Dessert Lady Café: A Labour of Love

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I was recently invited to have lunch at Toronto’s delightful Dessert Lady Café, situated just a few yards away from the five-star Windsor Arms Hotel (which is one of my fave spots for traditional English afternoon tea).

The Visit

The interior is bright and beautifully designed, with modern European flare. It was moderately busy, and we were able to find a table just across from the prep counter. I sat on a gorgeous mandarin orange bench, which is Dessert Lady’s signature colour. The vibe was classy yet relaxed.

Dessert Lady Café Prep Counter

I was hosted by Lori, previously Dessert Lady’s head marketer and still very much a passionate Dessert Lady evangelist. Lori told me about the incredible story of chef-owner, Mandy (the “Dessert Lady”), who has loved cooking since she was a young girl in Hong Kong. Later in life, she finally followed her dreams and completed her culinary education in New York.

Lori went on to tell me about Mandy’s mission to travel the world in search of inspiration for her new venture. In 2005, Mandy’s dreams finally came true and she opened Dessert Lady Bakery in Toronto, and more recently, Dessert Lady Café. More about Mandy’s story here.

The lunch menu was (to my relief) short and to the point. Since I’m eating mostly keto these days, I decided to opt for the Tuna Tataki Salad. I couldn’t decide between the housemade lemonade and iced tea, but didn’t have to since they offer a lemonade and iced tea blend. 🙂 It was a perfectly refreshing balance of sweet and sour.

The Food

The Tuna Tataki Salad looked amazing, not to mention it was huge. The seared tuna was perfectly cooked, and I loved the sweet crumbly bits (candied pistachio perhaps?). The vinaigrette was light and citrusy, balanced nicely by the strawberries and blackberries.

As we were just finishing up, Mandy then came over to greet us! She insisted on bringing over a few of her trademark cakes for us to try:

  • Strawberry Shortcake;
  • Black Sesame Mousse Cake with Smoked Vanilla Custard Filling;
  • Caramel Crémeux Mousse Vanille Crème Brulée Chocolate Cake.

I could NOT resist tasting these cakes (keto out the door!). Wow, I am so glad did! At that moment, I fully appreciated why Dessert Lady has been such a popular bakery for all these years. The cakes were incredibly light and not too sweet. The black sesame was very subtly Asian, and the smoked custard was to die for!

(Clockwise from Left): Strawberry Shortcake, Black Sesame Mousse Cake with Smoked Vanilla Custard Filling, Caramel Crémeux Mousse Vanille Crème Brulée Chocolate Cake

The Finale

Mandy generously offered to prepare a takeaway box of cakes to bring for my kids. Mandy was incredibly sweet, warm and humble. 🙂 My girls loved the cakes just as much as I did!

Just as we were leaving, I noticed the amazing display of homemade gourmet pies and other pastries. I can’t wait to try these next time!

I am so grateful for being introduced to Dessert Lady Café. I can’t wait to come back!

(Left to right) Me and Mandy Kan, Dessert Lady

Check out Dessert Lady:

  • Dessert Lady Retail & Bakery, 12 Cumberland St Toronto, Ontario, M4W 1J5
  • Dessert Lady Café & Bakery, 1 Sultan Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1L6
  • Website:
  • IG and Twitter: @DessertLady_TO
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I'm a Canadian mother of two with a passion for food and cooking. I'm increasingly discovering that delicious food can also be healthy! So, I am sharing my favourite recipes with like-minded home cooks. Along the way, I'll also be writing about food-related topics such as gadgets, books and television. Let the culinary adventures begin!

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