A seemingly sterile environment upon first sweeping glance, Métisser Pâtisserie & Tea Room, a gallery decked out in subdued greys and creams, was designed for gustatory gratification – there is minimal diversion from the kaleidoscope of pastries put out by head pastry chef Jeffrey Tan. To behold the pastries behind their protective display cases is a pleasure in itself, akin to regarding fine art at a museum. Thankfully, the edible art is ours to take home or consume in-house for less than a fortune. Like specialized art dealers, well-suited, white-gloved servers are pleased to provide sound advice on today’s offerings.
Our first acquisition is the Rose Pine, a love letter to French pastry chef Pierre Hermé. Rose, raspberry and lychee tussle in a luscious ménage à trios, mirroring the French pastry chef’s iconic ‘Ispahan’ flavour combo. We go trigger happy on our Smartphone cameras to preserve what we can of the ephemeral blossom flecked with ‘water droplets’ before watching it wilt beneath our forks. Travelling from plate to palate, the petals disappear one by one, as if subjected to a game of ‘He loves me… he loves me not’. Forget the unexceptional bouquet of roses and gift this rare peony to the appreciative sweet tooth next Valentine’s.
It is with equal parts regret and anticipation that we close the chapter on the Rose Pine move on to the Petit Blanc, the prettiest Popsicle we’ve ever laid eyes upon. Our server dishes out instructions to divide the dessert into five to six slices before consuming each piece whole for optimum enjoyment. The crispy chocolate shell shatters beneath our incisors; it’s like crunching down on a Magnum bar, only better. Tangy, tropical accents of lime and coconut raise visions of piña coladas on the beach, but we’re glad to scratch out happy hour; after all, tea time is the new recess.
Speaking of tea, Métisser’s well-stocked library of teas and tisanes –60 varieties of white, black, green, Rooibos, fruit-infused, oolong, tisane and Chopra brews by Harney & Sons – sure makes a gal (or guy) feel spoiled for choice. If coffee is more your cup of tea, sip on slow-roasted Malongo coffee, purportedly the same cuppa favoured by President François Hollande and served in the Élysée Palace.
It is a humbling experience when a pâtisserie’s restroom is stocked with perfumed hand lotions (whereas your own is occasionally devoid of soap), but when co-owner Andus Yeap proudly tells us, sans fear of judgement, that the said lotions correspond with each season’s desserts, our minds are made up: Métisser is in a league of its own. Ring up the restaurant, reserve a table and prepare to have your universe expand like a five-star soufflé.
Originally published on Time Out Penang.