by Mei Leong
Mum’s going to get her almond croissant, even if it kills me. You see, it’s Mother’s Day and Choux Cafe has been practically ransacked. There’s a queue almost to the door, the bread baskets are empty and mon dieu there is only one éclair left!
Croissants are being snapped up out of sight, even before they hit the counter. The chocolate croissants are gone within seconds. One, two, three, five almond croissants are bought at once. There are two people ahead of me and there’s only one almond croissant left..!
I hold my breath and – nobody buys the croissant. With a sigh of relief, I retain my right to being a good daughter for at least one more year.
Mum’s almond croissant is warm, filled with soft, squishy frangipane with a crown of toasted almonds. The pastry is crisp and flaky and smells like a good stick of butter (probably contains a stick of butter too). Every bite was worth the trek to Swanbourne, but if the drive sounds too much, you can make them at home from Emmanuel Mollois’ recipe. But really, it was so good, I forgot to take a photo of it.
Instead, here’s a photo of my snail, still warm from the oven. It’s crackly crisp and yields to hollow, airy, puffy layers within. It’s so buttery yet very light. A smear of custard and plump sultanas separate each curl.
After the first couple of bites, I habitually unfurl the snail and dunk it into coffee (I have a delusion this makes it less oily, which doesn’t quite make sense when you drink the coffee too). The big French bowl of coffee’s not bad and keeps me buzzing for the rest of the day.
As we make our way through the tight squeeze of tables, we hear murmurs of impatience. They’ve run out of croissants again and the next batch is thirty minutes away. Instead of walking away, every single customer stays in line – the pastries are simply worth the wait. We bid adieu to the macarons (the pineapple and avocado ones look interesting) and count our blessings that we don’t live close by, as we’d be here waiting every weekend too.
93 Shenton Road Swanbourne WA 6010
T: (08) 9385 4227
After breakfast we drove around Mosman Park to see how the other half live and found this lookout in Bay View Park. What a view!
Next: what we had for lunch…
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