Monday, March 10, 2008

[Melbourne 2008] Food & Drink - Laurent Boulangerie Patisserie

Laurent Boulangerie Patisserie
306 Little Collins Street
VIC 3000
(and several other locations in Melbourne and Sydney)

Open seven days a week

Date visited: 12/2/2008 (day 4) after luch at Kimurakan Cafe

Laurent Boulangerie Patisserie
Main entrance on Lt Collins St (between Swanston St and Elizabeth St), a stone's throw away from the back entrance of David Jones Men department.

Laurent is a welcoming change from the hustle bustle on nearby Collins St, not that the patisserie is not busy. The decor inside is very Parisian with high ceilings adorned with chandeliers, bronze trimmings and marble slabs, everywhere from counter to tables to chairs.

The clientele is equally interesting. I spied well-dressed tanned ladies with high coiffed hair, flame lacquered nails and leopard print jacket and gentlemen with their ill-fitted suit and leather loafers (it's my personal feeling that ONLY Italian men wear nicely-fitted jacket).

I was the only one who look out of place with t-shirt and short denim holding a equally out-of-place little one. Wow, first time I feel under dressed in a bakery. Even the wait staff are better dressed than me in their crisp smart white Laurent embossed uniform. Smart, very smart indeed.

I was even more impressed when I check out their cakes and pastries chiller cabinet. A mind-boggling magnificent spread of choice in front of me, how I suddenly wished I had 4 stomachs!

Bora-bora & Christine1
Front Bora-bora, back Christine (around A$5.50 to $6.50 each)

It took me a while to decide on Bora-bora and Christine. No glaring stare from behind the counter or beside me. The wait-staff very efficiently served everyone. I am impressed indeed. I was greeted with smiles when I beckon a waiter over. Even more smiles when I went to pay. Mmmm, very good training. A far cry from the over-rated Brunetti's, ah, but then that's another post.

Laurent Patisserie Macarons
I was unsure of the macarons, because they look, er, not very well-made. Irregular size and not smooth shell. What the heck, try try lah. The waiter once again very patiently explain each and every flavour to me, yes, with smiles, again. I think their poor cheeks must have suffered from cramps at the end of their shifts. I got pistachio (no secret I LOVE pistachio anything) and coffee, because chocolate is sold out.

Pistachio Macaron
The ingredients used is I must say, very good quality and they don't skimp on the filling which is how I like it. But sadly, the shell is sticky and too wet. Aiya, no match to my beloved Chouquette's.

Coffee Macaron
The coffee macaron did not fare better. The coffee taste did not even come through.

Bora-bora & Christine
Bora-bora: Coconut dacquoise, dark choc mousse, wild strawberry coulis, coconut mousse & macaron.

Christine: Brownie biscuit, valrhona milk chocolat mousse, creme brulee.

Both the mousse cakes are very very good, the flavours while sound complicated on Bora-bora actually complemented each other very well, no one flavour is stronger than the other. You can taste each and every flavours distinctively while they do magic in your mouth. The flavours of Christine while sounded simple, pack a punch and stongly attack your senses and taste.

This is cloud nine.

There is also another French style patisserie, Le Petite Gateau on 458 Lt Collins St (between Queen St and William St). I visited on Saturday morning, unfortunately, I was met with a 'CLOSED' sign on the door. I tried to find out more info from the internet but all I could find were several Japanese blog entries on the place. How they found fame among Japanese but not local Melbournians is way beyond my comprehension.

Howey Place, Melbourne
Howey Place, off Lt Collins St

I was also on Lt Collins St the previous day. I was on the look out for Bison Stonewares. I did not buy any, transport back to Brisbane is a headache.

Melbourne is famous for laneway shopping and dining. Sure, it's a unique thing but if you think rubbing elbows with strangers while eating is your idea of a great meal, hmmm, then you will like Degraves St and Hardware Lane.

As for up and coming designers or quirky fashion, you can find on Flinders Lane, as ALL the Melbourne guides will tell you. All I can say is truly depend on your style and taste. I personally like Kinki Gerlinki (fashion) and Zomp (shoes) and this little unassuming vintage store (shop name unknown) in Walk Arcade. For quirky fashion, forget about the much over-rated Genki in Cathedral Arcade and head for Shibuya on Elizabeth St where you will find Lolita style fashion which is hot hot hot in, well, Shibuya in Japan. Now, that is quirky and not everyone's cup of tea.

Genki just sells Japanese inspired stuff and clothings. You can also find Lomo fisheye and ActionSampler here, I think I also saw Holga?? And very cute toddler's t-shrts.

More fashion info in other post.

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