Food Review: Debailleul
Here’s what you need to do before you head to Debailleul. Don’t eat anything for two hours before you get there, take a friend (or three), and for now at least, be sure to bring lots of cash (they will start accepting credit cards from September). By now, you’ve probably heard how the Belgian patisserie, with its artisan chocolates and confectionery, is deathly expensive, how everything is flash frozen and flown in from Brussels, and how it’s inconveniently located at a cross section after Siddhivinayak Temple. The roughly 1,000 square foot marble floored store is not, however, as one would expect, something out of an art house French movie, with counters piled high with technicoloured confectionery. Instead, it’s more akin to a gallery. The goods, much like works of art, are arranged elegantly in a glass counter, with each cake, tart, gateau and jar of macarons spaced just enough to make it evident that when it comes to being in the spotlight, they’re all equally deserving. Which makes choosing that much harder. (What doesn’t is the pricing. Larger portions work out cheaper than buying individual pieces.)
After tasting the chocolates, it quickly becomes evident why each piece is hardly bigger than a Rs5 coin. Like most good quality chocolate, a small piece (Rs90) is enough to satisfy a craving. We recommend the Marthe, a dark chocolate ganache-filled one, and the Amber, a passionfruit milk-chocolate one that was slightly sweeter but provided an equally intense explosion of flavours. Of the macarons, the chocolate ice cream (Rs96), filled with a partially frozen demi-glace ice cream, and the plain raspberry, were both superb, of exactly the right consistency and temperature. Eat them quickly; holding them for too long causes them to disintegrate pretty fast.
The real test, of course, comes with the fruit-topped tarts (around Rs380 each), which despite having weathered a very long journey from Europe, tasted pretty good. Were they fresh? Clearly not, but even then, the creamy raspberry tart did not suffer much for it, its coaster size being just big and rich enough to be generously shared between two (and if small eaters, then three) people. The milk chocolate tart was intensely sweet, in the way that milk chocolate often is; unless you’re a fan, we say skip it in favour of the Galloway (Rs500), a tiny baby pink mound of loveliness, which in taste comes closest to resembling a cheesecake. With layers of cake, blueberries and creamy cheese, it was perhaps the best thing we sampled. Eat it with a dollop of the excellent raspberry sorbet (the only calorie conscious item there; Rs250 for a 100ml) and you’ll be happy you did.
Though Debailleul won’t serve croissants for another week, it does serve a perfectly decent espresso. Even if you’re able to afford everything in Debailleul twice over, you won’t want to go crazy in there. Ultimately, this is an indulgence, best enjoyed a little at a time and with people you love.Tags: Debailleul, Patisserie
Appasaheb Marathe Road
First left after Siddhivinayak Temple (if the temple is on your left)
HoursDaily, 11am to 10.30pm