visited, the café was incredibly busy and both the daifuku and the dorayaki (a red bean and cream Japanese pancake) were disappearing at an alarming rate. On a busy weekend, the café turns out quite a few hundred daifuku sweets alone. Wow!

The two daifuku that I tried were each tantalizingly delicious in their own ways. The strawberry daifuku (ichigo daifuku) consists of a very sweet puréed strawberry filling combined with a more bitter red bean paste, perfectly complementing the sweet berries. The mango daifuku completely won over my tastebuds—a silky combination of perfectly ripe mango combined with white bean paste, wrapped in a delightfully thin and chewy piece of mochi. Each piece is presented nicely in a matching wrapper on a small plate. There were six or seven different varieties of daifuku to choose from, including a sesame and whipped cream variety, roasted green tea daifuku and the ever-popular matcha daifuku, made with Kyoto matcha. I am told that there are often this many flavours to choose from, and that the varieties are inspired by the seasons in Japan as well as here in Canada. For example, February often sees a special chocolate daifuku in celebratiophoto02n of Valentine’s Day, and the springtime features a sakura (cherry blossom) daifuku.

Sasaki also offers a specially curated selection of Japanese (and non-Japanese) tea, coffee and other drinks (such as Ramune Japanese soda) to enjoy alongside your chosen wagashi.

Sasaki Fine Pastry is owned and operated by Yuki Sasaki and her husband Allan. Yuki’s mochi sweets were such a hit with friends and at school fundraisers that the decision to open a café seemed to be a natural progression for the pair. It’s been such a success that Yuki and Allan have recently opened a second location in North York.

 


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Ariel Litteljohn

Ariel is often on the hunt for tasty bites, whether it be a flavourful tomato found at a local farmer’s market, peppered pomfret at a restaurant in Mumbai or takoyaki devoured on a small street in Osaka. Her accompaniments of choice are her husband, David, and their young daughters, Freya and Lumen.


Sasaki Fine Pastry

3160 Steeles Ave. E., Unit 5B, Markham 905-604-4055
OPEN: Tues–Fri 12 pm–5 pm • Sat–Sun 11 am–5 pm • Mon closed