[HK] petite Amanda - sweet treats with big flavours!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

This patisserie was named after well-known model Amanda S who has a French-Taiwanese heritage and is no stranger to the culinary scene with her previous training from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. With accumulated pastry experiences in Caprice (Four Season Hotel Hong Kong), Laduree in Paris and Jacques Genin, a small Parisian chocolatier, she decided to pursue her childhood dream of opening a patisserie and petite Amanda was born.

We had always been wanting to try the cakes and desserts over at petite Amanda for some time yet but they were always nearing sold out on their sweet treats during our previous visits. We made a special visit this time round, determined to give our sweet-tooth craving a good fix! We loved the shop's aesthetics which was one of overflowing colours and the philosophy behind it was simple. Amanda S 'want(s) people to stop by and pick their favourite cakes like they would be shopping for lipstick. Its the small joys of life; simple things are the best'.

Promising authentic French pastries which are traditionally simple and not too sweet, can petite Amanda match our expectations? Let's find out!

Wild Berry Mille Feuilles (HK$45/-)

I remembered walking past the area and saw diners tucking in to the desserts served on disposable paper plates but it seemed like they now serve on quality porcelain, the famous Le Creuset ware. Our previous favourite mille feuille was from Passion by Gerard Dubois and this came as a close contender! Like its traditional rendition, it was made up of three layers of puff pastry and alternating with two layers of vanilla creme. There was a slab of wild berry jam in the middle of the vanilla creme and the top layer was topped with a glazed blueberry. 

The puff pastry was really crispy and flaky which left a mess on the plate and table, so be careful! While it suited our palate with the buttery fragrance, some might argue that it was a little too dry. With the naked eye, you could see the fine black spots in the vanilla creme which were owed to the usage of premium vanilla pods. It tasted rich and creamy yet not overly sweet to satiate. We thought that the wild berry jam, which came in a jellied form had the right level of sweetness just to please the taste buds but personally I would have preferred it better if it was evenly spread. 

As we shared it between the two of us, we attempted feebly to cut through the puff pastry with the plastic fork provided and it was a complete disaster! One of the serving ladies came forward and politely recommended us to munch it down while holding it with our hands and it was a much better experience in encapsulating all the flavours and textures. 

Verdict: 8.5/10

Amarina (HK$43/-)

As my lady always enjoy a tang when it comes to desserts, I asked for recommendations and decided upon the Amarina. Comprising sour cherry jelly encased by a light pistachio mousse and pistachio financier, it was topped with a mini macaron delicately pieced together and pierced with a toothpick.

We give our utmost respect to the careful and meticulous work involved in putting the different elements together and the colours were a beautiful combination. I enjoyed the variance in texture with the soft melt-in-your-mouth mousse complemented by the firm sour cherry jelly which had a good balance of acidity and sweetness. While the financier had a slightly stronger flavour of the pistachio which was desired, we found it a touch too light on the mousse.

Verdict: 8.0/10

Charlotte aux Poires (HK$40/-)

This was easily one of our top favourites for the day! The poached pear was finely and evenly sliced before being spread layered atop a pear mousse wrapped within by lady finger biscuit. The natural sweetness of the poached pears cut through sharply with a beautiful burst of freshness. The pear mousse was subtle and tasted really light and fluffy which did not cause satiation to our appetite. The sponge-like lady finger biscuit, typically used in tiramisu, was soft and slightly moist yet firm enough to hold the dessert together. It was so good that we did not quite bear to finish it!

Verdict: 9.5/10

Baked Croissant Doughnut (HK$16/-)

In line with the current ongoing craze about 'cronuts', we tried a calories-worthy rendition in Singapore at Da Paolo Gastronomia. There was a distinct difference between the ones served here and the fad out there since this was baked instead of deep-fried. The calories-conscious us fell in love with this and marvelled at the layers of puff pastry and the first thing that struck me was the effort placed into making this seemingly simple pastry. 

