Choux Cafe @ Swanbourne

That little French cafe and boulangerie along Shenton Road is pretty well-known amongst macaron and French pastry lovers and it is not popular for no reason. The cakes and macarons on display in the fridge are colourful enough to entice you.

On a fine and chilly Sunday morning, L and I went Choux Cafe for a breakfast. Not your typical Perth breakfast scene as this is obviously a French kind of cafe. No eggs on toast, no big breakfasts, no pancakes nor muesli. What you have on hand to choose from are French goodies like baguettes and brioche from their boulangerie and croissants and pain au chocolat from their viennoiserie. If you want you can also have lunch items for breakfast like quiches, pies, and sandwiches.

It wasn’t a hard choice for me. Of course I’d eat the croissant. The hard part was choosing if I wanted plain, savoury, or sweet. In the end I settled for a croissant with smoked salmon, capers and avocado.

Amazing amazing croissant. Flaky and buttery. It has that perfectly baked croissant crust when you bite into it (or, in my case, when I slice it). The smoked salmon works perfectly with the croissant too. I was hesistant at first but the whole meal was nothing short of delicious – perfect croissant, just enough salmon, capers not overpowering, and avocados to complement everything.

L was debating with the various quiches available but, in the end, had the classic quiche lorraine.

The pastry was good, the egg mixture was divine, but a little too much bacon for me. Since this was L’s food, allow me to quote what she said: “I LOOVVEEED the bacon”!

And as if the savouries were not enough, we had to have dessert for breakfast too. We shared a piece of reine margot and 2 macarons.

Reine margot is a pistachio layered cake with mango and pineapple cream. It is refereshing, to say the least. Cake was spongy and the cream filling is very tropical.

The macarons. Well these babies by Emmanuel Mollois are famous for all the right reasons. I thought I have tried the best macaron there is in Perth until I had the ones from Choux Cafe. The shells are light, chewy, and taste fresh. Now the fun part comes from choosing which flavour to have. L wanted the blackcurrant with cream cheese filling and I wanted the strawberry jelly and basil one. Blackcurrant and cream cheese was heaven for L but it was so-so for me. I’m not enitrely sure that cream cheese was the best filling for this. Nonetheless you would still have that sweet and tangy sensation in your mouth. I, on the other hand, loved that basil macaron. It looked like Christmas in a macaron. The basil taste was very prominent and I loved it! It was mellowed out by the strawberry jelly and I think that both flavours worked very well together.

While there I couldn’t resist their bread so I brought home a la complet – a wholemeal baguette. Crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. It is nothing like the “baguettes” you get from Bakers Delight. So I have been toasting the baguette and spreading liberal amounts of butter for breakfast. Fresh bread really can’t be kept for long so I used the remaining half (I could only eat so much bread by myself!) to make bread and butter pudding. You know what? That baguette worked just perfectly with the crust and all.

Don’t forget to try the beef bourguignon pie too when you go there for lunch. Flaky pastry with a very rich and flavourful beef filling.

There is nothing very spectacular with the venue itself, space in theindoor dining area is quite tight actually. They also have an alfresco dining area at the back past the kitchen. What I do like about the venue is that it is quietly nestled in the middle of a suburban area. It is very easy to look out the window and drift into a daydream, specially on a rainy day, while sipping a cup of mocha made with rich chocolate and munching on a macaron. My only problem, really, is the older lady who just happens to serve me every time I’m there. She’s not the warm and friendly kind and does not have the French charm, in my opinion. Could do much better with a smile.

My rating: 8/10
Choux Cafe on Urbanspoon

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