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Food & Drink

What’s on the menu at Pablo, the Japanese cheese-tart chain that has a line out the door

By Renée Suen| Photography by Renée Suen
What's on the menu at Pablo, the Japanese cheese-tart chain that has a line out the door

Name: Pablo Canada Contact: 116 Dundas St. W., pablocanada.com, @pablo_cheese_tart_canada
Neighbourhood: Downtown Core Previously: Spadina Garden Owners: Ken Liu and Hugo Lin

The food

Pablo is the newest import to attract a lineup along the stretch of Dundas that’s quickly becoming the core’s Little Japan. The Osaka-based bakery is giving nearby Uncle Tetsu a run for its money with their signature Japanese cheese tarts baked to a super-wobbly medium-rare. There are two styles available: pastry shells with cream cheese filling (in original, chocolate and matcha flavours) and a premium New York–cheesecake style with a brûléed maple sugar top. Due to Pablo’s popularity, there’s a one-tart-per-visit limit, but there are other treats to buy, including cream cheese pudding, shaved ice and soft serve (cream cheese-based, of course) that comes served in a cone, as a sundae or as a shaved ice parfait.

What's on the menu at Pablo, the Japanese cheese-tart chain that has a line out the door
The original cheese tart uses a proprietary cream cheese blend that’s baked to a medium rare in a flaky pastry shell, stamped with the logo and finished with an apricot jam glaze. $14.99.

 

What's on the menu at Pablo, the Japanese cheese-tart chain that has a line out the door
Here’s a closer look at the tart’s semi-set centre.

 

What's on the menu at Pablo, the Japanese cheese-tart chain that has a line out the door
And an even closer look.

 

What's on the menu at Pablo, the Japanese cheese-tart chain that has a line out the door
The chocolate cheese tart contains a layer of chocolate hidden below its filling. $16.99.

 

What's on the menu at Pablo, the Japanese cheese-tart chain that has a line out the door
The matcha cheese tart features a matcha cream cheese filling that hides a layer of red bean paste and shiratama (sweetened glutinous rice ball). $16.99.

 

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What's on the menu at Pablo, the Japanese cheese-tart chain that has a line out the door
The premium tart uses a blend of cream cheeses and is baked longer than the original tarts. It’s topped with a crisp layer of brûléed sugar. Limited availability. $24.99.

 

What's on the menu at Pablo, the Japanese cheese-tart chain that has a line out the door
Dine-in customers who don’t want to commit to a whole tart can order a slice. $3.99/original and $5.99/premium.

 

What's on the menu at Pablo, the Japanese cheese-tart chain that has a line out the door
A mountain of shaved ice is topped with matcha syrup (shown here), whipped cream, shiratama and sugar-coated cheese tart pastry bits. It comes with a cup of tea, and is also available in strawberry and classic cheese flavours. $12.99.

 

What's on the menu at Pablo, the Japanese cheese-tart chain that has a line out the door
Packages of bruléed cheese pudding are shipped from Japan. $3.99 each, or $19.99 for six.

 

What's on the menu at Pablo, the Japanese cheese-tart chain that has a line out the door
All of the tarts are made in-house.

 

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What's on the menu at Pablo, the Japanese cheese-tart chain that has a line out the door
Here the tarts are getting the signature Pablo brand.

 

What's on the menu at Pablo, the Japanese cheese-tart chain that has a line out the door
And the final touch: an apricot glaze.

 

The drinks

Coffee- and espresso-based drinks, made using Pablo’s exclusive blend of coffee beans; teas; and cream cheese-based smoothies.

What's on the menu at Pablo, the Japanese cheese-tart chain that has a line out the door
Coffee beans used in Pablo’s coffee products are an exclusive blend from Brazil. They’re roasted in Japan before being shipped to Toronto.

 

What's on the menu at Pablo, the Japanese cheese-tart chain that has a line out the door
Staying true to the brand, Pablo Canada also offers the sweetener carried by its parent company for the coffee-based beverages.

 

The space

While Pablo’s bakery operation flanks the shop’s front window, there are 22 seats in the rear café for dine-in guests.

What's on the menu at Pablo, the Japanese cheese-tart chain that has a line out the door
What's on the menu at Pablo, the Japanese cheese-tart chain that has a line out the door
What's on the menu at Pablo, the Japanese cheese-tart chain that has a line out the door
The calm before the storm.

 

What's on the menu at Pablo, the Japanese cheese-tart chain that has a line out the door
First customers of the day.

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