The newest French patisserie in town, Cou Cou, is Oberoi Group’s first independent food and beverage outlet. Under the culinary expertise of Chef Pratik Deshmukh and Chef Pierre Storti, Cou Cou’s authentic and freshly made French delights are bound to give you all the Parisian feels in Mumbai
By: Prateeksha Guruji
Posted on: December 6, 2021
LF says: ★★★★.5
With the world now opened up after a tough (but ongoing) pandemic, food connoisseurs are finally out and about in town, exploring new places and trying out new cuisines. While Mumbai is a city brimming with cafes and bakeries, Cou Cou is the place to be to try some impressive and classic French delights.
‘Cou Cou’ is a French equivalent to an informal and amicable “Hello” or “Welcome”, or as a simple term of endearment used by young and elderly alike. The name of the patisserie is a giveaway for its relaxing, classic French vibe – ideal for those who wish to visit and indulge in some delights à la Française.
Modern Parisian Vibe
Tucked away inside Mumbai’s newest shopping destination Jio World Drive, Cou Cou is hard to miss once you enter the mall. Despite being surrounded by premium stores and mall-goers walking by its environs, the patisserie’s quaint charm and tranquility remains more or less unaffected. Cou Cou’s contemporary Parisian vibe is subtle yet legitimate once you notice the salmon pink fluted wall, light brown wooden arches that act as a partition between the inside and outside seating areas, along with the cantilevered lights that add not only modern sophistication, but also a lot of warmth. Don’t hesitate to click a few photos here as the lighting is very favorable for some Instagram worthy pictures.
The pink tones of the cafe are balanced with muted pastel hues of green, blue and grey upholstered chairs while potted plants add a touch of laidback, outdoor vibes to the entire space.
The kitchen is partially open and visitors can catch a glimpse of the head chefs in action as they whip up some fresh croissants or danishes. The pink tones of the cafe are balanced with muted pastel hues of green, blue and grey upholstered chairs while potted plants add a touch of laidback, outdoor vibes to the entire space. Designed to be spacious and suited for all group sizes, the tables are placed at a generous distance from each other so that guests are at peace regarding social distancing norms at Cou Cou. The entire cafe is in a semi-circular layout with display counters showcasing a gamut of cakes, desserts, breads and salads. You are surrounded by temptation wherever you look!
The menu is impressive and has something for everyone. Coffee and tea lovers will enjoy ordering The Good Life Gourmet teas like Earl Grey, Assam Black, Geisha Green Tea and a range of coffees from the House of Illy, as featured in the beverages section. One can also opt for cold brews like flavored iced teas, freshly made juices or healthy milkshakes for the fitness enthusiasts. I decided to start my culinary experience from the very elementary items on the menu - a cappuccino and a croissant. The cappuccino was refreshing, frothy and light, and not too heavy on the milk.
The croissant, the ultimate and yet the most quotidian French dish you can ever have, is what Cou Cou gets absolutely on point. Perfect when paired with a coffee or even on its own, the croissant was soft and the butter complemented the bready texture well. The croissant is also quite substantial in size so you can even share it with your plus one.
My expectations and curiosity reached an all-time high after the invigorating combination of the cappuccino and the croissant. And Cou Cou is a place where you should not be in a hurry, so I decided to take my time going through the food menu some more before coming to a conclusion. The patisserie’s manager, Ms. Aakriti Rathore, stepped in to give some of her personal suggestions, and I decided to begin round two with a Lamb Pithiviers - a round puff pastry filled with slow cooked lamb, and a Croque Monsieur - an archetypical French pan-fried sandwich that originated in a Parisian cafe in 1910.
The Lamb Pithivier was not disappointing, however my expectations did slightly drop. While the slow cooked lamb filling was flavorsome, the puff pastry did feel chewier than the croissant. But Cou Cou more than made up for it with the piece de resistance - the Croque Monsieur. One of the finest things on the menu, this French sandwich will transport you to the cozy street side cafes of Montmartre. With so many textures and flavors packed in one sandwich, it is difficult to pinpoint what you find good about it. The moist, buttery delicateness of the bread goes perfectly with the smoky, sweet crispiness of the ham. Both the delicacies, the Lamb Pithiviers and the Croque Monsieur are very filling. Their beauty lies in their versatility as they can be eaten at any time of the day.
By the time I reached the last and the most important part of the menu, the proverbial desserts, I was quite satiated. But it would be criminal to come to a French patisserie and leave without trying any of the desserts. I was spoiled for choice with so much sugary goodness around me and decided to go for the most visually striking dessert in the lot. Called the Ispahan, the pink dome-shaped dessert, sprinkled with rose petals, is heavily influenced by Persian culture and the Ispahan Rose, a pink rose found in the Middle East and brought to Europe during the 13th century. The texture resembles a thickened custard or pudding. Upon slicing the slightly wobbly dessert, I was pleasantly surprised to see the small lychee pieces and raspberry compote ooze out. The composition feels very balanced with the sweetness of lychee and the tangy raspberry. The rose petals add an unexpected but wonderful Iranian touch to this dessert.
One of the finest things on the menu, this French sandwich will transport you to the cozy street side cafes of Montmartre. With so many textures and flavors packed in one sandwich, it is difficult to pinpoint what you find good about it.
Broccoli, Leek & Kale Croque at Cou Cou
Relaxed, authentic and very French, Cou Cou is a lovely addition to the repository of luxury cafes and patisseries in Mumbai. While restaurants and eateries offering global cuisines are not rare in Indian cities, this is definitely a gem when it comes to offering a remarkable French culinary experience right in the middle of a busy corporate neighborhood in Mumbai.
The menu has a lot more to offer than what my appetite could allow in a single meal. The Lobster Brioche Roll, Puff Pastry with Ratatouille stewed vegetables or curried chicken for meat lovers, and Burrata and Mushroom Brioche are definitely on my list for the next visit. The classic French savory crepe comes topped with artichokes, white asparagus, black truffle, smoked chicken and paprika. The Vanilla Mille Feuille and the Red Fruit Tart looked ambrosial through the display counters.
For celebrations and special occasions, you can opt from a variety of scrumptious gourmet cakes. Apart from its baked goods and gourmet desserts, Cou Cou has a substantial range of beers and wines which make for an ideal companion to spend a long, lackadaisical weekend afternoon.
Unlike most restaurants where the chefs are mostly behind the scenes, Chef Pierre Storti and Chef Pratik Deshmukh are happy to interact with their guests.
The service is quick and the staff is exceedingly courteous. Unlike most restaurants where the chefs are mostly behind the scenes, Chef Pierre Storti and Chef Pratik Deshmukh are happy to interact with their guests, of course when they are not busy creating some delectable food in their kitchen.
Chic, social and global, Cou Cou is a must-visit for some post-pandemic epicurean pampering.
LF says: ★★★★.5
Coordinates: G-29 Jio World Drive, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India