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Maison Escoffier: The new kid on the pastry block

30 avril 2024, 22:00


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Maison Escoffier: The new kid on the pastry block

In this section, we visit a restaurant incognito, pay for our meal and give our impressions of the dining experience. We hope to be able to help our readers somewhat by introducing them to new eateries.

It’s not a place where you would expect a high-end pastry place to set up shop. Located in one of the narrow shopping strips in Moka, Maison Escoffier is rather incongruous with its surroundings, being next to the Marketing Board and facing a busy bus stop. Yet, it immediately made itself a coffee shop worth the detour.

First, parking is easy. The car park has an adequate number of reserved parking lots that, other than providing parking for customers also seem to act as a shield from the activities going on around the bus stop and Marketing Board. Once inside, your attention is drawn into the elegant, minimalist décor and the indulgent cakes on offer. The rest is history.

The place is cosy. Or to be less euphemistic, there isn’t much space around. But the few tables available for sitting are adequate and fairly spaced out. And to be fair, I didn’t see anyone turned down because of lack of space and there was no pressure – subtle or otherwise – on us to leave and make room for newcomers. We stayed on well after we finished our food and drinks and no one seemed to mind. Most of the customers came in for takeaways and left with nicely packed up cakes. Many seem to have ordered their cakes beforehand as they didn’t hang out too much in front of the counter.

The cakes are, naturally, the main attraction, though some interesting-looking sandwiches with good artisan bread were also on offer. A fairly large array of inviting pastries were on display. They were so artistic that the experience was a delight for the eyes. Even the usual viennoiseries looked out of this world, with perfectedshaped and glazed croissants and petits pains au chocolat. The wide range of cakes came in all sorts of colours, flavours, shapes and combinations. Very Instagram-worthy.

All the cakes left when I got there were innovative, revisiting typical French pastries and infusing them with Mauritian flavours such as passion fruit. It was delightful but the choice was a leap of faith. Also, to be honest, I missed my traditional favourites, namely the inescapable classic mille-feuille.

I opted for an apple tart, which didn’t look like the traditional one of course and didn’t taste like it. It offered a new taste altogether with a new texture and flavours. A new experience that you have to be prepared for. After all, that’s what you are there for.

The coffee was good but got to our table a bit on the cold side. Which brings me to the service which is still in a running-in phase. Friendly, but a bit slow and, from our vantage point, not very organised. But good things come to those who wait – even if they come lukewarm.

The prices are a bit on the high range but not higher than what you would expect to pay in a place of that standing. They range between Rs75 for the viennoiseries and Rs330 for the other pastries. Coffee is within the normal range.

Will I go again? Yes. I haven’t tasted the whole range of cakes yet and it is a small and friendly place to catch up with friends and enjoy a cuppa.