Saturday, March 21, 2015

Parfaits at Chicco Coffee and Dessert Bar


Chicco on Urbanspoon Chicco Coffee and Dessert Bar has a website that suggests way more French elegance than it actually has. It's a tiny, tiny place. There's barely any seating so expect to just do take-out. Their parfaits appear to be their signature item, so that's what we tried.

Honestly, I don't know how people eat this Japanese parfait stuff. Unlike a pretty much all-cream parfait, Chicco (and D'oro Gelato & Caffè further up Robson Street) offer a different sort of parfait, with a base of cake and cornflakes, a layer of jelly cut into cubes, then mainly whipped cream, ice cream, a macaron, and a pastry stick. There's some other stuff too depending on which one you choose but it's sort of token compared to the overall price of $7.75.

Like a honey toast box, you need strategy to properly eat this. Otherwise you end up with junk at the end.
  • You can eat this very slowly, thus letting the whipped cream and ice cream melt down into the bottom layers, which honestly are too hard to get to initially, especially with the flimsy plastic spoons they give you. If you dig and twist too hard to get at the cake and corn flakes initially, you are liable to break your spoon. That would be bad. Therefore, if you eat it slowly, by the time you get to the bottom, there should be enough ice cream to mix with the dry ingredients and for a somewhat tasty if ugly paste.
  • Or you can tactically remove the obstacles such as the pasty stick and macaron, then start mixing and eating your way down. If you are not disciplined, you will eat too much ice cream and have too little left for the cake at the bottom. Since this requires more thinking, its is not the preferred strategy.
My personal opinion -- and I'm sure I'll be lynched by ESL students for this -- is that these parfaits are a waste of money. The value you are getting for $7.75 is mainly a scoop of ice cream at the top and a macaron. What you are mostly paying for is a dessert that looks pretty initially.

Since it's so popular, I'm sure there's something about these parfaits that I'm overlooking. However, a this point I would have to recommend that if you want a parfait, go for the "real thing" rather than one stuffed with cornflakes and cake at the bottom.

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