|The Blanco Museum in Angono|
Yesterday, after our morning in Angono, visiting the Blanco Museum and living a Travelife, we headed to Greenhills for lunch at Brasserie Cicou.
I don't get to Greenhills often, so I had never eaten at Brasserie Cicou in this new location before.
I did enjoy Chef Cyrille Soenen's cooking, when he was still cooking in Makati.
A VERY MEMORABLE DINNER
And once I had a most memorable dinner at a friend's home in Forbes Park.
Chef Cyrille had cooked a private sit-down dinner for 16 that had included the most delicious turkey I'd had in a long time, and my all-time favorite kouign-amman with salted caramel ice cream for dessert.
MY MOST FAVORITE PASTRY IN THE WORLD
Kouign-amman ranks as one of the best pastries in the world for me.
I would happily gain 2 kilos for a very good one. It's a pastry from Bretagne in France that's incredibly delicious, and it also looks relatively simple to make. It is just a pastry, after all, with nothing added to it.
Ironically, I've had so few truly good ones.
ON A SEARCH IN PARIS
When I'm in Paris, I walk around all the famous bakeries, trying their kouign-amman. And even if I'm very full, I buy one and eat it anyway, in an effort to find the best.
Ironically, the best kouign-amman I've ever had in France (so far) was at a hotel, and not at a brasserie.
I often used to stay at the Park Hyatt Place Vendome, especially during sale season in Paris, as it has the perfect location for almost everywhere I want to go. It's also quite a private hotel compared to the others.
THE BEST KOUIGN-AMMAN IS AT PARK HYATT PARIS
|Park Hyatt Place Vendome, Paris|
Anyway, the Park Hyatt Place Vendome has the best kouign-amman I've ever tasted.
It's so good, in fact, that it always runs out at the breakfast buffet -- at least during the times I've stayed there. I used to stay there a lot many years ago when it first opened, but I haven't stayed in the last few years.
And next weekend, I'm staying at Paris' most talked-about hotel of the moment. Just because I want to see what the fuss is all about. If I like it, maybe it'll become my next new favorite hotel...
THE GOLD STANDARD FOR KOUIGN-AMMAN
But back to my favorite kouign-amman.
So my gold standard for kouign-amman is the Park Hyatt Place Vendome.
I've really visited all the great bakeries of Paris and I still haven't found one as good.
About ten years ago, especially, I used to visit Paris about twice or thrice a year for several years, with a Japanese girl friend who was really crazy about pastries.
She bakes so she's as OC about pastries and bakeries as I am about hotels.
She would research the best places in excruciating detail, and we would spend every morning of a week in Paris walking from bakery to bakery to try their goods.
So this is how I came upon the conclusion that the Park Hyatt Paris has the best kouign-amman.
CHEF CYRILLE'S KOUIGN-AMMAN
|Brasserie Cicou in Greenhills|
And then I had Chef Cyrille's kouign-amman for dessert at my friend's private dinner, topped with salted caramel ice cream. I swear I didn't talk for the rest of that evening.
And then yesterday, I had this kouign-amman again for dessert at Brasserie Cicou. Chef Cyrille happened to be there and he told me that he had the kouign-amman. I almost jumped up and hugged him, when he said this.
Of course we ordered it.
TWO SCHOOLGIRLS ENJOYING A SWEET TREAT
I was eating with an ambassador and his wife. The wife was in raptures like me, as we both had one kouign-amman each, topped with salted caramel ice cream.
You must really have the kouign-amman with the salted caramel ice cream, as it's a perfect combination.
The ambassador was very amused. He said: "You look like two schoolgirls, enjoying that dessert."
It was true. I was giddy as a schoolgirl.
In my busy never-endingly eventful Travelife, I'd actually forgotten how delicious Chef Cyrille's kouign-amman was.
Ironically, I'm on my way to Paris next weekend for a short trip. Maybe I'll find a better kouign-amman on this trip, that involves stays in some of the loveliest hotels in France.
But for now, Chef Cyrille's kouign-amman at Brasserie Cicou in Manila, is at the top of my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.
TRAVELIFE MAGAZINE on Facebook