I miss the vanilla custard-filled doughnuts from Bread Ahead in Borough Market, London, which were some of the best baked goods I’d ever tasted in recent times. But I only get to London once a year, and never spend enough time at Borough Market.
The next best thing to Bread Ahead’s doughnuts right here in Penang are the ones from La Vie En Rose, a French patisserie run by a young French-Penang husband-and-wife team, Gauvain & Evon Neyl.
They also offered some of the best ever pain au chocolat (chocolate-filled croissant) this side of the country. That, and their beautiful choc-dipped madeleines.
But, IMO, the best item in this petite patisserie has to be their tarte au citron meringuée, with its perfectly balanced sweet-tangy flavours. My usual complaint about lemon tarts is that they are often cloyingly sugary-sweet, which overpowers the lemony part. Not the ones here, Evon Nely managed to produce the best tart I’d had in long, long while.
Coming back to those custard-filled doughnuts - the custard beignet here are pretty good, though nowhere near the luscious, fat, creamy ones from Bread Ahead. But hey, no one else in London makes ones which come near Bread Ahead’s as well.
The tiramisu seemed a tad out of place here, but is a nod to local Penangites’ love for the dessert.
Each cup of coffee or tea ordered here are accompanied by a bite-sized pain au chocolat - a real bonus, seeing how well they do those delicious buttery pastries here.
Cafe au lait - one of the best ones in town.
La Vie En Rose Pâtisserie is located on the corner of Fish Lane and Malay Street, in George Town’s old quarter. It’s barely three weeks and quite a hidden little gem.
La Vie en Rose Pâtisserie
19, Lebuh Melayu (Malay Street)
10100 Georgetown, Penang
Tel: +6014-333 6480
Opening hours: 10.30am-7pm Tue-Sun. Closed on Mondays.