Ollella – A Choux Treat at Petain Road
Located in a private residential building off Jalan Besar, Ollella is a brand new café-bakery that can totally be described as “fresh from the oven” – in fact, it just opened about a week ago!
The name Ollella (pronounced the English way) is a portmanteau of the owners’ names – Marcella and Ollyvia. Pastry chef Ollyvia studied chemical engineering at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor, but her passion is in pastries. She has previously worked under world pastry champion Dimitri Fayard at The Peninsula Chicago Hotel, and also in France with the Pierre Herme Paris and Chocolatier Franck Kestener. Her sister Marcella left her marketing job at an international electronics company, and together they set up this café specializing in choux.
Ollella offers seven choux – vanilla, apple cinnamon, raspberry, lemon meringue, matcha azuki, dark chocolate and tiramisu – all reasonably priced between $4 and $5 each. For the undecided (like us), go for the mini choux platter ($21) which serves up all seven flavours.
You can also top up a few dollars to enjoy the platter with a choice of two blended teas by A.Muse Projects ($27), or with two Ethiopia Tchembe N2 Mixed Heirloom coffees ($34) by The Pourover Bar. Ollella also carries a range of their Ethiopian and Panama flavoured coffees on their beverage menu.
The choux pastries are light and has a little crunch, and the flavours are well balanced. I loved each of the little surprises that was presented as we went down the line, from vanilla all the way to tiramisu (in the order above).
Just to highlight a few of our favourites (#spoileralert): The apple cinnamon choux has a compote inside that enhances the flavor and texture of the entire choux, while the vanilla one has a white chocolate ganache that goes well with the vanilla mascarpone cream.
The raspberry choux is surprisingly not as intensely sour as I thought, even though fresh raspberries were on top of the pastry – but perhaps a touch of lychee in the cream will better enhance its flavour. I’ll have the meringue first the next time, though.
We then tried some of their chouquettes (60g for $3) – and I could not stop popping them until they were all gone! The fluffy-light pastry is savoury sweet and has a slight crunch to each bite, thanks to the pearl sugar and almonds. I will gladly order them in bulk and indulge as my comfort snack, and I dare say, Ollella’s chouquettes can become one of the best crossover snacks for Chinese New Year next year.
Ollella’s cosy café space is bright and welcoming, and overlooks a quiet park and playground with a preserved shophouse façade along its far right. It is a good spot to hide away from the recent sweltering weather, to chill and to hang out. While having their choux, go for the coffee at The Pourover Bar, a specialty coffee bar that showcases some of the best Coffee Beans roasted in Melbourne, including but not limited to Ninetyplus Range.
The café is closed on Tuesdays – Marcella says they spend their off-day making Indonesian Kue Lapis Legit, available under their Gula brand and only served in the café on Wednesdays. It makes use of a 60-year-old recipe passed down from their grandmother, a heavily spiced version which is quite different from the sweet ones we have in Singapore.
Photos taken with Fujifilm X-Pro2
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