ANOUSHKA MALLIK/SAGAMORE STAFF
Jonquils Café and Bakery has redefined the definition of baking. With 3D printed silicone cake molds and the diversity of cultures they represent, they are shaking things up in more ways than one.
Jonquils was founded as a cultural melting pot, and the Jonquils flower, which is what the restaurant is named after, exists across the globe and represents the diversity of cultures at the bakery. Their pastry chef, Dinara Kasko, is a Ukrainian woman who studied architecture and creates molds with 3D printers that can be used to bake cakes. They have 3.5 stars on Yelp and are given an average price rating (two dollar signs).
So, I break down restaurants into three different categories: food quality, price and atmosphere.
First up, food quality, because, in my opinion, if the food doesn’t taste good, there’s no point going to the café. I ordered a mint lemonade, hazelnut cube and coffee bean pastry.
The mint lemonade ($6) was one of the best lemonades I’ve ever had. It wasn’t overly sweet and tasted incredibly fresh. One of their goals is to keep their menu healthier and create food and drinks that are low in sugar without losing the taste, and this lemonade hit the mark. They made it right before serving me, and it tasted fresh, minty and tangy.
I found the hazelnut cube ($4.50) to be tasty, but a little heavy on the hazelnut flavor and too light on the chocolate flavor. As a proud chocoholic, I was seeking something that had a more chocolatey flavor, almost like a Nutella pastry, especially considering the menu described it as a hazelnut and milk chocolate cube. It was a hazelnut cube with a layer of chocolate on top, that was not as chocolate-y as I was hoping it would be. It was certainly tasty, though, so I would say that if you like a strong nutty flavor, this is a great baked good for you!
Finally, the coffee bean pastry ($8.75) was delicious, and probably my favorite thing that I tasted there, not to mention it’s gorgeous coffee bean shape and appearance. It was a soft coffee mousse with a small chocolate sponge in the center. It was soft and creamy, and the sponge gave it an added texture and structure. It was smooth and wasn’t overly sweet, especially because the coffee gave a nice, contrasting bitterness.
My biggest complaint would be that the food lacked much of the diversity I expected based on their website. Croissants, cakes, tarts and pastries are all foods that I can find in several different cafés, and I thought that the quality and architecture of their food was what set them apart, not the diversity of it.
There seemed to be so much opportunity to incorporate unique pastries from England, Spain and France, and even extend beyond Europe to bring forth Asian, African and South American foods, which they did not take advantage of.
I only tasted their pastries and the mint lemonade, but they offer a huge variety of food, including sandwiches, parfait bowls, and quiches!
It’s worth noting, as well, that their menu is a bit hard to navigate. Their website’s drop-down menu only includes drinks and desserts, however, if you stay on the home page and scroll down to their offerings, you can see a full selection of their food. This is also subject to some change, as certain items, like the hazelnut cube, are not included on the menu but can be found at the café.
Unfortunately, this tasty food comes at a price… literally. The lemonade was six dollars, compared to the $3.25 limeade at Cutty’s, or the $2.81 apple lemonade from Clover Food Lab, so it was certainly pricey. Further, the coffee bean pastry was $8.75 and was a single serving. If you’re willing to go for a more expensive pastry and drink, though, then Jonquils is absolutely a great use of your money.
Last but not least, the atmosphere. I had mixed feelings. It was very put together, and was perfectly located on Newbury Street in a bustling city location, but it didn’t give me the comforting and welcoming feeling I often seek from bakeries.
The cafe had a really modern black and white look with modern furniture, and that’s what made it work as a trendy place in the city. However, as it’s advertised as a café that represents multiple cultures, I was expecting something a bit more unique and diverse in its design. They went, in my opinion, for a more general look rather than an inclusive one.
Overall, I would give the taste a 8.5/10, the price a 7/10, and the atmosphere a 5/10, for an overall score of 6.8/10 (according to my calculator). That still puts it in the “give it a go” section of my rankings, so I’d say try it out if any of this sounds interesting to you!