French fusion in the heart of the Maples

French fusion in the heart of the Maples

When you walk into Crème De L’Essence, don’t let the ambiance of the bistro fool you. The food that comes out of this kitchen is superb and located in the heart of the Maples in a non-descript industrial strip mall near the corner of Keewatin and Inkster.

Executive Chef and owner, RJ Urbano along with Ryan San Diego are the dynamic duo behind Crème De L’Essence.

The menu is inspired by RJ’s culinary experience and interest in French and Italian cooking and Filipino heritage. Chef RJ Urbano is graduate from Red River College’s Culinary Arts program and work experiences include Joey’s Polo Park, The Lobby on York and Sun Valley Restaurant.

RJ and Ryan have also been part of several Filipino pop-up dinner engagements with Baon Manila Nights with Chef Allan Pineda and very recently with MasterChef runner-up, Jeremey Senaris’ LASA Series.

Prior to opening Crème De L’Essence, RJ Urbano was hustling ice cream out of his house and now part of the bistro dessert menu. All ice cream is made in-house with flavours included salted caramel Oreo, matcha green tea and pumpkin spice.

The bistro was recently featured in Tourism Winnipeg’s online “Peg City Grub” review ( More recently, Winnipeg Free Press featured this “hole-in-the-wall” on Inkster in their Food & Drink section on October 20, 2016.

Photos by Ron Cantiveros | Filipino Journal