CHECK IT OUT: Gourmandise Patisserie at Serendra in Bonifacio Global City
Discover the true identity of the eclair.
Ground Floor, Serendra, McKinley Parkway, 1634 Fort Bonifacio
Tel No. (0917) 704 7119; 804 2568
Open Mondays to Fridays, 11 a.m. t0 10 p.m., and Saturdays to Sundays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) If you had asked us to describe an éclair a few days ago, we'd tell you that it's an elongated version of Dunkin Donuts' Boston Kreme donut; it was just sweet bread topped with glossy chocolate, bursting with creamy custard. After our trip to Gourmandise Patisserie at Serendra, however, we realized how little we knew about the true identity of the éclair.
To own a bakery was always one of owner Sunshine Pengson's dreams. "It's something I wanted to pursue especially after studying in Paris. It's a bucket-list type of thing," she tells us.
If Gourmandise is a reflection of Sunshine's time in Paris, we can tell she had a fabulous time. There were no chairs or tables outside, but entering the store transported us into a real Parisian bakery. The pale pink walls were adorned with spectacular watercolor paintings of Parisian women and men, all made by designer Robert Alejandro. On the glass counter, an array of éclairs of almost every design imaginable sat waiting for us to taste them. Gourmandise also has a small selection of tarts and cakes. Hand in hand with this ambience, the store has a standoffish French vibe that makes you feel almost like you’re not worthy to be in the presence of such an elegant pastry. Of course, this didn't stop us from ordering six of their selection of nine éclairs. Although these treats aren't made in-store, we could see that we weren't looking at a longer version of a Dunkin Donut anymore. We hear they also have a spectacular Foie Gras Apple and Fig éclair, even if it's only sold on the weekends.
Our little box had six flavors, Dulce de Leche-Raspberry, Lemon, Salted Caramel, Chocolate, Hazelnut Praline, and Mont Blanc (P90 each). After careful deliberation (and a brief sugar rush), we ultimately decided that the best thing about Gourmandise's éclairs, across the board, was the filling. It's almost too good to be encased in the crumbly, crisp bread. Each slim but firm piece brought a new experience to our palates, whether it was the prefectly salted caramel or the tart lemon. But our winner for best éclair has to be the chocolate, just because it wasn't overly sweet, apart from being perfectly creamy. We could swear we heard Carla Bruni singing in the background as we bit into our sweet Parisian treat.