Location: 240 Riverfront Ave SW
I’ve heard and passed by this place many times. This is by far one of my cousin Yulin’s favourite places if not her very favourite. Our original intention was to go to Al Forno, but it was so packed there was literally nowhere to sit (as you’ll see in the next review we ended up returning there later in the afternoon and eating something there too).
In contrast to Al Forno and it’s sister restaurant Vendome (both owned and run by the Teatro Group), Cafe Blanca was nearly empty. As much as I enjoy Vendome, I like restaurants and cafes on the quieter side which leave me to my thoughts and inspires my imagination. There was a slight delay in service, but we didn’t mind; it gave us time to decide what we wanted. I ordered a London Fog (which has become one of my go to lattes) and originally a Grilled Caprese, but as they ran out of the type of cheese for it I went with the Chicken BLT, my sister Valerie ordered the Chai Latte with Almond Milk and the Smoked Salmon Croissant, and my cousin Yulin had the Short Rib Sandwich with an Americano. We were told that there’d be a delay with the croissant because it would be made to order. We found a spot in the second room near the back of the cafe and immediately spotted the games.
We grabbed taboo and started playing, which helped to pass the time a lot quicker. We didn’t have to wait long for our drinks to arrive. Unlike Good Earth, the London Fog isn’t all that sweet; both a good and bad thing. The Earl Grey and vanilla didn’t really come through as much as I would have liked, but it was good nonetheless. Surprisingly, Valerie’s sandwich was the first to come. I hadn’t expected that it’d be accompanied by a salad, but I didn’t mind. It looked fresh and delicious and I was excited to dive in. The lady who brough over Valerie’s sandwich asked if Yulin wanted the sandwich to be mild or spicy to which she replied mild. So, next to arrive was Yulin’s. It tasted like a banh mi. It too came with a salad. In my opinion, I think the spicy option would have made it taste even more like a banh mi than it already did and I would have definitely preferred the heat in the sandwich. After a few more minutes of waiting, we decided that we should probably check on my sandwich since Valerie had already demolished hers and it turned out that they had completely forgotten about it! Now usually, if I was in a restaurant I would have made a big deal out of it and criticized the hell out to the place, but today I didn’t feel like that. I just shrugged it off and made light of it. Even the other barista joined in with the joking saying “If you wanna post on yelp that we forgot your food, her name is -.” He never actually told me her name and really it doesn’t matter. We’re human, we forget things and in the end, how would things have turned out if I had made such a huge fuss? My sandwich finally came with a profuse apology. She then offered to give me a free macaron of my choice; I chose to have the pistachio. We found out earlier from talking ot her that the macarons had come from Mon Plaisir in TD Square/The Core shopping centre. We had tried them before, so I knew they’d be good. The sandwich was actually pretty good and more filling than I expected. The salad was dressed with what looked like olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It was good, but I feel like there was a bit too much oil on my salad.
All in all I quite enjoyed this place. It’s a cafe I could spend hours at, writing or just observing those around me. And as I found out, they also host Paint Night and maybe next time I’ll go there for it. The staff are friendly and the food good. I would most certainly return. For today’s experience, I’ll give it a 4/5.