Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Patisserie Colette

Patisserie Colette is undoubtedly the most beautiful bakery cafes I have ever seen in Taiwan. Its imposing, white stand-alone building, surrounded by a grass lawn in Taichung's premium real estate area, is an eye catcher. The gorgeous interior has a cute pink and white color theme, highlighted with sihoulettes of flowers, butterflies and rabbits.

Let me tell you a story about the owner and the store. Tatjana Yeh went to baking school in Paris and worked for renowned bakeries such as Carton and The Ritz in Paris, and Toronto's famous Rahier. Her father is a wealthy doctor, and he bought that expensive piece of property and funded all the construction and reno.  Her start-up cost was technically zero.  Unfortunately, so was the profit.  Her beautifully crafted pastries failed to catch on.  Is it the price? $120 ($4 CND) Danish pastries are way to expensive in Taiwan. Or is it because her original French-style desserts are not suitable for Taiwanese palette? Or both?

Stepping into the stores, I felt I stuck out like a sore thumb in my jeans and T-shirt, even though there were no other customers. The cafe was ultra feminine, chic, and way to fancy for my dress code.  This could be why its business has been so bad -  Taiwanese didn't really like dressing up.

I ordered a simple hot chocolate.  The milk tasted thin, the chocolate tasted thin too, and there was no foam to speak of.  This was possibly made with powder chocolate or syrup, much inferior than Starbucks. I have expected real melted chocolate from cafe of this caliber.  At least my father's latte came with good foam and even latte art on the foam.  My father asked "How do you drink this?"  Looked like people didn't know how to appreciate it either.

You can tell that this store and its beautiful products are labour of love from their owners.  However, the type of clientele this cafe attracts is rather few and far in between in Taiwan.  Also, the drink manu needs improvement.  What a shame.

Royal Football Cake!

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