Stay Cafe

Chinatown, in addition to Kensington market has been getting a facelift as a number of new and gentrified restaurants, eateries and shops began appearing.

Since my friend and I had ate dinner just before, we decided to pop in for their dessert. The most striking thing I found in the review was the Marshmellow toast so we definitely made sure to order that first.

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Marshmellow toast. Copyright Shiaoshiao Chen

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Marshmellow Toast. Copyright Shiaoshiao Chen

The Marshmellow toast is straightforward: toasted Marshmellow on top of a brioche type thick bread that has also been lightly toasted, and then served with a light chocolate drizzle. I mean, when you look at it, it’s not hard to wonder why they didn’t add Nutella, or peanut butter, or why not caramel drizzle instead of chocolate. When I took I bite, instantly knew why.

I’m not a huge sweetooth like my friend and co-writer Jocelyn, but the Marshmellow ever so seductively melting in my mouth, and then the bread, as intimidating as it looked, just provided the right texture contrast. The chocolate drizzle offered a hint to compliment it all. It took the two of us to share this, and rightfully so. I can probably only think of very few individuals who would indulge in the entire thing. But it is Good. Not to sweet, flavourful, playful (c’mon, look at all that fluff!) and not to heavy either, this is most definitely something unique.

In addition, we also ordered the sticky rice balls in sago, with mango pieces.

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homemade sticky rice balls in sago with Mango pieces. Copyright Shiaoshiao Chen

On it’s own it was nice: sago is small tapioca balls that typically is served in a milk or coconut milk base, in this case milk, then there was mango (probably best to order this in the summer as the mango was sour), sticky rice balls (infused with jasmine tea!) and surprisingly there was also grapefruit (very random). I felt that it was underwhelming in comparison, and that it could be improved if they added coconut milk instead, and grapefruit entirely irrelevant to the dessert. It would be interesting to hear the chefs thoughts on this.

Before leaving though, something has to be said about the interior. My friend made a good point: interior can really make or break the experience. In this case it totally made it. Major props that they have a curated playlist of smooth jazz that have really playful notes and groove, not to mention acoustic covers of well known songs, in contrast to mainstream radio. Photos cannot justify how wide the space actually is and with it’s bare brick and the white cement walls, Industrial lights that have a slightly more orange tone to add warmth, dark wooden floor and tables altogether makes it a space that is comforting in every sense of the word. Oh, did I mention it has wifi? Not that it mattered to us, and you know what, this space definitely has a homely down to earth atmosphere that you wouldn’t feel the need to pull out the cellphone: it welcomes good conversation, and there is most definitely good food here to be enjoyed. The waitress was also wearing sweatpants and a tee. If that doesn’t scream comfort, I don’t know what does.

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You can probably tell that this place has left an impression on me. It has, and I will be back for sure.

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