Monday, September 28, 2015

Louis Sergeant, Wellington (NZ) by Benny

For those with a sweet tooth, Louis Sergeant is a not-to-be-missed experience when visiting Wellington. Or so I had heard on numerous occasions from Bilby who travels to New Zealand regularly. So when the opportunity came for combining a two-day workshop with a weekend in the windy city, plans were made. Expectations were high.

Louis Sergeant describes itself as a “contemporary Salon de Thé”. It is very, very French and is known for its spectacular patisserie – in this instance the term edible art is not misplaced. Tea connoisseurs can choose from a fine selection, served in floral china pots amidst chic décor that recalls memories of Parisian elegance.

Louis Sergeant - patisserie cabinet

However a warning. While the establishment opens at 8am and the menu has a brunch section, anyone wanting a sit-down breakfast will have to wait until chef arrives – which on the day we visited was just after 9am. Fortunately we had a bit of leeway before our first commitment of the day so were able spend time inspecting the patisserie cabinets and peeking through the kitchen door watching one of the pastry chefs at work.

Louis Sergeant - Croque Monsieur
The wait was worthwhile – our brekkie items were outstanding. The croque monsieur was, with no shadow of a doubt, the best ham and cheese toasted sandwich I had ever eaten – great bread, ham, béchamel and Gruyère with a side salad for balance. 

Louis Sergeant - Brioche Perdue
The brioche perdue looked, and tasted, stunning – homemade brioche served with caramelised banana and finely sliced, crispy ham, served with mousse spheres covered by a glaze of dark chocolate, crème fraiche and a berry compote. It was however a sweet rather than a savoury dish.

The next day had been very full, as we visited the excellent and highly recommended Gallipoli exhibition at Te Papa and the Great War Exhibition at the Dominion Museum. Bilby was pleased as she had located her great-uncle’s name under the list of Gallipoli casualties. However it had been a highly emotional experience and by late afternoon we were in need of the restorative power of French patisserie.

So another warning – by the end of the day, the choice of sweet treats becomes more limited. Many of those luscious cakes we had seen on our early visit the day before were no longer an option. Were we disappointed? Absolutely not – the reduced selection was still spectacular. And it was one of those occasions when the food tasted as just as good as it looked.

Louis Sergeant - Glamour
Bilby ordered the Glamour – an almond sponge base topped with a blackcurrant – violet Cremeux (cream) and a white chocolate mousse, finished with a little wisp of silver leaf. It was light, creamy and totally blissful.

Louis Sergeant - L'Estival
Mine was L’Estival – a vanilla mousse with a strawberry confit centre and red mirror glaze on a pistachio biscuit and topped with a piece of gold leaf. Tasted heavenly – but oh, what a shame to spoil its visual perfection.

Would we go back? Absolutely. Bilby advises that the savoury lunch options are excellent, but the patisserie is unquestionably the highlight of any visit.

Louis Sergeant, Wellington

We loved it

Excellent option for a high tea or for even just to be in awe of what can be achieved in patisserie.

Louis Sergeant Sweet Couture Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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