” The bakery has become a highly sophisticated art.” Thierry Teyssier
Looking for that taste of Paris in Abu Dhabi? Craving delicious French pastries and delicacies in a stylish setting? Parisian favourite La Pâtisserie des Rêves, which has opened in the high-end Tryano store located in Yas Mall, will be the answer to all your sweet dreams.Tryano, a secret garden themed concept store filled with the finest designer bags, accessories and beauty products, is the debut location of the contemporary French patisserie here in the Middle East. Decorated in a range of fun colour coordinated citrusy hues, the venue has a childlike feel that is further accentuated by the toy train chugging around one of end of the cafe laden with a sweet cargo. La Pâtisserie des Rêves translated as ‘Cake Shop of Dreams’ is also decorated with cloud motifs, used to depict the dream element of the concept. The open fronted minimalist cafe is a glossy well-lit affair decorated with pops of both vibrant colours, multi-coloured chairs, numerous coloured vases of white flowers and displays of pyramid shaped and candy striped cake boxes, everything just beckons you in. Alluring pastries sit under weighted bell-jars in the central area, a creative display that lets you get up close and personal, giving you plenty of time to make the right selection.
Seven years ago contemporary French pastry chef Philippe Conticini and Thierry Teyssier, founder of Lever de Rideau and Maisons des Rêves joined forces through their mutual love of pastries to create La Pâtisserie des Rêves. Its popularity in the French capital is well documented, the Abu Dhabi location is part of the brand’s global expansion that has already seen it open branches in London and Japan with further rapid worldwide growth planned, including an outlet at Dubai’s City walk sometime this year.
I was invited to the launch party of the capital’s latest offering, a private dinner hosted by Teyssier himself showcasing what the extensive menu has to offer. I’m pleased to say that alongside the magnificent array of calorie-laden French classics such as Eclairs, tarte tatin and tarte citron there are a range of healthy alternatives in the form of very tasty fresh salads and savoury main course dishes. This bright chic cafe is the perfect place to grab a coffee and a croissant but also ideal for a light lunch or dinner with family and friends. Some well-priced children’s dishes will attract families with younger children and I spied both vegetarian and vegan options in the salad section too. The vast drinks menu includes a range of fruity cocktails served in on-trend mason jars, we tried the tangy kiwi orange lemonade and the strawberry rose fizzle.
The Salade Halloumi with figs, strawberries, toasted pistachio and arugula salad topped with a pomegranate balsamic dressing was divine. The Salade d’ete was equally as good combining chunks of watermelon with feta cheese, kiwi, toasted pistachio, mixed salad and a balsamic reduction, there is something so good about combining cheese with fruit and fresh salad leaves. Our main course selections included Hamour et riz au safran (marinated hamour fillet with grilled zucchini, saffron rice and charmoula sauce), Linguini Champignons et huile de truffe (pasta with sauteed wild mushrooms, artichokes, wild rocket served with parmesan cream and truffle oil) and the teenagers choice of Tartine Salmon and Ricotta (Atlantic smoked salmon with lemon infused cream cheese, capers, chives and rocket served with a mixed green salad).
The piece de resistance was the dessert course, well it is a French patisserie after all! A range of the signature cakes and pastries were served in their entirety before, thankfully being divided into smaller more manageable portions. The circular Paris-Brest seemed to be a firm favourite, a choux pastry with frothy praline cream and a rich liquid praline centre, the impressive Saint-Honoré, one of the greatest Pâtisserie des Rêves classics had flaky pastry, crunch and rich caramel choux pastry, a combination of different tastes and textures.
Traditional French eclairs of the chocolate and coffee variety, were served in rolled edible chocolate shells, so good but also so very naughty at the same time. There was also a Vanilla Mille feuille, the range of tarts including raspberry, strawberry, tatin (apple), orange and my personal favourite, lemon topped with a light and fluffy meringue. The iconic chocolate Grand Cru was rich and tasty and the more unusual Mont Blanc was covered in a candied chestnut mousseline piped in strands with an almond butter, vanilla meringue and chestnut fitting. Flans and three varieties of cream puffs made up the sweet display.
So what makes La Pâtisserie des Rêves different to other brands and cafe concepts? Conticini and Teyssier have taken their inspiration from traditional much-loved French pastries and reworked them with a modern twist. Conticini is still at the helm of creative development, producing signature style cakes and pastries such as the Paris-Brest, Saint-Honore and the indulgent chocolate covered eclairs, while Teyssier is the business brains of the operation. All the serving staff were very knowledgeable and attentive as you would expect at a launch, attention to detail is key with this concept and even the refreshing towelettes have their own unique signature perfume created for the brand.
Location may be the boutique cafe’s biggest hurdle as passing trade will be tricky to attract with it being tucked away at the back of the store on the top level, accessed through the children’s department, not the most obvious spot but the rewards are well worth the extra effort to locate it. If you are trying to eat healthily or unlike me you prefer savoury over sweet don’t be put off by patisserie in the title, there are plenty of savoury and healthier choices too. My top tip is definitely try the Salade Halloumi and some of the freshly baked French bread and rolls. Bon Appetite.
La Pâtisserie Des Rêves
Location: Level 1, Tryano Store, Yas Mall
Opening: Daily from 10am-10pm
I was invited to attend this event, all views are my own. Unless otherwise stated, all views and photos on this page © Jo Brett 2016. All rights reserved.