From French pastries to Japanese tasting menus, these gourmet desserts are selling like hot cakes
Indulging oneself in a freshly baked French pastry and hot brewed coffee while letting the world slowly pass by, may be an everyday occurrence in Paris but in traffic-ridden Bangkok this sounds more like a far-fetched dream. Luckily for us Bangkokians, after training and working in Paris for 10 years, award-winning pastry chef Carol Boosaba returned to her native Thailand to open her own French café and bring a piece of Paris to Bangkok.
After a long search for the perfect location, she opened the first branch of Paris Mikki in December 2014 on the relatively quiet Sukhumvit Soi 19. Ideal for people watching, the quaint blue and white café offers both indoor and outdoor seating—square tables and blue and white wicker chairs line the outside terrace, while inside a marble topped bar counter and high chairs line the width of the glass window looking outwards towards the tranquil street. Dark woods and gold trimmings set against the white walls provide a touch of elegance and calmness.
The second branch opened at the end of March this year in the hip hangout spot Open House on the 6th floor of Central Embassy. Located right in front of the escalators, it’s hard to miss the white marble countertop adorned with rows of perfectly crafted cakes. Although less peaceful than the Sukhumvit Soi 19 locale, the new spot offers the same decadent cakes and is ideal for a catch up with friends or an anytime sweet treat.
As for the cakes and pastries themselves, Carol sticks to classic French recipes and flavour pairings, adding intricate details that make them look almost too good to eat. Paris Mikki’s signatures include the classic Millefeuille (B225) made with Madagascar vanilla bean, which is often on reserve and sold out even before opening, and the Phillip 70 (B215), a simple but oh-so-good dark chocolate cake. Other must-try cakes include: the Suzuki (B200) topped with coffee, walnut, and caramel; Lady Pinske (B190) made with almond, lychee, and raspberry; and the Chocolate Tart (B200), the chef’s own personal favourite. The eclairs come topped with strawberry (B135), caramel popcorn (B145), or chocolate raspberry (B155), while for fans of savoury, the croissants are beautifully fluffy and buttery—just as they should be—and are available in plain (B85), ham and cheese (B95), or chocolate (B90).
Each batch of baked goods is delicately made fresh by hand daily, which accounts for the limited numbers. The small works of pastry-perfection sell like hot cakes and are often sold out by 2pm. Meanwhile, the coffees on offer include everything from espressos to caramel macchiatos, and are available hot or iced. Prices range from B100 to B140. Fruit juices (B85), rose lemonade (B100), and hot or iced chocolate (B130 or B135) are also on offer for the non-coffee drinkers
Photos by www.natashaigillett.com
What looks like an open-air omakase restaurant straight out of Kyoto, is in fact a dessert bar producing gourmet Japanese dessert experiences. Located on the ground floor of Siam Paragon, next to Kyo Roll En (same owner), Kyo Bar features only 13 seats around a bamboo counter, allowing for an intimate experience as guests watch the chefs create, plate, and serve up works of sugary art on a plate.
Also taking inspiration from his time abroad, pastry chef Dej Kewkacha, of the Kacha Brothers food empire, designed the menu to incorporate elements of Japanese culture and reflect the current season. Using a variety of flavour, texture, and colour combinations, plus a range of techniques, the ingredients come together to make playful and extremely creative desserts.
Inspired by a Japanese set-menu dinner (kaiseki), the menu is split into three parts—appetizers, mains, and drinks. Despite the amount of meticulous work that goes into each dessert the prices are extremely reasonable. Guests may choose to have a main and beverage (ume) for B300, appetizer and main (take) for B350, or appetizer, main and beverage (matsu) for B400.
The simply named Egg, which comes served in an egg shell inside a cardboard egg carton, consists of a smooth custard topped with whipped cream and a blueberry. Although it may seem understated, a sweet surprise lies in store as your spoon reaches the bottom of the shell. BBQ is Dej’s version of charcoal-grilled king crab. Soon after it is served the chef takes away the crab “to be grilled” and what is left is edible charcoal sculpted out of crispy meringue and coloured with bamboo charcoal. Sweet matcha and tarte passion fruit cream ‘dipping sauces’ complete the dish.
One of the signature desserts, Cacao Story, is based on the growth of cacao seeds—from the planting and flowering, to the falling of the seeds. In a celebration of chocolate this dish sees a chocolate lava cake in the shape of a cacao seed filled with chocolate praline placed alongside a hazelnut covered chocolate brownie and ice cream mound. Leaf and tree shaped cookies provide a touch of saltiness to an otherwise extremely rich dish.
Another signature dish, Zen Garden, offers an edible stone garden, composed of a stone shaped double cheese cheesecake, flavoured with black sesame seeds and surrounded by paths of bamboo charcoal cookies and sumi cream, as well as traditional mochi covered in black sesame seeds. Granita ice cream with black sesame seeds provides a sweetness and refreshing bite to the end to the dish.
While coffee, mocktails, and fizzy drinks are available, hot tea helps settle the stomach after this sugary set.
By Kelly Harvey