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Food

Baked in Montreal – Patisserie Harmonie

Posted by Emily / February 10, 2008

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The eagle has landed.

After weeks of anticipation, Patisserie Harmonie is finally open for business. I checked out Harmonie yesterday, and this newcomer is quite unique, at least in MTL’s Chinatown. Upon entering, customers are encouraged to pick up a pair of tongs and a tray, which no-doubt encourages them to load up on more sweets than they could carry with just their hands. It certainly worked on me.

Harmonie offers a couple versions of the treats I usually get at Jardin du Jade, like custard-filled sweet buns, and they were more or less comparable to Jardin’s in taste. But most of the merchandise is a bit more high-end. The display case below the counter contains a range of intricately decorated cakes, many of which are sold by the slice.

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When I went to pay for my goodies, I noticed a beautiful slice of cheesecake with a strawberry glace shimmering on top, and it seemed to be begging me to release it from its glass prison. Cheesecake didn’t seem like a typical Chinese baked good, but I had to give it a try. The cake lacked the intense richness of Jewish-style cheesecakes, and was much more cream-based. It had a nice luscious texture, but the taste didn’t quite match up to its pretty appearance.

I was a little surprised that the item I enjoyed the most was a piece of chocolate log cake (aka spiral cake) that came in a plastic wrapper, which I thought might indicate that it wasn’t very fresh. But the cake was incredibly moist and had a thin layer of icing in between the layers.

In addition to the log cake, Harmonie sells a range of other treats in plastic wrappers or containers to make for easy eating on the go. The drawback to this system is that it adds a bit to the prices, which are generally higher than Jardin du Jade’s (although I haven’t yet compared the prices of the custard-filled buns). Then again, Harmonie’s treats seem to be fancier or more Western-looking than Jardin’s, and that probably jacks up the price as well. Most of the single-portion desserts were about $2-3, and the slices of cakes ranged from $3-5.

The bakery itself also looks extremely sleek and modern. With its bright fluorescent lights, large glass display cases, and tray-and-tong system, the place had kind of a space-age feel to it. In fact, it looked like what I imagine the cafeteria aboard the starship Enterprise might look like. Too bad Harmonie doesn’t sell mooncakes, or they could get a theme going.
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Patisserie Harmonie
85 rue de la Gauchetiere Ouest
(514)875-1328

Discussion

4 Comments

kim / February 11, 2008 at 9:33 AM
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I went to check it out on Wednesday evening, and all the bins were empty! i was really disappointed, but am now re-convinced to head back and try again.

kim / March 12, 2008 at 11:59 AM
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Finally gave it another try, and it was packed (with baked goods and people)!

Sooo good, it's going to be a staple in my Chinatown visits. And cheap!

I love the hotdog in a bun. Yum.

harmonie is atrocious / August 3, 2008 at 10:58 PM
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this place is bad and you should feel bad for eating their food. legend is a thousand times better.

Oly / October 17, 2009 at 7:51 PM
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HARMONIE is amazing. don't talk shit.

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