Light Cafe is a Taiwanese-inspired contemporary cafe in the heart of Baldwin Village in Toronto. In the midst of countless other restaurants on the Baldwin strip, Light Cafe stands out with its large windows, bright aesthetic and a giant living wall as you walk in.
Light Cafe serves a mix of European inspired bistro food with Asian flare. They have a variety of salads, sandwiches, soups and desserts as well as unique lattes and loose leaf teas. The menu is quite extensive but feature mostly lighter and healthier options, and the desserts are easily shareable.
We started our meal by ordering drinks: the very popular and Instagrammable Cotton Candy Coffee, and Earl Grey Rose Au Lait. The cotton candy coffee arrives deconstructed; first place the cotton candy in the cup, then pour in the coffee and then milk if desired. The hot coffee melts the cotton candy as it’s being poured into the cup, which adds a hint of sweetness in place of sugar. The coffee is strong and smooth, but besides the gimmicky (yet fun!) factor, it’s still an average cup of coffee. The Earl Grey Rose Au Lait was a pleasant surprise, with strong Earl Grey flavour that wasn’t diluted by the milk, with a fragrance of rose. This was a highly enjoyable drink that was flavourful to the last drop.
On to the food! A friend recommended the smoked duck breast salad and we were not disappointed. The smoked duck breast was moist and tender, just salty enough to complement the salad. The salad had a variety of very fresh ingredients: spring mix, orange slices, cauliflower, butter squash, cherry tomato and lettuce. What made the duck and salad pop even more was the house special dressing, which was creamy and tangy, reminiscent of a Japanese style salad dressing.
You can clearly smell the truffle oil in the truffle mushroom croissant! The sandwich was packed with mushrooms, lettuce, tomato and truffle mayo. The croissant however did not have a chew or softness to it at all; it was too flakey and fell apart as we ate it. We brought this to the attention of the management at Light Cafe and they informed us that the batch of croissants that day were overbaked, and would be rectified immediately. Overall the sandwich was delicious but a little too expensive for a dish containing mostly mushrooms.
On the side we tried the smoked salmon & caviar baked potato. The saltiness of the smoked salmon and roe paired well with the baked potato, but barely worth the price of $6.50 for the small half portion.
With just enough room for dessert, we ordered the seasonal fruits mille-feuille. All their desserts are made in house with presentation in mind. The crispy layers had subtle hints of vanilla flavour, and the custard helped to round out the dryness of the flaky pastry. Overall this was a solid dessert but flavours and textures did not stand out.
Light Cafe is a great, comfortable spot for a light lunch or dinner, or even to sit for hours with friends to share drinks and dessert. They also claim to be MSG-free and sources from responsible farmers and suppliers which is another plus. We look forward to returning more of the unique menu items that they offer soon!
Our meal at Light Cafe was complimentary but opinions are our own.