Thursday, October 2, 2008

In Search of The Perfect...

Ever since I've stumbled upon Ms. Joycelyn's amazingly beautiful (and scrumptious) foodblog, Kuidaore, just a few days ago, I found myself to be immensely absorbed in her impeccable writings and highly art-directed tantalizing pictures. I also found out later that she's not just good with desserts but also very good with other meals too (like hosting a multi-course dinner party) -- she's an object of admiration and jealousy to me. 

I kept on reading and every post seemed to be very inspiring if not encouraging me to pursue my now-forgotten passion for cooking and (especially) baking. 

After too much ohh-ing and ahh-ing over her over the top cooking (and art) skills -- if you look at her creations, such as like these christmas joys, these snowflake cookies, these Marie Antoinette-sque cakes, and these super girlie sweets, I believe you'll react the same (and to think that she's entirely self-taught makes me even giddier) -- I stumbled upon one post last night that made me have a sudden huge craving.

A craving for that sweet fluffy French bread called brioche.

Back when I was still in college, I used to skip classes and hang out at Mal Taman Anggrek with my friends. There were no Starbucks or Coffee Bean yet but we were happy enough to settle at a small and rather secluded place located on the top floor called La Brioche DorĂ©e, which turns out to be an ubiquitous patisserie franchise from France. I remember sitting there for hours just playing cards and talking. I would sometimes buy some pastries to bring back home because they discounted the price after 8 p.m. 

I loved almost everything they serve here. They make the best grilled panini sandwiches (my favorite was cheese or cheese-tomato), I've never met one that's quite a match to theirs up to this day. My sister loved the large creamy mushroom quiche. My mom loves to savour their mini croissants and tarts. 

The brioche itself, of course, is no short of wonders. They made it in a few shapes, from the mini ones, giant ones, and loaf shaped ones, with flavors ranging from plain/original, to chocolate, cheese, and strawberry jam.

Sadly, business wasn't very good for them so they closed down a few years later. I blamed it largely to the arrivals of Starbucks and Coffee Bean, which were more sought after by people here. So there goes my only source of great panini sandwiches and brioches. Shucks. 

Same thing happened to Pain de France, my only reliable source for wonderful (and affordable) bagels, shortly after. When I think about it, I cant help but feel a bit remorseful to Starbucks, especially when I saw them selling bagels for more than twice the price of the ones at Pain de France. Nowadays, I get my bagel fix at Bakoel Koffie, with a price just below Starbucks's. Still pale in comparison to Pain de France's. Again, shucks.

Anyway, back to brioche. While still working in a garment company a few years back, I was quite a regular at Daily Bread which was located a few floors below my office in Kuningan. There, I finally got reintroduced to brioche again. They make good ones, I especially love the whole wheat brioche. It's been a while since I visited Daily Bread, I wonder if they still have brioche in their menu -- I hope so.

So, anyone here knows a good place (in Jakarta) to satisfy my cravings for perfectly good brioche (and bagel)? Comments and suggestions would be much appreciated, thank you.