French culinary and baking techniques are at the heart of most modern-day western food and dining traditions and countries with their own rich and varied baking backgrounds–including Italy, Denmark, Austria and Germany–owe a great deal to the innovative French bakers who came before them. Over the past decade, multiple French bakeries (or patisseries) have sprung up around Taichung to offer a vast array of mouth-watering treats. Authentic, classic desserts along with modern and experimental ones can now be found throughout the city, enriching Taichung’s food landscape. To enjoy a French culinary experience, a relaxing afternoon coffee and tea with a pastry is highly recommended and the five Taichung patisseries noted here each offer their own versions of handmade French delicacies.
Colette Patisserie was first opened by French-trained Pastry Chef Tatjana Yeh in 2009 as the first French bakery in Taichung. Serving authentic classic French desserts, its emphasis is on simple, yet exquisite, flavors achieved with quality ingredients such as seasonal fruit and daily fresh-baked custards. Colettes (NT$130)–strawberry mousse in a tender crust with fresh strawberries–has a delicate sweetness derived from ripe strawberries rather than added sugar and is the most popular dessert for good reason. Zen (NT$140) is highly recommended for matcha lovers with its Matcha Bavarois, strawberry jelly and sesame crunch. Figaro (NT$130) consists of delicious puff pastry balls filled with pastry cream drizzled with caramel. The shop’s wide-open space and welcoming seating area make it a great place for an afternoon teas and coffees with an accompanying dessert.
398, DaYe Rd, Nantun Dist
(This place has since closed.)Pastry Chef Charlotte Dubois adds her baking experience at numerous Parisian Michelin-starred restaurants to the lovely, vibrant desserts at Delys & Sens. A small but varied selection of classic French desserts ideal for afternoon coffee and tea are displayed. Galet Citron (NT$200) has a nice lemony tang well complemented by white chocolate and garnished with lovely violet flowers imported from France. Caramel Apple Tart (NT$135) delivers an amazing caramel apple flavor accentuated nicely by vanilla beans, cream quenelle and flecks of gold. In addition to these staples, new desserts are created around seasonal ingredients as well as for special occasions such as Valentine’s Day. Fresh fruit are locally sourced while remaining ingredients are imported directly from France to ensure authentic creations. Catering for special events is also offered and custom non-menu items are available to suit customers’ individual needs.
151, DaDun 7th St, Nantun Dist
週一、三、四/Mon, Wed-Thu 11:30 am-9 pm, 週五&六/Fri-Sat 11:30 am-11:59 pm, 週日/Sun 11:30 am-10 pm (週二休/closed Tue)
Fermento is a relatively new dessert shop offering a fusion of French and Italian desserts. Using locally-sourced ingredients and fresh seasonal items, the desserts here have magnificent, yet simple, designs to entice customers. These include Banoffee (NT$160), made with bananas, meringue and chocolate, Apple Tart (NT$160), Sables Breton (NT$200)–a cookie topped with strawberries, cream and a large macaroon–and the most popular Strawberry Tart (NT$170). With solid marble-like tables and walls adorned with modern artworks, the decor exudes a refined atmosphere and provides a trendy locale sure to appeal to both a younger crowd seeking a hip hang-out and others wanting a relaxed, upscale environment. Coffees and teas (NT$110-180) are available in addition to a rotating, refreshing house-made Sparking Drink (NT$150), created from fresh fruit.
1, Lane 102, MeiCun Rd, Sec 1, West Dist
11 am-7 pm (週一休/closed Mon)
La Famille Patisserie offers a wide range of delicious French desserts to suit all tastes, from tarts and cookies to cakes. Tart au Citron (NT$95), mixed berry tart Tarte aux Baies (NT$160), Bananne (NT$140), and Paris-brest (NT$150) are but a small sampling of offered delicacies. The Noir Taiwanais (NT$145) is made with Taiwan black tea, rich chocolate and caramel and terrific for chocolate lovers. Mini versions of tarts are also available for those who want to sample multiple pastries, and a boxed set of nine Tartelletes (NT$405) can be purchased to go. Numerous cookies are offered for enjoyment with coffee and tea as is the Creme Brulee and Quiche. Among a few non-French menu items is Tiramisu (NT$145). All of these can be enjoyed to go, or in the simple, relaxing atmosphere.
16, Lane 79, XiangShang Rd, West Dist
11 am-7 pm (周二休 closed Tue)
Siang Hao Patisserie provides a unique dessert experience with its special marble mirror cakes. Each cake is identified according by number with different color designs mirroring marble patterns. For example, No. 002 (NT$180) contains a rich chocolate mousse with cranberry jelly and praline. No. 006 (NT$180) comes in the shape of a blue marbled heart and is filled with wild berry mousse and lychee jelly. The dessert selection is rather small, but each item looks amazing and picking one can often be difficult. Pastry Chef Siang Hao creates all the cakes himself using local ingredients and seasonal fruit. The shop has a minimalist, marble-accented style that gives it a hip coffee house feel for its mostly-young, trendy crowd. Table wines are also available by the glass (NT$150) or bottle (NT$1,000-2,600).
195, TaiYuan Rd, Sec 1, Xitun Dist