We woke up tired and a bodum of coffee wasn’t enough to nudge us towards consciousness. So it was an excellent opportunity to try out the Malta Bake Shop at the east end of Malta Village (or west end of The Junction, depending on which way you’re walking).
Things this bake shop have in its favour would be a) being open all the damn time b) being open on Sundays and c) being open on holidays. With these qualities in its favour, we were hoping the Malta Bake Shop would turn out to be the best damn bake shop in Toronto. Somewhere delicious to go when everything else is closed. It’s always packed, so it must be? Or its popularity could be due to it simply being open or the nostalgic feelings it gives its patrons. The walls are covered in Maltese decoration and memorabilia including photos of all the Maltese celebrities who’ve graced the bake shop with their presence. These include archbishops and jockeys.
Approaching the bakery case, you immediately notice all the tidbits have an exotic (to non-Maltese) appearance. I hadn’t seen a trizzi before nor had I a molasses ring. The other items I couldn’t guess at, so we had the two aforementioned treats. We purchased these, plus two coffees, from a girl who appeared to not want to be there. Fair enough, the atmosphere was vaguely oppressive and dimly lit.
Though interesting, the baking wasn’t particularly good. Or it might have been perfect, not being familiar with Maltese baking. The main ingredient in Maltese baking seems to be almond paste. The trizzi, basically a date square, tasted more or less identical to the molasses ring, a bread ring stuffed with the same dark almondy paste. I found the ring too chewy, Mandi liked that about it. The coffee was adequate.
Like many ethnic joints, this place seems to be a hang-out for the Maltese community. Especially after church. The old couple at the only other occupied table were watching football (soccer) on the TV and greeting everyone who walked past to the church (there was a wedding). A sense of community can make a mediocre restaurant a lot better. We, of course, could not benefit from this communal feeling. But it was interesting to watch.
Two weird almond pastries out of five.