La Renaissance Café Patisserie – The Rocks, Sydney

Just a quick update before I get stuck into my assessments. I’ve been wanting to update but haven’t had time. So now that I have a spare moment I can tell you where Lemon and I went last Tuesday.

Lemon had been telling me about La Renaissance for some time now. He had worked there for a bit when he was at Hotel School. He was drooling over the pies when he was telling me so we decided to make a lunch date out of it.

La Renaissance conveniently enough is situated right next to the Guylian Belgian Chocolate Cafe. It has a small shopfront which led me to not notice it on my last adventure to The Rocks. When you walk in, you’re met with rows and rows of macarons, cakes, pastries and baguettes. Everything just looked so delectable. I’m such a sucker for food with a bright light shining on it.

Look at the macarons! *drool*

But we were there for lunch. Unfortunately, dessert had to wait. Lemon had a pie, of course, since he had been raving on about it since forever. I chose a baguette since I’m not really one for pies.

There are a total of 8 baguettes to choose from.

Poulet Chasseur: Traditional French hunters recipe of diced chicken, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic and white wine. $8

With a side of salad. $11

Lemon loved his pie. From taste and observation, I could tell it was quite a nice pie. The crust was very flaky, signs of a good pie pastry. The filling was quite saucy, which I quite liked as well. I like my meals to be quite saucy as I don’t like foods being dry. All in all it was a very nice self-saucing pie. Lemon was so into it, he even wanted another one after polishing off his plate. I told him to save his stomach for dessert.

Baguette Rôti De Boeuf: Rare roast beef, with mixed salad, caramelised onions and Dijon mustard mayonnaise. $9

My baguette was alright. It reminded me of Delifrance from when I was young. I chomped it down even though the baguette was quite thick so I had a bit of trouble biting it. There wasn’t anything really special about the baguette, it was just very filling. I think I’ll try a pie next time around.

After buying your food, you can walk through to the back there there is a small courtyard. It makes you feel like you’re eating in a garden of sorts. Very chique sort of atmosphere created.

After lunch, we decided to go for a little walk before having dessert as we were so full. We went to the Baroque Bistro, Bar & Patisserie to have a little gander. Baroque is an off-shoot from La Renaissance. I believe that the macarons sold in La Patisserie are made in the Baroque Patisserie. We had a little look but left when we got bad customer service from the waitress.

We then made our way to Ken Duncan’s gallery where Lemon bought a couple of books for his friends who were getting baptised. After doing all that exercise, we decided to head back to La Renaissance to have some dessert.

There’s always so many people in the patisserie, it’s so hard to get photos of different cakes and the shop when there are business people wanting to be served. I’m quite easy with the choice of dessert so I let Lemon choose. The only thing I don’t like if berries, but luckily Lemon didn’t choose any. We bought our desserts and made our way to the Overseas Passenger Terminal where we sat and ate our goodies. We saved $1 per dessert for getting take away.

Our trio of delicious desserts.

Passion de Pierre: A light creamy passionfruit mousse, with a layer of raspberry jelly, encased in joconde and decorated with fresh seasonal fruit. $6

Joconde is a mixture of eggs, ground almonds, icing sugar and a little flour, made into sponge-like sheets. I quite liked the slight sourness and tanginess of the passionfruit. It was very light indeed. The small chocolate balls on top reminded me of black and white pepper which I giggled at while I was eating it.

Mousse Picasso: Layers of white and dark chocolate mousse, wrapped in folds of Valrhona “Jivara” milk chocolate. $6

Unfortunately the top of the chocolate box cracked in the box, but it was still all good. I personally didn’t like the outside because I found it too creamy and sweet. I gave part of my half to Lemon. But the inside was surprisingly quite light. The white chocolate mousse wasn’t very sweet and it worked well with the dark chocolate mousse. I didn’t really feel like I was eating chocolate at all.

