When a bakery menu takes a year to compile, and consists of 112 items, you know a lot of sweet and savoury planning has gone into it.
Pastry Chef Nicholas Fernandes, the brain behind the menu of The Bakery at Hyatt Regency, tells me, “The idea was to present a smarter menu with emphasis on single-origin chocolates. I have also presented classics such as the Red Velvet cake in a new form like a roulade and the Black Forest Cake minus the cream and chocolate flakes on top.”
House to The Glasshouse, the hotel’s all-day restaurant serving authentic Indian and Asian cuisine, and Stax that serves Italian food, till recently the five-star restaurant had its bakery ensconced alongside the kitchen. It reopened as a restaurant from September 20 in a new avatar. The 32-seater designed by acclaimed international designer, George Wong has a contemporary and casual setting. The teakwood grandfather chairs (replete with white interwoven threads that serve as the backrest) and glass top tables lend a cosy ambience to the bakery. The eatery serves a wide array of cookies, breads, savoury items such as quiches, puffs, wraps and rolls and desserts such as pastries, tarts, cakes and pralines.
After a quick introduction, I settle down for the tasting session. Chef recommends that I start off with a Mushroom Quiche (R150) to pave the way for all the sweetness that will ensue. The freshly made pastry has a perfect balance of crunch and softness. The cheese and mushroom filling is seasoned with the right amount of black pepper that doesn’t overpower the senses. This is followed by the Strawberry Chocolate Pastry (R170). Presented as a narrow rectangle, at first glance, the cake looks anything like the usual Strawberry Chocolate pastries that I have tasted before. What appears like a chocolate dusting on the exterior is actually a shell that encases the entire pastry. A word of caution, if you think that you can dig into it with a spoon, then you are mistaken. This dessert demands your divided attention including digging in with your hands. As I take a bite of it, the shell crumbles in my mouth making way first for the chocolate mousse, followed by the strawberry jam and the sponge cake. None of the layers overpower each other with its flavour. Each of it has a distinct taste without being overtly sweet.
Next, five pralines (priced at Rs 50 each) are presented lined up neatly on a plate. I start with the Lemon Grass Praline. With shades of light green and cream, it is essentially white chocolate with a hint of lemon grass flavour that hits right at the end. The Raspberry Truffle has the right mix of flavour and texture with a gooey filling. The Almond Rocher is like popping in a Ferrero Rocher while the Hazelnut Modak has a crunchy exterior supported by a hazelnut cream filling. And then comes the turn of the Passion Fruit Praline. It is encased in a white chocolate shell with swirls of dark chocolate adorning it. One bite into it and I actually feeling that I’m savouring the fruit itself as the shell makes way for the creamy passion fruit filling. This is by far my favourite. But not before I’m given a chance to savour the Bakery’s USP - the Madagascar Orange Chocolate Cake (R1,500 per kg). The square cake is supported by long, rectangular slabs of chocolate, which are garnished with sugar crystals on the side and by a long sliver of frozen chocolate on top. Though I’m a little concerned that how will a combination of orange and chocolate taste, I’m pleasantly surprised as I bite into it. The chocolate is neither too sweet nor too bitter and has the right hint of orange that lends its citrus flavour.
With its relaxed ambience, affordable pricing and a wide array of innovations, The Bakery is a place that you can frequent with friends or family when you are in the mood for a sugar fix albeit at a leisurely pace.
We cannot rate the experience as it was a preview