Hi. My name is Melissa and I’m a Francophile.
Perhaps it’s because my alma mater is a convent school built by French nuns and our school song is in French. Or that I did better in my French classes than I ever did in my Mandarin classes (sorry, ancestors). Growing up, I always wanted to visit France, not China. Present me with a French café, lined with wicker woven chairs and icy cool marble top tables to sip tea/coffee to watch the world pass by, and I go absolutely ga-ga. That, to me, is the epitome of chic and pure relaxation.
Alas Paris is so far away from Brisbane, so my only local fantasy escapes have been Le Bon Choix and Chouqette. These two Brisbane establishments have been my go-to French bakeries/cafes since I first made this city my home. The SO and I die for Chouqette’s almond croissants, and Le Bon Choix’s cakes have never disappointed (my personal favourite is their Miroula, chocolate macademia mousse with a crème brulee centre).
So imagine my excitement to learn there was a French café much closer to our home on Brunswick Street. Banneton Bakery is by no means a new player to the hospitality game, but we have consistently missed opportunities to sample their wares from rushing around like headless chooks fulfilling weekly chores. Will Banneton Bakery help fill the void of my little Frenchie heart?
We stopped in for breakfast and found Banneton Bakery surprisingly not as busy as one might expect for an establishment on the Brunswick Street strip. A couple of customers were reading the morning paper or books, waiting for their orders. But on this morning, it seemed the majority of punters walked in to grab their paper bag full of goodies and headed back out to beat the pavement in the glorious sunshine.
We were quite pleased with our breakfast choices, mine the salmon and the SO the big fry-up of a breakfast. Plenty of egg porn for him, and healthy omega 3 for me served with a wedge of Vitamin C – making for much morning satisfaction.
Banneton Bakery’s opening hours are a little limited – they are open Monday – Saturday from 8am till 2pm, and from 8am till 3pm on Sundays. Parking can also be a little tricky, as it’s located very close to the Brunswick and Merthyr Road junction. I would recommend looking for on-street parking down Merthyr Road towards Mark Street.
In my opinion, Banneton Bakery‘s sweet tarts and cakes are as visually impressive as either Le Bon Choix and Chouqette, but I was somewhat disappointed by the flavour of my apple tartine. Whether tart or sweet, apples featured in any dessert should be front and centre. I felt Banneton Bakery’s apple tartine played second fiddle to the jelly glaze on top and seemed almost too shy to come out of its shell.
The SO was also disappointed his sour cherry chocolate tart wasn’t as chocolate rich as he’d expected, despite the wealth of dark chocolate curls.
Did we make the wrong dessert choices?