Patisserie des Reves, Marylebone, London
A branch of the Parisian patisserie.
The filo in the mille-feuile was delicate and flaky, although not as decisively crisp as ones made to order that I've had in the past.
Friends tell me that the apple turnover/chaussons aux pommes and the vanilla cake are excellent. Will have to try these soon.
Heard from the staff there that they were super busy and selling out very early.
Apparently they get their stuff from Paris daily. In terms of strategising, probably best to get their more time-sensitive items (e.g. choux and filo based pastries) in the morning, and have cakes etc. later in the day.
43 Marylebone High Street
The vanilla cake/grand cru vanille is indeed excellent. Moist, heavy vanilla flavour with a very mild nuance of saltiness, a crumbly base that is moist and somewhat soft, but punctuated by dots of crunch. There's an inky black layer that is mysterious to me -- not sure what it is.
The chocolate eclair has a lovely filling, creamy, mousse-like, with good flavour. But the choux itself is soft, offering very little textural contrast. There's a tube of chocolate artfully wrapped around the eclair. The chocolate was fairly well tempered -- giving off a wonderful snap, but I wished it was more glossy and shiny, and less liable to melt on one's fingers.
Similarly, the praline filling in the Paris Brest has a wonderful nutty flavour, with a darker centre (chocolate?), but the pastry was soft and a bit flat. I remember having better choux at Lanka in Primrose Hill a few years ago, when I ordered a slice of their Paris Brest minutes after it came out of their kitchen (but their filling wasn't nearly as good as Patisserie des Reves).
Pricey, but I guess to be expected given their reputation in Paris and the Marylebone location. Pastries were £5.90.
Perhaps not possible to expect super fresh (i.e. made to order) choux pastries or filo from such an operation, will have to see how they develop over time. There aren't that many options in London for great patisserie, so this is definitely good to have around. But for the moment, I'd much prefer the made-to-order profiteroles or St Honore at places like Brasserie Chavot or Casse-Croute. (The latter has them at £4.50, a superior product at a lower price, but you don't get them everyday.)
The chausson aux pommes (labelled as apple turnover here) is excellent, probably the my favourite among their items. A sweet and tart apple puree that captures the flavours of the fruit, crisply defined layers of fairly buttery pastry, and a highly enjoyable crunch from a crust of granulated sugar.
The tart tatin had a lovely soft caramelised apple, the pieces of fruit melting into each other that it seemed impossible to make out the individual slices, the whole integrating into a delectable soft apple topping. Beautiful combination of acidity and sweetness. Pleasant thin crust with many crisp layers.
I've been by the shop several times in the past week or so. It's always empty. I went in once and got a small Paris Brest, and it was very good. Most things looked beautiful and appetising, but the prices are fairly steep... good place for a special treat.