Although it no longer goes by the name Dessert Trends, owner/chef Donald Duong’s recently refurbished Annex café is still very much a patisserie. That would explain the wall of pricy wedding cakes behind glass that now greets you at the door.His buttermilk scones with Devonshire cream and sour cherry compote ($7) are as perfectly flaky as ever. Described on the menu as pancakes, what show up are more like a half-dozen coconut mini-quiches dressed with spicy chipotle shrimp, mango salsa and the odd kernel of corn ($16). Fabulously crisp deep-fried soft-shelled crabs get sandwiched between two slices of house-baked brioche spread with roasted red pepper aioli, while the savoury mushroom bread pudding topped with a poached egg and smoked salmon is one of the tastiest brunch dishes around.The only thing that could possibly follow Duong’s generously plated beef bourguignon, thick with wild mushrooms on a bed of classic pommes purée (both $18, all with salad), is a nap.
No reservations. Licensed. Access: barrier-free, washrooms in basement.
Updated Jan 9, 2014