Dining / Pâtisserie of the ‘stunning’ pastries

“Green goddess is the name of an entire salad that’s so healthy it justifies having a decadent sweet for dessert. At least that’s how I justified it,” writes dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON

Photos by MADDIE McGUIGAN

GREEN goddess. It’s an exotic reference that many associate with a salad dressing because its ingredients are – you guessed it – green.

Wendy Johnson

Wendy Johnson.

However, at L’Orange Pâtisserie, it’s the name of an entire salad that is so healthy it justifies having a decadent sweet for dessert. At least that’s how I justified it.

So where to start with this pâtisserie in the heart of Manuka Court?

Let’s begin with that salad. It was delish and packed full of yummy ingredients. Quinoa is the base and, yes, there are loads of green ingredients – celery, avocado, zucchini, Sicilian olives and pesto. Toss in some salty Bulgarian feta, some dressing made in part with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice and you have a fabulous lunch ($12.90, eat in; $9.90, take away).

A selection of other salads are available, including on my visit a delish-looking detox one. Styles vary to keep interest alive for the regulars. Paninis ($12.90) are on offer, too.

Breakfast, which starts at 8, is when the freshly made croissants make their grand entrance, sweet ($4.50) and savoury ($7.90).

L’Orange Pâtisserie opened last year. Chef Wim has been in the capital for many years. He’s opened restaurants (including A Prickly Pear), worked in prestigious kitchens such as the Hyatt and whipped up magic in some cafes.

The lineup of pastries at L’Orange Pâtisserie is stunning with the names as exotic as their appearance. These are delectable desserts and, yes, I indulged… in the “mousse au chocolat” to be precise. This is a layered cake of chocolate mousse, pistachio and strawberries ($8.90). What I loved, besides its gorgeous presence, was the combination of layers, textures and flavours. And I loved that the dessert wasn’t sickly sweet.

Other sweets include a mini tart made with fresh fruit and crème patissiere ($6.90), a lemon tart with raspberry and rose ($8.90), and a slice of lemon and raspberry vlaaien with Chef Wim’s lemon curd, raspberry mousse and Italian meringue ($6.90). Or how about the sour cherry version that also features Belgian chocolate?

While on the subject of vlaaien, which L’Orange Pâtisserie describes as a sweet flan on a luxury bread dough base, there is flexibility here. You can also order a quarter ($16), half ($29) or whole ($52). If you want a specific type (whole), order by 1pm for pick up the next day.

Although you’re indoors when dining in Manuka Court, the environment is bright and inviting. The sun streams in from the skylight above and the colour palette, design and fixtures are all about light, which makes the colourful desserts on display really pop.

It goes unsaid that Chef Wim uses only the best-of-the-best ingredients. L’Orange Pâtisserie wouldn’t accept anything less.

L’Orange Pâtisserie, Manuka Court, 11-17 Bougainville Street, Manuka. Call 6295 3897. Closed Sundays and at dinner.

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