[HK] Passion by Gerard Dubois

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

It was an impromptu decision after work that we decided to visit Passion by Gerard Dubois which endeavours to provide a traditional French cafe ambiance. Focusing on patisseries, boulangeries and confiseries, the star products at 'Passion' included crusty sour-dough bread and baguette, which are made exclusively with imported French flour, involving 24-hour fermentation. This reminded us of similar confectionery tried at Maison Kayser both in Singapore and Hong Kong and also the famous Paul Bakery.

Apart from an array of freshly baked bread greeting visitors upon entering the patisserie, Passion left us spoilt for choice with its line of exquisite desserts, pastries which included tartes, macarons and nougat by the slab. It was a wavering decision on my part for all the pastries looked too good to resist! Eventually with some recommendation, we settled for a few signature pastries.

Mango Mont Blanc ($39/-)

Many would be familiar with the usual 'Mont Blanc', which is a typical dessert of puréed, sweetened chestnuts topped with whipped cream. The name originated from the 'White Mountain', the highest mountain in the Alps, with its resemblance to a snow-capped mountain.

Passion's version was a touch above the norm with the inclusion of mango fruit and purée tucked perfectly in the middle of a soft sponge cake. The slight acidity of the mango provided a tantalizing balance to the mildly sweet chestnut purée. At the end of each serving, the lingering after-taste of the chestnut was the dominating taste which made the dessert true to its Mont Blanc name.

Verdict: 8.5/10

Milles Feuilles with Vanilla and Salted Caramel ($39/-)

The flaky pastry separating the layers of vanilla and salted caramel was a piquing element that aroused our taste buds to the extent that it kept drawing us back for a second serving. It was crispy and left crumbs everywhere on the table, so have your plate close by! The fragrance of the buttery flakes was irresistible. What completed the perfect plating decorated by cocoa powder in a 'G-clef' symbol was the consistently shaped vanilla and salted caramel balls. The richness and flavours of the vanilla owed to the usage of vanilla pods complemented the pastry but we were slightly disappointed with the salted caramel. Despite the chewy, gooey texture of caramel, it lacked the flavours of milk or cream, which made it taste more like toffee. (which is basically sugar and butter). Also, the salinity of the caramel was barely evident and it came across to us more like a solid punch of toffee rather than salted caramel. Otherwise, this dessert would have been perfect.

Verdict: 8.0/10

Mixed Fruit Danish ($24/-)

The pastry base of the fruit danish was crispy with buttery flakes but the center of the pastry was disappointing. The moisture from the fruits seeped through to the pastry and resulted in a damp texture contrary to what was expected. It was probably not as fresh as it should have been though the fruits carried a natural tinge of sweetness in them.

Verdict: 6.5/10

Illy Black Americano Coffee ($30/-)

It is always a nice gesture of any restaurant to serve fresh brew with a slice of biscotti and I was pleased with the crisp pistachio biscotti. Quite frankly, you can hardly go wrong with Illy coffee and certainly not their version of Black Americano.

Verdict: 8.5/10

The array of fresh loaves greeting you upon entrance.

Testified....by their mission statement.

Now you might probably understand why we were spoilt for choice!

If sweet-tooth is not quite your thing, then you could always enjoy one of the savoury sandwiches!

It was a quiet place to have a chat with your loved one, friends, business meeting or quite simply a place to chill and have a nice cup of coffee with some desserts. Despite the friendly service rendered towards us, we witnessed a waiting staff approaching a lady who was seated alone, then told her to share her table with a visiting couple. The lady was pretty much left without a choice since the server ushered the couple to her table. Personally, I would have been pretty gutted if I was told to share my table at a cosy cafe as such, for the very reason why one would want to visit was to get some peace, away from the busy, hustling side of Hong Kong. Oh well, our dining experience on this occasion was a pleasant one and I shall leave it as that, for now at least.

Passion by Gerard Dubois
74-80 Johnston Road
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Tel: 2529 1311

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