09 May 2009
REVIEW: Cocoa patisserie, Brighton
I love faux French. Maybe it's because I sometimes I like to pretend I'm in Paris. Anyone else do that? Ok, just me then. But this is the place to while away in you delusions if you so wish. And why is it that French women seemingly eat richly and never get fat. These cakes must be non fattening then, no? They are French cakes after all.
Cocoa Patisserie popped up just down from Brighton station on the main Queen's Road a while back and the cakes on display just reel you in. All made in-house they offer a selection of delights like decadent french mousse cakes, fruit tarts, flavoured eclairs, meringues and pastries. What to choose? Being the cake magpie that I am, I went for the shiniest, most colourful cake they had - a raspberry and passion fruit delice, with a passion fruit cream centre, surrounded by rasberry bavaroise and a pretty chocolate sponge case. Total. Utter. Heaven. My friend had a passion fruit tart which was also wonderful.
I love the mismatched vintage plates and cups, the cosy little booths and the typical French bistro chairs. I even like the hand painted Paris silhouette scene on the wall.
The also offer a wonderful sounding savoury menu too. Sandwiches, tartines with sauccisson, quiches (the next table ordered one of these and it was all I could do not to reach over with my fork) and heartier dishes like onion soup and beef bourgignon. They also have a wine menu to wash it all down with. Lunches can be taken away and people were coming and going, buying bags of pastries, hand made sweets, jams and boxes of cakes for home. One of the owners, Julien Plumart is an award winning chef and the small team really do have a gem of a place here. I like the pictures on the wall of them renovating the café from the ground up and there is a sense of all hands on deck here. I admire that mentality especially when the results of the food are as good as they are here.