I have never been to France (ok not even anywhere in Europe.. *sob*) but I always carry this fantasy of how France would be like; how elegant French people are, how good they are at taking their time to enjoy the small bits of life, and how refined and delicate their cuisine is. If you’ve ever looked at the recipe of a French dessert, say an entrement, you will be amazed by the number of ingredients and steps that are required to come up with the final product. You first have to bake a thin layer of genoise (like a sponge cake), then another thin layer of Pâte sucrée (a cookie like layer), then create two different textures and flavours of mousses, then a thin layer of glaze… This proves why French pastries are like artworks!
We walk pass Passion by Gerard Dubois on Mody Road all the time. It’s the kind of cafe that you will stop by and glance into. It’s like ‘a hint of France’ in the middle of busy Tsim Sha Tsui.
Gerard Dubois is a Swiss-born chef specialising in patisseries, boulangeries and confiseries who is also the owner of the Passion cafes. Apart from the one in TST, there are two other Passion cafes in Central and Wan Chai.
We ordered a salted caramel and vanilla Milles Feuilles and a Raspberry Croquant, hoping to try something rich and sweet and another one slightly tartish and refreshing.
The taste of the caramel was very genuine: it’s almost tasting a bit like toffee and the salt had adequately balanced the sweetness of the caramel. The vanilla custard was lighter in taste yet aromatic, well balanced with the rich taste of the caramel custard. The texture of the custard wasn’t too soft or runny when I pressed my fork towards the Milles Feuilles, but also not too thick or dry that the custard would feel like a dough when I put it into my mouth. The pastry was still very crispy and buttery and it was a perfect combination with the creamy and smooth custard.
I ordered a cappuccino to accompany my sweets. At Passion by Gerard Dubois they brew Illy coffee. To be honest I am not a fan of Illy as (to me) they tend to be a bit too bright and the aroma is usually not very strong; but to my surprise the cup I tried was rather smooth and not as bright as I expected. The pistachio biscotti on the side of the coffee added some extra bit of excitement to the whole experience.
At our second visit, we also obeyed our rule of “one sweet and rich and the other tartish and refreshing”. So this time a La Boule Caramel and a vanilla lemon cake. La Boule means “a ball’ in French, it is a caramel ball with white chocolate mousse, salted caramel sauce and chocolate sauce; I could also taste a bit of alcohol in the raisins right in the middle. One layer after another and one favour after another, I particularly liked the base that was slightly chewy and tasted a bit like coffee (?) The vanilla lemon cake was not as much of a surprise compared to the caramel ball but it was not disappointing at all! The texture was smooth, the taste was tangy and it was full of pleasant lemony fragrance.
Look at what they also have at Passion! Macaronsss!! I haven’t got a chance to try any of these, but they looked artistic and the flavours they they got there were very creative and attractive. Green apple and cinnamon, mango and coconut, I think I also saw Yuzu (柚子) flavoured macarons too. They will be such suitable gifts on special occasions.
There is a bread corner at Passion, and that was the first place I saw sourdough bread in Hong Kong; they got rye soudough and wheat sourdough and a few other kinds.. how impressive! The other day we bought a piece of sourdough bread from there to make eggs benedict *v*
There are so many things that I’d like to try out at Passion: their danishes, their lovely looking macarons and their hot chocolate! Will certainly do another review after a couple more visits! 🙂
… Passion by Gerard Dubois is located on 32-48 Mody Road in East Tsim Sha Tsui. It is a minute walk from the P3 MTR exit …