Tag Archives: croissants

La Renaissance

La Renaissance Patiserrie’s ham and cheese croissant

In a recent trip back to Sydney for my dad’s 70th birthday, we decided to opt for a hotel near Circular Quay, overlooking Sydney Harbour, rather than our usual hotel choices nearer to the retail district of town.

It meant that every morning we had the luxury of being able to walk outside of our hotel (we stayed at the Four Seasons), and out be straight out on to the Rocks area of Sydney.

Projection of the symphony conductor on to the Sydney Opera House

Sydney’s a very young city, relative to the rest of the world, being just over 200 years old, and the Rocks area is where it all started.  I used to learn about it in school (social studies) and this area has not only been preserved – building facades and areas still paved in cobblestone – but enhanced by a activities around the area to take advantage of the breathtaking location. Activities like projecting a broadcasted symphony onto the sails of the Opera House.  Or the Rocks Markets where you can take a leisurely stroll on a weekend to view various arts and crafts.

The one thing D and I took advantage of was our close proximity to La Renaissance Patiserrie. Part of Bistro Baroque, a wonderful French Bistro, this small patisserie was pretty much where we had breakfast every day.  Eating al fresco on Argyle Street watching the world slowly wake up, sipping our coffees and enjoying La Renaissance’s amazing array of pastries and macarons (which were savoured for morning or afternoon tea).

You get a glimpse of the kitchen when your order – all balloon whisks and the smell of sugar and butter permeating the air. It was just such a joy to be close to that much pastry 🙂

Highly recommended (although not if you’re on a diet) are the croissants – I simply had to have them while I could, especially with the close of Mirabelle patisserie in Singapore (anyone know if they just moved from Mackenzie Street rather than closing down please tell me !).  The ham and cheese croissants were also decadently delicious.

A charming and delightful way to enjoy a morning (or afternoon) cup of coffee.

La Renaissance Patiserrie
47 Argyle Street The Rocks Sydney
Tel: + 61 2 9241 4878


From croissants to…chwee kueh

Chwee kueh – steamed rice cakes with preserved radish and chilli paste

It rained early this morning in Singapore and I love rare mornings like this, especially on weekends, when the late-to-rise Singaporeans are still asleep, the traffic’s minimal and it’s relatively cool.  It’s just so peaceful in this usually frenetic city.

I took the opportunity of all of the above to take a 20 minute stroll to Mackenzie Street to Mirabelle with the intent of picking up a bag of buttery goodness – from light and flaky plain croissants to pain au chocolate to croissants baked with ham and cheese. All delicious, artery-clogging treats which we are lucky to get in Singapore.  Mirabelle’s pastries rival the best we’ve had in Paris.

However, when I got to Mackenzie Street, all I saw were metal roller doors.  The friendly girl who worked next door told me that Mirabelle was closed till mid Feb.  Guess even the best bakers have to take a holiday, no matter how much we want them not to 🙂

So I took a slow stroll back to Bugis, enjoying watching the town slowly wake up, and ended up at Albert Centre Food Market. I don’t know what I expected to find there that I wanted – it’s a tough switch from french pastry to local fare – I thought I actually fancied nasi lemak, until I chanced upon a chwee kueh shop.

Chwee kueh literally translated is “water rice cake” and is Teochew dish of steamed cake of rice flour that is most importantly served with preserved radish or chai por.  The rice cake itself has no flavour but it is the vehicle with which to eat the chai por.

Chai por is radish that has been cooked with salt, dried shrimp and sugar in pork lard (hence why it tastes so good).

It was so delicious it pretty much erased the taste of croissant from my mind !  I’m thrilled that I have access to this local treat so close to home and will definitely be going back again.