Good news everyone! The French Cancan is here to stay. After their initial application for residency being declined, everyone had their arms up in the air protesting including myself. I was last here earlier this year thinking they will be here forever (see my previous review here). Many letters were sent in support for the people behind French Cancan to stay.
I decided to celebrate in my own way by having brunch at the French Cancan to congratulate them.
We walked in around lunch time. There was not much in the way of savoury items, as they must have sold out earlier in the day. There were still plenty of sweet patisseries in the display cabinets.
We ordered a few things to eat in.
Long Black – Coffee beans by Gravity I believe it is an Auckland roaster (but I could be wrong). The long black was exactly what I needed something strong to get me going for the day.
Flat White – Plus 1 thought it was too strong. So he has his opinion on his coffee.
Venison Roll – You can sum this up as a venison sausage roll with peas and carrots.
As you know venison is quite a lean meat. Mincing it and wrapping it in some thick and buttery puff pastry, did not do it much justice. I found the venison to be fairly dry which needed more fat to make it juicy. Do not get me wrong, I would much prefer lean meat, but meat in a sausage roll needs to have a bit of fat.
Chicken Pie – It’s appearance looked tempting so I ordered one. It was warmed up and delivered to our table.
I was slightly disappointed that the pie was not fully warmed as some parts of the filling was still cold. As I cut it in half to share with Plus 1 I quickly noticed the amount of gravy the pie had and very little chicken. My half of the pie had at most two bits of chicken with a lot of mushroom. Luckily I am a huge fan of mushroom as I did not mind it, but would have been nice to see a little bit more chicken. The pastry was very buttery, flaky and fairly thick, which left very little cavity for the filling. You can clearly see the layers of the pastry.
The filling was nicely seasoned, containing small amounts of chicken and a lot of mushrooms and gravy. I thought the pie had a little to much gravy. Now I know why I tend not to get a chicken pie, as from past experience there is always very little chicken and lots of gravy.
Almond Croissant – Croissant filled with almond meal with a slight hint of something in which I could not pin point what it was. It tasted like something like a citrus perhaps orange blossom? but then I could be wrong. Then topped with almonds and icing sugar.
The almond meal was fairy moist. I would have preferred it to be ever so slightly more dry. But otherwise quite a nice almond croissant especially for those of you who love almonds. These are usually a hot item when tends to sell out pretty early. I was lucky enough to get the last croissant.
Tropezienne (Orange Blossom Brioche) – shaped similar to the rhubarb brioche. I have never had one of these before, so was not sure what to expect or have anything to compare it to with the exception of the rhubarb brioche. To sum up this patisserie item, it is a brioche cut in half and filled with an orange blossom cream. Since it had been exposed to the air for most of the day, I found the exposed parts of the brioche to be slightly dry. The orange blossom creme had nice hint of flavour which was not over powering.
Rhubarb Brioche – Yes I am a fan of the soft buttery bread. I have a soft spot for brioche and almond croissants.
However on this occasion even though the brioche was soft, I was extremely disappointed in the rhubarb brioche due to the lack of filling. I was expecting to bit into it where the rhubarb and custard filling would flow into my mouth. this was not the case as you can see from my picture.
Service was excellent as usual, good variety of sweet patisserie items available from the counter, but lacked savoury items this time round, which could have been the fact that they had sold out earlier in the day. The food that we had ordered was a bit of a hit and miss today. I was a bit disappointed in the venison roll and the chicken pie, which had reminded me why I do not tend to get a chicken pie. As my past experience with chicken pies generally have more gravy than chicken and this was no different this time around. My rhubarb brioche lacked the filling I was expecting from previous times I have had this.
Would I go back again? Yes I would. Their classic patisserie items, such as the plain croissants are delicious, and will be back for more. It would be nice if they can change their rhubarb brioche seasonally with seasonal fruits. But then that is me being fussy.
If you love French Patisserie, give this place a go the next time you are in town, as I would love to hear what you liked or did not like.
Location: 156 Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington