Suzhou voted Pâtisserie des Alpes as the Dessert and Patisserie Venue of the Year at the recent That’s Suzhou Food & Drink Awards. So, of course, we couldn’t resist checking it out and seeing what all the fuss is about. Pâtisserie des Alpes opened its first branch back in 2016, in the Horizon 2 Compound, near Xinghai Square. Their newest location, opened earlier this year, is at Hanlin Neighborhood Center, or Suzhou’s higher education district just southeast of Dushu Lake.
Having resisted the urge to dive into some delectable-looking cakes and pastries, we started sensibly with the smoked salmon brioche sandwich (RMB40), which had a generous amount of smoked salmon and a thin layer of cream cheese that complemented but didn’t overwhelm. The soft, fresh brioche adds a nice sweetness, while the salty capers rounded out the flavors. The substantial slice of quiche Lorraine (RMB35) had a delicious creamy filling with the savory bacon lardons, complete with a savory, buttery crust. We washed these down with a nice, smooth latte (RMB25) that had a rich, robust flavor.
Spoiled with all the choices on the sweeter end of things, the diplomate (RMB18) was like a fancy bread pudding and while it had a mildly sweet flavor, the texture was quite stodgy. The cute little lemon tart (RMB30), in contrast, was deliciously light thanks to its crisp base and zesty lemon curd (though we thought it could be more tart).
The choux praliné (RMB30) was an amazing tasty treat: decadent, rich, and sure to remind you of a gooey BB-8 from Star Wars. Hidden pockets of apricot inside the pastry cut through the creaminess of the praline mousse and hazelnut cream, which were both utterly delicious. The show-stopping caramélia (RMB45) had layers of chocolatey goodness, serving as a beautiful contrast to the citrus marmalade underneath. Its variety of textures and depth of flavor make it perfect for dark chocolate lovers.
The interiors have been kept simple, all greys and whites, letting the gorgeous award-winning cakes stand out. And, boy, do they deserve the recognition. It’s a nice place to chill.