The texture stood out to be the main element here with its extremely crispy crust. It might be a little too dry on the inside but it seemed like petite Amanda's style to keep their pastries from being overly greasy as seen in their mille feuille earlier. We perfectly adored this because as much as we enjoy desserts, we remain conscious about our waistlines! Our only complaint was that the cream filling between the layers of pastry was too little to get a satisfactory feel. I would not quite compare this to the usual cronuts like the ones from Swissbeck at Central for this tasted more like a cleaner and healthier pastry and a rendition of its own.

Verdict: 7.5/10

Black Coffee (HK$30/-)

It is always good gesture for cafes or patisseries to serve a complimentary bite along with their hot beverages and petite Amanda did not disappoint. Personally, I consider it a mantra to have a cup of Americano, plain black coffee (no sugar and milk) to go along with the desserts. There was no complaint about the fresh brew of dark roasted coffee beans which had the desired levels of acidity to match my palate. We enjoyed the coffee flavoured cookie which was served with the coffee and it was on hindsight that I realized I forgot to purchase the cookies!

We had a little time-out and the sugar rush seemed eager for a second run and we decided to order another round of desserts! Yes, between the two of us, we had all these desserts and this was on the back of a hearty dim sum meal at Fook Lam Moon!

Caprice (HK$46/-)

Quite honestly, we were really full and I had just about enough stomach space for just one dessert and we decided on the Caprice. I was divided between their other signature Plaisir Sucre and this but with a sudden craving for bold flavours, I decided on this. Alternating between layers of dark chocolate sponge and Guanaja 70% chocolate mousse, the icing on the cake was the passion fruit crème. The rich and dense flavours of the chocolate were bold and despite the high cocoa content, the bitterness was cleverly balanced with the right levels of sweetness to offer a pleasant combined taste. The sponge was soft and moist but the addition of passion fruit crème was simply ingenious. It cut through the density of the rich chocolate flavours sharply with a biting tang from the passion fruit and combined harmoniously in the overall taste. 

Verdict: 8.5/10

After seeing us gluttons digging silly to the number of cakes, one of the ladies brought forth 2 cups of plain warm water for us to go with the cakes. We really appreciated the kind gesture!

Tiramisu (HK$130/-)

petite Amanda is having a collaboration with Le Creuset so while the price was an alarming HK$130/- for the dessert, you get to keep the espresso cup which was retailed at HK$128. So essentially the tiramisu cost you HK$2 - well that is if you have any use for the espresso cup! Offered in four colours - beige (as shown here), red, green and blue, you could bring your cup to the counter and exchange for a new one or if you are happy keeping the beige one, then they would be more than happy to clean it up for you.

On the dessert itself, we found that the liquor and caffeine tastes were lacking though you could taste the difference in quality with the good mascarpone cheese used. We provided the feedback to the very pleasant lady manning the patisserie joint and she explained that it was adjusted in accordance to the other feedbacks received from previous customers who thought that the liquor added was too strong. Nonetheless we walked away happy with a nice red espresso cup!

Verdict: 6.5/10

We truly enjoyed the cakes on the whole and if we could, we would have ordered more cakes to try. Each and every looked like they had been carefully and delicately hand-made by the pastry chef and if there was one thing to take away from this dessert eating trip, it was the premium quality ingredients and the good balance in flavours and tastes that set it apart from the other famous patisseries. Despite having 6 cakes between the two of us, we did not find it jelat or satiation on our appetite!

The ladies were also kind in providing recommendations but a special shout-out and thank you to the excellent service rendered by the lady in the above picture and a Taiwanese lady who gave an insight about the pastries served. There is a little bakery section where croissants and bagels were offered but it did not entice us as much as the cakes. I would recommend the cookies too which come in packaged tins and it was a shame that I forgot to get us one before leaving!

Certainly one of the most memorable dessert places yet!

petite Amanda
Shop 2096, Podium Level 2
International Finance Centre Mall (IFC),
1 Harbour View Street, Central
Hong Kong
Tel: (+852) 2234 7222
 Opening Hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 8pm
Sat, Sun and PH: 10am - 8pm

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