Edible masterpieces at La Vie en Rose Pâtisserie
If the name of this pâtisserie sounds familiar, you must have recognised it from Édith Piaf's signature rendition of La Vie en Rose in 1947. This popular song has been covered by a plethora of different celebrities throughout the decades. Although it literally means "life in pink", it is often interpreted as "life in rosy hues", "life through rose-coloured glasses" or "life in happy hues".
The love song encourages living with a positive outlook and seeing beauty in the everyday, just like when one first falls in love.
It is quite apt that the husband and wife duo, Gauvain and Evon, chose that as the name of their cosy pâtisserie located at the corner of Lebuh Melayu and Lorong Ikan in the World Heritage City of George Town. The facade of the shop is decked in pastel pink with a huge glass window, welcoming passers-by to catch a glimpse of its mouth-watering French-style pastries and cakes.
Although there is a handsome spread of many items, my favourites at La Vie en Rose are the plain croissants, almond croissant and pain au chocolat. The crispy, flaky, buttery croissants here are sinfully delicious!
I was excited when I saw a beautiful bicolour New Year croissant, topped with gold painted chocolate numbers of the new year, encasing within, a generous raspberry cheesecake filling. If you love cream, you would love this rich offering.
During festive seasons, the creative team at La Vie en Rose will conjure up exciting treats to fit each occasion. They are invariable artistically presented – edible masterpieces in the palm of your hand.
The flaky golden croissant, filled with decadent almond cream (or frangipane) and topped with almond slices, is scrumptious especially when enjoyed with a cup of freshly-brewed coffee. Remember to add this to the top of your list of goodies to try here.
The pain au chocolat is another must-try item. Along with the croissant, this delicious roll with a chocolate filling is probably one of the most well-known French delicacies. I appreciate that the chocolate was not too sweet.
It is interesting to note that if you are in the southwest of France (e.g., Bordeaux and Toulouse), pain au chocolat would be called "chocolatine", although they are the same thing.
La Vie en Rose also offers croissants with other fillings besides almond cream and chocolate. You might want to consider the choc-banana croissant, ham and cheese croissant or smoked cheese sausage croissant as well. All equally enticing!
If you are an avid dessert lover, you might agree that desserts are like a taste of heaven. Here on earth, La Vie en Rose offers heavenly desserts that are all too tempting! They include strawberry cheesecake, tarte au citron, le petit valentin, tiramisu and gateau au chocolat.
Baked with love, the offerings are painstakingly crafted with care and precision to bring joy to those who relish them. Good food does have the ability to do just that!
A very popular dessert item at the pâtisserie is the tarte au citron (lemon tart). It has a crumbly, cookie-like crust with just the right amount of lemon curd filling (not too thick as it is quite rich). Topped with a beautiful piped rose meringue, the zesty tart has a perfectly balanced of sweet and tangy flavours.
On display in the glass showcase counter are the glistening signature choc-dipped madeleines that are equally divine. However, those without the chocolate coating either in vanilla or chocolate, are also available.
These French tea cakes have a distinctive shell-like shape on one side and a hump on the other. They are thick in size with a slightly denser texture that is delicately moist, eggy and buttery (almost similar yet rather quite different from the local kuih bahulu).
In 2016, La Vie en Rose establishing itself online as a madeleine specialist, crafting gorgeous madeleine towers. Three years later it opened a cafe in George Town.
For my birthday party in January 2022, I ordered a tower of gold, white and chocolate-coated madeleines. I was terribly disappointed by the size of the madeleine tower, assuming that the size of each madeleine would be the same as the ones sold at the shop. I was sadly mistaken!
I took the top left photo at home to illustrate the huge difference. Each of the petite-size madeleine used to create the tower was only half the height of those sold off the counter. If I had been aware of this discrepancy, I would not have ordered the miniature tower at all.
There were 25 pieces in the tower at the cost of RM210. However, the larger vanilla madeleines with chocolate coating available at the pâtisserie is only RM5 each. Assumption is really the mother of all screw-ups! The plus point was that they tasted good.
In future, I would definitely order the regular, individual madeleines for my parties. Arranging them on a beautiful dish with a three-tier platter with fruits like strawberries and fresh figs cascading would make a rather impressive presentation. Furthermore, a refreshing option to enjoy the rich madeleines is with fresh fruits (e.g., top right – something I relish at home).
The roundish custard-filled beignets (a deep-fried dough, often square in shape) are filled with a variety of generous custard flavours – vanilla, raspberry, nutella, coffee, matcha and hojitcha. They look and taste very much like fluffy doughnuts with sweet, creamy fillings. You can secure your order online and pick them up at your convenience.
La Vie en Rose Pâtisserie is a place to go to should you plan to enjoy some good croissants, beignets and madeleines. Gauvain and Evon Neyl have created a lovely place offering pastries that will put a huge smile on your face.
La Vie en Rose Pâtisserie
19, Lebuh Melayu, 10100 George Town, Penang.
T: +6014–333 6480
Thursdays – Sundays: 10:30am – 6:30 pm
Written and photographed by Adrian Cheah
© All rights reserved
16 January 2022