My Famous Five: b. Patisserie in San Francisco

Kouign amann from b. Patisserie. Photo credit: Candice Ng.
Kouign amann from b. Patisserie. Photo credit: Candice Ng.

A visit to b. Patisserie immediately evokes that “kid in a candy store” feeling. As soon as you walk in, you’re greeted with a bevy of treats large and small, golden and glistening, flaky and chewy. Attention is paid to every finishing touch, whether it be a mini macaron shell on a chocolate caramel toffee mousse, or a generous dusting of powdered sugar atop a croissant or tart.

b. Patisserie was the brainchild of Chef Belinda Leong, who previously worked as a pastry chef for renowned restaurants Gary Danko and Manresa. After a number of successful pop-ups, Leong decided to leave restaurant life and devote herself entirely to opening b. Patisserie. She partnered with Chef Michel Suas, an acclaimed baker whom she had known for a few years; he was previously the head pastry chef of a three Michelin-starred restaurant in France and then founded the San Francisco Baking Institute. b. Patisserie officially opened its doors in 2013 and has since quickly gained a loyal following in the Bay Area. A second location across the street from the patisserie is in the works and set to open this summer.

Scones, granola, and vanilla cassis cake are just some of the items b. Patisserie has become known for. In this edition of “My Famous Five,” Chefs Leong and Suas describe some of the items that they think customers should not miss on their next visit.

Bostock

Chef Leong’s personal favorite

“I always enjoyed eating a bostock when I was in Paris. It was one of my favorites at Pierre Hermé. A pastry that looks understated, but when you eat it, the texture is so different due to the elasticity and caramelization of the brioche.”


Mango coconut tapioca verrine

Chef Suas’ personal favorite

“Coconut tapioca with passionfruit and mango is very light and refreshing. The texture of the tapioca with the coconut macaroon complement each other nicely.”


Kouign amann

The customers’ favorite and the item that put b. Patisserie on San Francisco’s food map

“Our kouign amann put us on the food map because it’s much lighter and flakier than other versions. I have been trying to perfect the technique of our kouign amann for the past nine years, and still trying, as it’s always a work in progress.

Our black sesame kouign amann was a special for Chinese New Year [and] was an instant hit with everyone. We still get requests to this day! Black sesame has a special distinct flavor – either you like it or you don’t – so it’s surprising people loved it so much.”


10 hour apple tart

The underrated item

“Our 10 hour apple tart is not just an apple pie. We confit our apples low and slow, then mix in fresh green apples for acidity and crunch, topped off before baking with almond streusel. Not overly sweet. It’s what an apple should taste like.”


Chocolate chip cookie

The crowd-pleaser

“How could you go wrong with a chocolate chip cookie?! It’s my favorite sweet to eat, so I can be quite picky. When developing a recipe, I was looking for very specific things that I think make the best chocolate chip. It had to be chewy, yet crispy on the edges with a nice caramelized top and big chunks of chocolate chips with cracks running through the cookie. I think our cookie is pretty awesome.”


The 411:

b. Patisserie, 2821 California Street (Lower Pacific Heights); pastries and sandwiches, open Tuesday-Sunday, closed Monday.

Photo credit: Candice Ng

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