So this post is a month late but better now then never, right? I had the pleasure to visit Neo Coffee Bar during my short week in Toronto in August. A relatively new cafe that opened in August, Neo is conveniently located next to the St Lawrence marketplace and is a Japanese concept coffee shop that serves tons of Japanese desserts (rollcakes!). They mainly serve De Mello Palheta coffee, a Toronto based micro roaster. Having had too much coffee by the time I visited, I went for an Earl Grey tea instead (which was delicious and refine tasting). My Toronto friends say that the coffee is amazing and I had even gotten the suggestion to visit them from another popular coffee shop in Toronto so it goes to show their reputation despite being newly opened. They also have innovative options like London Fog (Earl Grey tea latte), vanilla latte and New Orleans style (I believe it is cold brew with chicory, the root of an endive to prevent bitterness).
One thing I can definitely say is that the green tea rollcake I tried was phenomenal. Asian cakes are different from their European counterparts as they generally tend to be more on the soft, spongy side with lots of bread to cream/frosting/mousse ratio. The matcha rollcake I tried was subtle in flavour and refreshing to eat. I did not find it overly sweet and conscious consumers will be happy to know that the pastry is made of Ontario organic whole wheat pastry and free range eggs. I asked the staff if a whole roll cake would last my six hour train ride back to Montreal so I can share to my friends and family. Unfortunately, they said that for such a long journey, the cake would melt and would not be very good to eat.
Atmosphere-wise, the decor was gorgeous as you can see from the pictures and the music was quiet enough to study in. The rustic modern look was impeccable and intricately thought out. Sometimes, coffee shops want a rustic look but are not thorough in their décor so you can catch mistakes here and there. Neo Cafe was meticulously decorated and that’s very reflective of the nature of Japanese thinking: perfection and nothing less. All in all, a great visit and I strongly encourage my Toronto readers to visit if they haven’t already and for my Montreal ones to stop by on their next Toronto trip.
Food & Amenities
Coffee Roast:De Mello Palheta
Foods: rollcakes, cream puffs, sandwhichs
Sitting Space: Roughly 35 seats
Electrical Outlets: yes
Located at: 161 Frederick St, Toronto, ON M5A 4P1