Maison Eric Kayser
G/F, Sunlight Tower, 248 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai
If flaky croissants, puffy loaves of olive-flecked baguettes and creamy lemon tarts sound like your morning cup of tea, look no further than Maison Eric Kayser to start your day. With five locations on Hong Kong Island (and more planned for Kowloon), the famous French import has set a new standard for bread and patisserie in Hong Kong, delivering the same delicious range of freshly baked goods that catapulted the original to fame.
It all started in France, where Eric Kayser is a household name. The eponymous baker grew up with bread-making in his blood; he was born into a family of bakers, started cultivating his skills from a young age and has spent a lifetime dedicated to crafting ‘traditional’ breads, using additive-free flour and carefully sourced wheat.
Revered the world over, Eric Kayser now has 140 outlets in 23 countries around the world – but it’s far from a typical chain. With meticulous attention to detail, sourcing of ingredients, and traditional long and slow fermentation methods used, each Eric Kayser location pays homage and respect for the tradition of bread-making by following a strict set of recipes and standards.
In Hong Kong these meticulous guidelines are met by Culinary Director, Alexandre Talpaert. A French native who trained with the Alain Ducasse Group, Alex worked as a pastry consultant for Michelin-starred restaurants, 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana and The Drawing Room in Hong Kong, before taking over the local operations of Maison Eric Kayser.
With all of the products baked on-site daily, Alex is the keen eye that ensures each item leaving the bakery is flawless, adhering to the principles set by Eric more than 20 years ago. This includes using only top-notch French butters, and specialty flours, cream and chocolate – the difference in quality discernible in every bite.
The breads in particular are levain (sourdough) based and follow a slow fermentation process to develop the natural aromas of the flour, spending up to 16 hours in 8°C heat. Free of additives and chemicals, the loaves puff up with the wonderful rustic, cracked exterior and moist, chewy crumb that is more often than not, only found with a plane ticket to France.
The Wan Chai location of Eric Kayser also boasts a full-blown cafe, allowing guests to devour everything from fluffy omelettes to nicoise salad and savoury quiches brimming with bacon and cheese. For a quick lunch on-the-go, the sandwich selection is fantastic, ranging from chicken pesto, to a classic baguette with emmental cheese and cooked ham, and smoked salmon with cream cheese and fennel.
Of course, it’s hard to focus on a meal when there’s the siren call of freshly baked breads and pastries just a few feet away. When you’re done, take your pick of financiers, chouquettes and glistening eclairs – with one bite, you’ll be transported straight to the streets of Paris, no ticket needed.