JOHANNESBURG – A French affair in an Italian restaurant.
That is what lovers of perfect pastries and prosecco will find at Nelson Mandela Square’s Italian eatery, Septimos. The restaurant has partnered with the local patisserie, Patachou, to give its breakfast and dessert menus some extra bon vivant.
Patachou is not just another wannabe French pastry-shop in Jozi. It’s the real deal. It is French-owned and managed and the baking, too, is done by French hands (though the ingredients are all locally-sourced).
Hugues Panassié, one of the three directors of Patachou (which now has outlets or boutiques in Parktown North, Rivonia and Kyalami), explained that pastry is an integral part of French cuisine. “Patisserie is a key component of French culture. In France, you have so many patisserie schools… there is a transmission of ‘know-how’ through decades.”
“These are specific French recipes that are really unique. It is a passion transmitted through generations.”
I dare anyone to find better, more buttery chocolate croissants, baguettes or macarons. The latter are pure perfection. It is near impossible to find a macaron in South Africa that isn’t dry, floury or too much like a biscuit. Patachou’s macarons rival those of any good Parisian patisserie, with the perfect amount of crunch on the outside, crumble on the inside and rich, smooth filling. I recommend the salted caramel.
There are a number of other decadent and delectable cakes and tarts you can order for dessert, from chocolate to custard to fruit. Sharing is recommended!