Parisian Patisserie Boulangerie – visit 3
19 Keilor Road
If I lived closer to Essendon, I’d be here every weekend for croissant fix – but I don’t =(. The other day Mr JL (who had heard heaps about this place, no doubt from me) asked whether I wanted to come with – duh yes! It seems to have become regular practice for me, eagerly raising my hands for these culinary treks across Melbourne with not so much as a few seconds of hesitation. Anyways, so I gathered up a few other hungry friends and 35 minute drive to Essendon here we come!!!
It was 10.40am on a Wednesday morning, and there were already throngs of people occupying all my tables!!! Just because we’re on holidays doesn’t mean everyone should decide to just take Wednesday off as well – conspiracy I say. So what can one do? We parked ourselves on the tables outside in the retched pollen-saturated wind.
Just as well that I erroneously took photos through the glass pane, it shows the reflections of us (well maybe mostly me) gawking eagerly at the glistening pastries. I swear to God they were calling out for us to gobble them up then and there!!! Given I was the only one who had been before, I (*cough* I mean we) decided that I’d order on behalf of everyone a few things to share. Amidst my chaotic pointing and rather indecipherable French, a table by the window was vacated – a quick scurry and pounce, and VOULA we have a table inside!!!
A ‘few’ of items to share on our puny table.
… and *cough* a few more to share.
Latte (left) & decaf cappuccino (right). My latte was smooth and roast’y!
Spinach ricotta brioche.
First up a savoury course. Though I was a little disappointed that they no longer make the savoury (pizza) brioche, but luckily the brioche was delightfully light with crispy shards of spinach and gooey melted ricotta. I really appreciate them re-heating the savoury items under the broiler just before serving – liberating wafts of fresh buttery bread, simply mouth watering.
The infamous almond croissant never fails to elicit a sigh of satisfaction. The slightly crisp outer shell sprinkled with shards of roasted almonds, covers a divinely light and almost doughy texture beneath. The custard and almond filling has a heavenly aroma marrying so well with the buttery pastry. I could’ve had one on my own, let alone share between 5 – it was the last one left, sigh!
And then it had vanished before the eyes.
It had a super crumbly shortbread that was very short and very moreish. The gooey lemon custard, though deliciously refreshing and creamy-smooth, did not seem to impart the same shock effect as last time. Maybe I’m just becoming accustomed to ‘tart’ tarts.
The brioche was ever so light, fluffy and oh-so-buttery, but there wasn’t much of that sweet and slightly acidic apricot to share around after dividing it into 5 portions.
Mixed berry brioche.
Same lovely brioche as above, decorated with fresh juicy strawberries and berries with a bed of creamy cream.
Pain au chocolate.
A firmer version of brioche sandwiches a bitter-sweet couverture
chocolate filling. Much the same as last time – not as sweet or guiltily decadent as the other pastries but does offer a bitter (almost refreshing) contrast.
The crunch of buttery pastry, the slightest sweetness of snow sugar smeared on the lips and the not-so-rich but velvety smooth custard was oh-so delectable. It was extremely painful to cut into portions, with the custard middle being squashed out, the snow sugar flying everywhere, and shards of pastry flicking off the plate – it was such an atrocious mess. Next time I’ll just order one to myself.
Roasted vegetables & pesto brioche.
After realising that a couple of items had not been served to the table, I passed on a quick reminder to the staff and as prompt as anything the missing items brought to our table. A savoury item after all that sweet seems rather out of place, but turns out Ms AY actually prefers the savoury brioches – should’ve and would’ve ordered more, but we were all pretty stuffed.
My memory is already a little vague at this point – very much intoxicated by all that buttery goodness. The roasted vegetables were a tad dry if I recall correctly, but the pesto certainly gave a flavoursome surprise throughout the brioche.
Out final item was also another painstakingly difficult one to cut, especially when your aim is to NOT squeeze out all that creamy middle. End result: 5 perfectly cut wedges of beignet – SUCCESS!!! The brioche shell (yes, another brioche, shush!) was again light and fluffy. The custard core was pure indulgence with a beautifully eggy aroma – damn that cream is good.
Rating: Yummy+1 (and a failsafe yummy+2 for the almond croissant). A hell of a lot of sugar & butter for a single sitting, and quite the travel, but so worth it! We finished up close to midday and by this stage the table was rather quiet and dare I say slightly lethargic. I suspect people were suffering from Allan-eats-too-much-and-now-I’m-also-eating-too-much syndrome. None of us had any lunch, and some of us didn’t even have much of a dinner. And of course me being the ravenous one goes on and has a big dinner out and dessert at Cutler & Co. Stay tuned!
Left: reflection off the shiny railings – clearly to prevent hungry customers reaching over and gobbling everything up. Right: more beignets – creme, jam, chocolate.
The window display of everything you could want for a brunch-fest!