La Folie defines the road that leads to nothing but a sugar rush, or maybe even two, in the heart of Kala Ghoda
By: Karishma Suri
Posted on: April 18,2014
La Folie defines the road that leads to nothing but a sugar rush, or maybe even two, in the heart of Kala Ghoda.
"Sweet dreams are made of these, who am I to disagree?” When Eurythmics sang this, the world grooved to it. Similarly, when La Folie, a luxury French boutique pâtisserie opened doors in Mumbai, I could feel the sweet vibe in the air as all sugarholics streamed to this place like a bee to honey. A small store housed in the by lanes of Kala Ghoda, the place offers indulgence in the form of haute pastries, macaroons, chocolates and more.
With an eye for sweet innovations, which is also represented by the logo of the brand, there are definitely no mouths complaining. Specializing in sophisticated desserts made using French techniques, as well as bespoke cakes, the place has colorful macaroons, petite cookies, chocolate truffles, pastries, chocolate pralines as well as flaky buttery croissants and pain au chocolat, all of which are freshly prepared daily to fulfill your cravings. LuxuryFacts was definitely excited to speak to Sanjana Patel, Executive Chef and Partner at La Folie.
Oh, so la folie!
What started off as a hobby at the age of 14 soon became a passion for Ms Patel. After the completion of her formal technical programs in chocolate technology and Food management in UK, she pursued a Major in Patisserie arts from Ferrandi in France. And it was at this moment, while she was amongst some of the biggest names in the industry, that her passion led to an obsession and soon became a way of life for her. As she was finishing a few desserts for service at one of Pierre Herme’s boutiques, she heard someone say “C’est a la folie” & C’est magnifique”. Not knowing enough French back then, it took her sometime to figure that ‘a la folie’ was just an expression for something exceptional, magnificent and mad in a good way! The expression stuck with her, which mixed with the urge to surrender to a sweet experience, leading to La Folie - a place that makes everyone go weak in their knees.
At first look, the space will not reflect a regular pastry shop, and it may take you a few minutes to locate. Once inside, the La Folie boutique is elegantly decorated with modern organic interiors in tones of black, white and grey. Offering the concept of a tea salon and dessert tasting room with a seating capacity of 8 to 10 people, I was transported to an English tea shop in London, what with the cosy vibe and sweet smell.
Positioned as a luxury pâtisserie based in Mumbai aiming to deliver the essence of authenticity, enjoyment and experience through beautifully hand crafted haute French chocolates and pastries, La Folie is for those who have a passion to consume and experience good quality desserts and other products. According to Ms Patel, “The brand is for well-travelled Indians who have been exposed to European standards of desserts and have an acute sense of taste". Also for the experimental, the result of combined flavours, textures and tastes is incredible, and very individualistic.
With a team of chefs that have been trained under Ms Patel and French pastry chef consultant Gregory Quere, it is a combination of French techniques, tasting sessions, pairing of flavours and textures and finishing techniques that has imbibed confidence within the team today. "Since our staff comes from varied backgrounds of experiences, we constantly move them around every two weeks so we can identify their strengths, and also so that everyone can learn new things and not get bored of the monotony," she explained.
The dessert world
Wondering where her inspiration comes from? "Being part of the worldwide community of trained professional chefs is enough inspiration. In most of my experiences, I was the first Indian to have worked there. I wanted to showcase my talent and creativity to not only them, but also bring it back home here to Mumbai, and show the people of Mumbai and India that we can get good quality desserts here as well," she said. With an aim and a strong desire to make La Folie the first Indian patisserie to be part of the Relais Desserts, it is great to see her will to participate in and represent India in the Asia and world pastry and chocolate championship in few years!
So go ahead, relish the Forêt-Noire, Chef Patel’s take on the traditional black forest cake infused with Kirch Wasser, or her specialty 7 layered Candy Cake using all the candies she savoured during her childhood days. My vote lies with the Rouge Velour, which is created with a twist using strawberry compote and mixed berries with Philadelphia cream cheese. Macaroon lovers can choose from 70% Venezuelan chocolate ganache, lemon grass and basil or pop rock candy with strawberry marshmallow cream, but I rather steer clear of the macaroons because it gave me too much of a sugar rush to deal with.
For vegetarians, there are eggless desserts such as Rouge Velour, Infinite Caramel, Les Alpes and Infinite Praline (which I promise you will be your next favourite). La Folie also has cookies, croissants (plain croissant, pain au chocolat and croissant surprise) and all the chocolates and truffles are also eggless.
If a journey to Kala Ghoda seems difficult, La Folie also offers deliveries and take away except for the tea, coffee and hot chocolate (this is one hot chocolate, by the way, that could really tempt you from your bed on those rainy days).
A chance to discover decadence and a mouthful of nostalgia at this boutique, it is their avante garde style that will attempt to bring a sensory indulgence to the Indian palate.
Coordinates: Saibaba Rd, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001