Delectable brioche to crusty croissants, the new-and-improved French Loaf on TTK Road has 101 ways to indulge
Even as the city is abuzz with the news of the merger between Oriental Cuisine Private Limited and Sandy’s, Ox and Tomato — our interest turns to the chain of 26 French Loaf outlets in the city that will be re-hauled as a result. Talking to serial restaurateur and chef, Sandesh (Sandy) Reddy, the brain behind rebuilding of the brand, we soon discover that the all-new French Loaf has been redone from scratch. “It is about good, honest baking — where you get the real taste,” says Sandy adding how they choose not to be signed up with delivery partners yet, because, “you don’t want to commoditise something as personal as food”.
The oven mandate
All it takes is a Beachville black coffee and their Herb and Cheese croissant at their first re-done outlet down TTK Road — and we are fans of their new system in a jiffy. Croissant lovers will understand my excitement when I describe the warm and crusty pastry — that was reheated in a stone-based-sole oven — and not blitzed into limpid oblivion in a microwave oven, as is customary in most of the city bakeries! Pure vegetarian, it has a secret glaze that gives it a golden brown gleam and extra crunch.
The real deal
Sandesh Reddy tells us how using real ingredients makes
all the difference even if it means a shorter shelf life:
• No preservatives
• No chocolate compounds.
They use a blend that has French premium chocolate.
• Their 100% whole wheat bread really has no maida!
• They use only French cultured butter. No margarine or shortening.
• They use only dairy cream.
No synthetic whipped cream.
Death by chocolate
With 101 items on their menu and a score more to be added, we eyed the Black Forest slice next. The cake turns out to be a decadent, chocolatey delight that has thick layers of ganache and real dairy cream. It is not even a distant cousin to the usual version with whipped cream and chocolate shavings that we were familiar with! The Lava Cake is worth a mention as it has more lava and less cake — think gooey and indulgent. Meanwhile, the rainbow-like cake features the French tri-colours and a bite will transport you to some sweet nostalgic place. It is the butter frosting that does it. Along with cream cheese, this one is for old time’s sake. Talking about old — chocolate lovers must try the Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake — that is generous with the ganache and has a homely touch.
Out of the box
The merger also means the introduction of a whole new chain of delivery-only kitchens called the Oriental Houses. Think pan-Asian menu in Bento boxes, starting from INR 175 onwards!
Even as their new tagline now boasts of bringing the ‘French’ touch — it is the Almond Tart that is testimonial by being starkly different from the previous sugar-glazed version. Stuffed with soft almond meal — this flaky pastry is subtle and delectable. However, what truly has us gushing is their range of breads. As we took a bite of the brioche dinner roll — we manage just sighs of appreciation. Halfway between a cake and bread, this one scores for its glorious buttery taste.
The Fried Onion and Gunpowder loaf is soft as a pillow (and nearly as large as one) and when gently toasted, it is great brekkie option. The foccacia is bigger, crustier, than the one at OMBC (Old Madras Baking Co, a bakery chain founded by Sandy) and this one is peppered with chilli flakes. As we promise to be back for the baguettes (which were sold out for the day) we are assured that a better version of the popular Sweet Milk Bread is also in the works.
Breads from INR 45 onwards, cakes (per kilo) INR 855 onwards.