Chocolate Eclair: Traditional choux pastry filled with chocolate pastry cream and topped with chocolate fondant. $4.50

Eclairs aren’t my favourite dessert in the world but Lemon wanted one so we got one. I gave him the bigger half though. It was nice for what it was. But my bias towards eclairs doesn’t allow me to have a neutral judgement. I though it was alright, enough said.

Tada! How yummy does it all look?

Lemon and I polished off all three desserts, it left us wanting more. But we were too full. As I was eating the eclair, a seagull was eyeing us. It was getting closer and closer. I don’t do well with animals, and I’ve had bad experiences with seagulls at the beach. They can get quite aggressive.

Look how evil it looks!

I made Lemon walk upstairs to the Overseas Passenger Terminal so we could take some photos. Enjoy the photos of Circular Quay.

Opera House

Ferry

Circular Quay Wharf

Guest appearance from my best friend Lemon

I then made Lemon walk all the way back to Baroque because I wanted to buy some macarons. But that’s for the next post. Visit La Renaissance someday and try their desserts, they’re worth it.

Happy nom nom nom-ing!

La Renaissance Cafe Patisserie on Urbanspoon

Guylian Belgian Chocolate Cafe – The Rocks, Sydney

Guylian Belgian Chocolate Cafe

After dinner at Zia Pina last night. The boyfriend, Richard and I headed next door to the Guylian Belgian Chocolate Cafe. The boyfriend and Richard were talking to each other and completely walked past the cafe. I, on the other hand, was more excited and stopped to looked at the menu. We stepped inside and I felt like a little kid in a candy store (or in this case, chocolate store). It was so beautiful. The cafe was brightly lit and I could see rows and rows of cakes and pastries. The manager sat us down quite close to the cake and pastry display. I was so happy.

Variety of pastries and cakes

There’s so much to choose from

Look at the supply of chocolate behind the counter

The manager was quite nice in explaining their specials of the day and giving a description of what it was. It sounded yummy! But I was so happy just to be there that I allowed the boyfriend and Richard to choose something from the menu. They both agreed to order the Ice Cream Taste Pallet and the Chocolate Degustation Plate. First came the dark hot chocolate that came with the degustation plate.

There was a piece of dark chocolate in the cup, but the hot chocolate tasted and smelt like powdered drinking chocolate.

Next came the Ice Cream Taste Pallet. We each had a taste of all the flavours and agreed on which was was our favourite and we stuck to it. I had the chocolate, the boyfriend had the praline and Richard had the white chocolate & raspberry. We shared the espresso one.

Ice Cream Taste Pallet

$14

Top L-R: espresso, praline

Bottom L-R: white chocolate & raspberry, chocolate

Finally what we had all been waiting for arrived. The Chocolate Degustation Plate. It looked so deliciously yummy. So delicious that we didn’t know where to start. We nibbled away at the trio of chocolates first. Then we moved from left to right on the plate.

Chocolate Degustation Plate

$30

Left-Right:

1. Lemon Torte: Lemon cream, lemon gel & ganache, hazelnut roulade layer with genoise sponge

2. Opera my way: Chocolate cream mousse, espresso butter cream, layered with hazelnut dacquoise & chocolate sponge

3. Special of the day: Strawberry yoghurt mousse, coconut, berry gel & chocolate sponge

4. White chocolate & raspberry ice cream

5. Dark chocolate dip & fresh strawberries

They were all so gorgeous. I could see a couple walk by our table and the woman stopped to look at what we were eating. I love it when that happens because I do the exact same thing when something catches my eye. We were so full after eating dessert that we didn’t really mind the walk to the car. Overall I had a great experience at the Guylian Belgian Chocolate Cafe. I will indeed go back for another treat in the future. Although it was a little bit pricey, I thought it was well worth it for the combination of food, service and ambience. It isn’t the most value-for-money meal but I thought it was well worth it. Pop in for a little snack if you have a sweet tooth.

Happy nom nom nom-ing!

Guylian Belgian Chocolate Cafe on Urbanspoon