Enjoying authentic French pastries

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Other than pastries, Sophie Authentique also offers a variety of home-made French Baguettes. (photo: IO/Aldo)

IO, Jakarta – If you are a lover of pastry, why not try out some Jakarta French pastries? Sophie Authenque, for example, is a sweet pastry bakery with a French atmosphere. Sophie, the bakery owner, is of French descent. Why Authentique? Because all of the pasties in the bakery are handmade by Sophie. Located in Kemang, South Jakarta, the bakery is quite small but has a homey, intimate feel to it, making it friendlier for meetups for friends and family. There are only a few tables inside of the bakery including a hanging chair.

A number of chairs are colored blue with a refreshing floral accent. The atmosphere of the small space is already noisy with a number of people enjoying their breakfast. An aroma of coffee made me curious about the food and coffee they served. It turns out finding the menu was not an easy task. In a small display case were whole wheat croissants, chocolate, and almond cakes, brioches, galettes, eclairs, madeleines, canelé’s in two sized and vanilla custard doughnuts covered in sugar powder. All making it harder to choose what to eat.

From the menu written on a blackboard, I chose to start with a green salad, salmon quiche and fresh carrot and lemon juice, which came in a medium-sized serving and contained lettuce, tomato, boiled egg, and was drenched in French dressing with a strong taste from the Dijon mustard and white wine vinegar. A handful of chopped parsley gave the salad a fresh aroma which invigorated me. The savory and tender soft-boiled eggs were a good choice as it made the salad more filling. It wasn’t too satiating and encouraged a more filling meal.

The next item on the menu, the salmon quiche, was around 12 cm in diameter and was warm. The savory buttery aroma gave it a freshness, the texture was soft with a crispy almost hard edge. Bits of salmon fillet were spread inside the quiche. The cream and egg mix had a natural savory taste. I was then interested in the pear chocolate tart, which looked like a home-made pie. The surface was damp with bits of burnt parts on the crispy skin. Slices of the pear were crispy and interspersed with chocolate underneath. This time I have to give a thumbs up for Sophie. I am not someone who likes sweet food but when I tasted this dish I felt something different. It did not leave a sticky feeling in my throat and had a natural sweetness which dominated the taste.

I could not reject a piece of Canelé served specifically for me when I arrived at Sophie Authentique. The pastry was a specialty from Bordeaux. It was in the form of a 4 cm tall cylinder. Its dark-colored caramel and butter titillating. The custard had a soft texture with pores but had a sticky crispy outside. A perfect combination for a canelé. The canelé came in a 4 cm version and an 8 cm version. It was no wonder that the canelé was a favorite here. Do not be surprised if it is often sold out when you come to the bakery. This being a French bakery, I had to try the croissant. The bakery offered a plain croissant, a whole wheat croissant, and almond croissant and a pain au chocolat croissant. Once I ripped the bread apart I could feel its crispy tenderness. The whole wheat croissant’s texture felt crispy and had a buttery taste without overdoing it. The same can be said about the pain au chocolat which was soft and crispy with melted chocolate inside.

Sophie Authentique can be your choice for breakfast or to just try out their pasties in the afternoon with friends or family. Sophie Authentique Kemang Raya is open from 08:00 WIB to 17:00 WIB. (Aldo)