Rating: ★★★★☆

Address: Shop 1, G/F, Fraser Suites, 74-80 Johnston Road, Wan Chai 灣仔莊士敦道74至80號輝盛閣國際公寓地下1號舖

Telephone: 2529 1311

Patisserie-lovers, here is a date for your diaries. Run by Gérard Dubois, the French mastermind behind La Rose Noire, which sells fine bakery products, Passion by Gérard Dubois is an adorable French patisserie which was newly opened in Wan Chai, not far from The Pawn on Johnston Road.

Besides being the winner of numerous gold medals in culinary competitions, Gérard was co-author of the famous book “The Cutting Edge”, which was published in Hong Kong in 1993, and also published “My Recent Journey” in 2003. His book, “Passion.”, published in 2006, was awarded “Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2006 – Special Award Of The Jury” in the Gourmand Singapore Awards.

The setting of Passion by Gérard Dubois was airy, comfortable and unpretentious. We went on a Saturday afternoon, and one thing for sure was that this patisserie was already a major hit in Hong Kong. With its delectable choices of pastries, patisserie, salads and sandwiches sold at excellent value, the restaurant was deservedly popular – we had no choice but to join the crowd in waiting for an available table.

(1) We did not try the breads, sandwiches or salads when we went there. As for the patisserie, Gérard managed to re-make and re-invent classic recipes, showing off his creative and playful mind. This Mango Mont Blanc ($36) was a demonstration of his patisserie with a twist. The chestnut paste was decadently smooth and creamy, and the remarkable thing about this cake was the large chunk of sweet mango in the middle of it, which gave the dessert endless depth and flavours!

(2) Other outstanding desserts include the Tiramisu ($38), which had a fabulous layer of Mascarpone on top, an intense taste of Kahlua with at the bottom, and was a tub of wholesome, authentic Italian goodness. The macarons ($18 each) were not expensive, but they were not as delicate and fine as those found at other cafés in Hong Kong, such as L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon or La Maison du Chocolat.

(3) This Bellini ($36) with white peach purée and champagne mousse was a light and fruity delight. The white chocolate cream was gorgeously fluffy, and the white peach purée and champagne mousse added a brilliant, refreshing sharpness to the dessert. If you are not feeling too hungry, you should definitely go for this Bellini, as it is satisfying but not too filling, and is also mellow in its sweetness!

(4) My favourite of all was the Mille Feuille ($36) with vanilla cream and salted caramel cream. This dessert was rather heavy, with strong, crispy layers of pastry, and lusciously thick creams. The full-bodied vanilla cream had beautiful, intense flavours, and the salted caramel cream also did not compromise on saltiness or creaminess. These distinctive flavours came together delightfully, making for an utterly delectable dessert!

Conclusion: This French patisserie may not be the best place to go for a quiet, relaxing afternoon tea, as space is restrained and it can get very packed. However, as city-dwellers who are used to the bustle in town, my friends and I would happily come back for their scrumptious cakes and pastries!