I wouldn’t say living in France for a year would qualify me in any way as an expert when it comes to croissants.
But, what I will say is I ate A LOT of croissants during my year abroad- that counts for something, right?
I think for our first month, Florian and I visited a boulangerie every day for breakfast until we realised it probably wasn’t the healthiest option- but hey, when in Paris, right?
Over our time in Paris, we were on a mission to visit as many boulangeries as we could across the city with the aim of finding the BEST pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant). Sure, a croissant is delicious, but the way to my heart is with a pain au chocolat fresh from the oven. After delicious and delightful trial and error, we can confidently say, Boulangerie Gana took out our #1 spot.
When we returned to Sydney, I was left with a flakey and warm pain au chocolat hole in my heart and have been yearning to fill it once more to no success.
Rewind a few years, I first came across Kate Reid and Lune Croissanterie from a video series with either News Corp or Broadsheet. Kate, who realised her dream career in Formula One as an aerodynamicist wasn’t right for her, decided to walk away from the track and instead head to Paris to learn the art of pastries. After her stint at another boulangerie favourite of mine, Du Pain et Des Idees, she returned to Melbourne and opened Lune Croissanterie.
Now, Lune Croissanterie isn’t just your standard bakery. The New York Times has hailed the establishment as making the best croissants in the world- now that’s a big title to give away lightly.
So on a recent trip to Melbourne, I thought I’d channel my inner (wannabe) Parisienne and see if it was really worth the fuss.
We arrived at 2 pm to be shocked to see not one pastry remained, with it being common practice in Paris to bake throughout the whole day, there wasn’t even a crumb left. So we resigned to return the following day a little earlier.
The store in the CBD opens at 8 am on a Saturday and upon our arrival at 8:30, we were met with a long line down the street. One thing you may not know about me is that I hate lining up for things. I’ll often just decide to return another time and find another option. However, when you’re given the title for the best croissant in the world, I figured it was worth lining up.
Roughly 30 minutes later, my senses were engulfed in what I can only describe as pure happiness.
The smell hits of pastry is what hits you first, followed by your eyes darting the counter to find the pastries perfectly lined up, ready to tantalise your tastebuds. The word food porn gets thrown around a lot, but this really was the pinnacle.
We decided in the line to approach this testing quite scientifically and agreed we’d order two croissants, two pain au chocolat (there was no way we were sharing!) and when we saw a Kouign Amann on offer, curiosity got the better of us and we added one of those in too. A Kouign Amann is a Traditional pastry from the Bretagne region of France and is laminated with sugar and baked in a mould lined with butter, sugar and salt until caramelised. Not as commonly known outside of France, we opted to order one of these and share.
So, how was it?
We’ll start with the classic croissant…
No BS here, it was the actual best croissant I’ve ever eaten. The pastry was airy and cooked perfectly and it left flakes all over me with each bite. The smooth buttery rich flavour was like velvet and I knew from the first bite, that the NY times were totally onto something. Worth the wait and $6.20 price tag? You bet!
Now, to the pain au chocolat…
In case you haven’t realised from my blog and Instagram, I love food.
Want to bribe me to do something? Bring me food. Really want to win me over, pick from this list of my top 3…
- Gnocchi bolognese
- Sausage sizzle with onion
- Pain au chocolat
I went into this tasting with VERY high expectations and where the plain croissant blew my mind, the pain au chocolat was pretty good, but it didn’t hit the Boulangerie Gana spot quite the same.
This is totally just a personal preference, but I love to have a little bite to the chocolate and this one was filled with a softer almost spreadable chocolate. The dark chocolate was delicious, but at this consistency, you expect the pasty to be warm straight from the oven, but it wasn’t.
As for the Kouign Amann, it was delicious, but if I’m being honest, I don’t remember much more about it than that!
My verdict: Totally worth the lineup and price tag!
News recently broke that Reid is bringing the flakey buttery goodness to Sydney in 2023 and all I can say is I’m worried about my waistline!