Want to open a bakery in New York? If you want to be successful, you’d better have cupcakes on hand (or, at least, that’s what everybody says). Crumbs, Sprinkles, Butter Lane — ever since the gals of Sex and the City stepped foot in Magnolia, it was as if the cupcake had come to determine dessert shop success. So when French pastry chef Dominique Ansel — formerly of gastro-mecca Daniel — decided to open a patisserie last year, he was, naturally, advised to give cupcakes some thought. And he did…sort of. He liked the possibility they offered; their ability to chameleon into the star spot on any pastry shelf. They were adaptable: add some color, adorn with tschotskes, and — voilà! — your [insert holiday here] treat is served.
But equipped with the esoterica that is true, tongue-twirling French pastry, Ansel didn’t need cupcakes. And when his shop, the Dominique Ansel Bakery, opened in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood — cupcakeless — there were still lines out the door.
Instead of the cupcake, Ansel offers the religieuse — a timeless French classic that, in Parisian patisseries, doesn’t stray from the traditional chocolate or vanilla. But Ansel’s bakery — which celebrates its first anniversary this week — is in New York, and with the mélange of people and flavors that comprise this city, anything goes. So with every holiday that comes around, Ansel births a new religieuse: Santas. Pumpkins. A Frenchie (with a beret).
In France, Ansel knows such creativity wouldn’t sell. But here? They fly off the shelves as quickly as a speeding taxi on a trafficless 6th Avenue.
Pretty, delicious bread and pastries from South Korea’s international chain of café-bakeries, Paris Baguette.
Opened in August this year, their Wisma Atria outlet is its first and only in Singapore. They also have outlets in Korea, China, and the U.S. Don’t be fooled by its name though. As it suggests otherwise, they’re not really a French café-bakery per se. Their food caters towards Korean tastes, with breads that are rich, soft, and have delicate flavours.
Side-note: Only a non-parisan café would use the word ‘Paris’ in its name, something like how Asian food stores all over the world sell ‘Singapore noodles’, which in reality, you can’t find in Singapore at all.
In addition to bread, cakes, and pastries, they also have set brunch menu items, sandwiches, café drinks and tea. Items are expensive on the price scale, but may all be worth if you’re feeling a bit peckish for some delicious bread!