85°C Bakery

IMG_6877IMG_3544Photos by Yulin Liu

 

 

5575 Balboa Ave

Mon – Thur: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Fri – Sat: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Sun: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

$

4.5/5

After silently warming up at the Balboa Ave plaza for over several months, 85°C Bakery Cafe finally greeted us with its grand opening on Nov. 14th. A successful bakery chain from Taiwan, 85°C Bakery Cafe has developed over 700 branches around the world. Their customers appreciate their good quality food and drinks and often become loyal customers after their first attempts. With its good reputation out there, a long line accumulated around the corner and maintained throughout the whole day — it is not an exaggeration to say that a bakery mania has been brought to San Diego by this event. The store is bright and spacious, offering seats on the side for customers to sit down and eat right after their purchase.

The pastries cooked from the 85°C Bakery Cafe kitchen hit the tastebuds of people who crave all kinds of flavors, all at affordable prices. They embrace diverse tastes from all over the world, such as the Japanese style Coffee Bread, the European style Marble Taro, the classic Rum Raisin Toast and Taiwanese Garlic Cheese. Cakes like tiramisu, creme brulee and mousses are aligned neatly in the glass counters, which are ready to amaze you with their fresh ingredients and spot-on recipes. But don’t be overwhelmed by all the choices around you — there is this curvy trail that breaks the way from the entrance to the cashier, where you get all the time you need to hold a tray and fetch the assorted baked items with a clamp in hand — as exciting as a bakery carnival.

Besides the refined bakery items, which are not limited to toasts, cheesecakes, tarts, mousses and birthday cakes, the bakery offers sublime sea salt flavored drinks that apply the technique of combining sweetness and lightness with saltiness. The Iced Sea Salt Mountain Tea (medium $2.50, large $3.00) is a signature item. It incorporates the authentic and traditional Taiwanese flavor of tea, the not-over-the-top sweetness and the light saltiness all in a nicely wrapped paper cylinder. Giving it a full shake will help the light cream beneath the lid mix into the tea, which takes away the astringency. The same goes for their coffee, the Iced Sea Salt Coffee (medium $3.00, large $3.50) applies a similar technique. It is a sweetened iced Americano with a sea salt whipped cream on top — do not forget to shake them well before you start. Besides these salty-sweet drinks, they also sell the regular coffee and tea such as Cappuccino, Latte, Mocha, Black/Green Tea, Milk Tea, etc. Seeing how other vendors are still giving their customers sugar comas, it is a delight to notice how 85°C presents products with balanced flavor that are less sweet or greasy. A tip before jumping into line: If you are only there for drinks, there is a separate counter to order drinks only, which has a much shorter wait; if you want to get both pastries and drinks, then put in your drink order while you are paying for the pastries.

Most customers leave 85°C Bakery Cafe with a large paper box in their arms that holds all the bakery items nice and secure. Whether you are someone who just needs some bun to quench your hunger, or a foodie who desires high quality pastries, the cafe is worth trying. Before the whole box of pastries are gone, the satisfied customers will find themselves here again, creating a new box of delicious selections to kick start a new week.