A new French Connection
Meanwhile, Delhi crowd fans of the French patisserie giant, L’Opera, are happy to sample both the fares.
Bakers and chefs around the world always have a secret ingredient that completes their bestselling dish/menu. For Shivan Gupta, it was a solo trip through the Côte d’ Azur in the French Riviera, where he met Chef Maxime Montay, and sampled the delicacies from his bakery, family-run for generations. It led to Gupta and Montay recently opening Cafe Monique, an authentic French patisserie, at Amaara Farms, currently functioning in a delivery-only format.
Once life normalises more Gupta hopes to take it beyond Delhi, noting, “We are offering something that the Delhi palate is not used to, but something the people will enjoy.”Each creation at Monique Patisserie pays homage to Montay’s grandmother, after whom the patisserie is named, and whose heirloom recipes serve as an inspiration to the camera-shy chef.
From reportedly enviable macarons to decadent tarts and cakes, patrons can indulge in a curated menu of artisanal desserts by Chef Maxime, crafted using the choicest seasonal ingredients. The curation includes signature creations such as Le Paris-Brest, a traditional choux pastry filled with almond and hazelnut praline, La Tarte Tropézienne, a brioche packed with light vanilla cream and poached pears, and Le Saint Honoré, an effervescent pastry made using the most meticulous techniques in French patisserie – its chantilly cream, vanilla cream, and caramel glazed choux, offers the tantalising taste unique to French desserts. Apart from the classics, Chef Montay infuses local seasonal fruits into the menu – this summer’s special is Le Manguier, a pastry cake composed of financier biscuit, mangoes, fresh basil and intense vanilla cream.
Meanwhile, Delhi crowd fans of the French patisserie giant, L’Opera, are happy to sample both the fares. Dorothea G, an employee with one of the European embassies at Chanakyapuri, remarks, “L’Opera has always been the go-to for the embassy crowd. A few friends have ordered from Cafe Monique and only had good things to say, so I was excited to try them out. These are friends’ whose opinion I trust, and they were right! Honestly, none of the other ‘French’ patisseries here deliver what they say!”
Business Owner Arjun Rawat, notes, “A friend of mine had macarons over from this place called Cafe Monique for a birthday. These were too good! I am glad I have two places to go to now, for the French stuff.”Kazem Samandari of L’Opera, is also pleased about this development, and says, “We have such a huge market here in Delhi. The more local people are exposed to French patisserie, the less they need to be convinced about our cuisine and how far it can go here.”