French macarons $1.50 each
You wouldn't expect to find a fine French patisserie along the smoke-clogged carriageway of Broadway. A patisserie which bakes everything on the premises by a genuine Frenchman. Which has loaves of bread on a shelf behind the counter, pastries in a giant wicker tray on the bench-top and a glass cabinet filled with every type of sugary cream-filled decadence you could think of.
The shop entrance is plain and unobtrusive...
The approach to the counter offers a hint of good things to come...
But it's the pastry-filled cabinet which makes me fall to my knees...
Passionfruit and raspberry tart $4.30
Nougat mousse with caramelised almond, pistachio and honey $4.50
Lemon meringue $4.30
Banana with rum, spices and almond and a dark chocolate ganache $4.30
Caramelised chocolate millefeuille $4.30
Vanilla millefeuilles - caramelised puff pastry with vanilla mousseline cream $4.30
Strawberry Tart $4.50
Le Levant - Baked almond cream, apple rhubarb with vanilla and cinnamon compote $4.30
Over the past six months I've visited numerous times, a loaf of bread here, a pastry there, another pastry there... *sigh*
I still remember the first time we spied the fig and walnut bread. Oui, oui, sil vous plait! Lately these don't seem to contain as much fig and walnut as they used to, but at $3.50 it's still a lovely beautifully baked loaf with a hint of a crust and a soft buttery interior.
Fig and walnut bread $3.50
The michette is a small crusty baguette, with a firm almost ciabatta-like crust and a slightly dense but air-pocketed interior.
I've also sampled the zaatar bread topped with a heavy dusting of zaatar, an aromatic blend of ground thyme, sesame seeds and ground sumac, a type of sour berry. Zaatar means thyme in Arabic and is often used as a dry dip for freshly baked pita doused in olive oil.
Zaatar bread $3.50
Yes, yes, yes. Onto the sugar...
We've sampled the florentines, which are different from the usual florentines I've had (hard, almost toffee-like and covered in a thick base of chocolate). The ones at Beb (more accurately French, one presumes) have a shortcrust pastry base, are softer in topping and have strong buttery citrus peel flavours.
Florentines $3.00 each
And the almond crossiant. *sigh* Too often in the past I've been let down by lacklustre almond crossiants. Non-flaky exterior, paltry smudges of almond paste, a cakey interior... not here, my friends. Come bask in the justified satisfaction of crossiant indulgence...
Almond crossiant $3.20
The pastry is so crisp and flaky I almost weep. The interior is soft, buttery and distinctly layered; the almond paste is rich with nuttiness and generously slathered, and the almond flakes are a golden crunch-satisfying hue.
We've had dessert inside too, sitting on the French-style cast iron chairs at mosaic-topped tables.
The creme brulee tart was rich and decadent (I'm told).
Creme brulee tart $4.50
I opted for the millefuille which was enormous given its richness. The pastry was so buttery it had caramelised, and the vanilla creme was smooth and appropriately artery-clogging.
Coffee was magnificent. They also do hot pastries, quiches, sandwiches and soups. And the macarons were tasty too.
Vanilla millefeuilles $4.30
Beb Patisserie and Bakery (CLOSED)
Tel: 02 9211 8600
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8/07/2005 02:47:00 pm