French Pastry has always been the birth place for desserts and its world. Every western dessert you eat today has its base from France. But with the coming trends, the visibility of classical desserts have been vanished. The reason being simple, competition and hunger to sustain yourself in the market by meeting the present needs of the people. Chef Anees has come up with one such concept called Star Anise which is a standalone patisserie, viennoiserie and boulangerie, specializing in French desserts in Bandra. He has played an important role in rejuvenating the existence of classical french desserts and pastries along with fusion ones as well. Star Anise acts like a gateway which will take you to completely different dimensional world of French Pastries, Key to that gateway is Bandra
It offers artisanal Italian and French breads, homemade jams and dips, organic wild honey, and a savory menu that has flavours from North Africa, Sri Lanka and Egypt, too. Ever Bread present on the shop floor is freshly baked. Chef Anees ensures that none of his customers should get a product which is not of the highest quality. That’s the reason he runs his Pastry shop at very high food cost Percentage. When asked does that affect profits? he answers without a thought stating ” French pastries & breads are suppose to be rich and my customers should feel richness while having them”.
Few things you need to know about – Master Chef
Now came the most interesting and more awaited part – Tasting, bring it on! Everything looked interesting and delicious, but still I went with the chefs choice as I wanted to taste what he wanted me to taste. Trolled?
P.S -Always go with Chefs choice.
Chicken Pesto Calzone (95 Rs)
A puff stuffed with mixture of chicken, olives, tomato, pesto sauce and mozzarella cheese. The calzone was crusty from outside and full of flavours from inside and garnished with little cheese & chilli flakes. The chicken used in the mixture was moist and not dry, very well seasoned. The pesto sauce added the unique flavour profile to the entire dish.
Harissa chicken croissant (110 Rs)
My chef always told me that if you want to judge any Pastry or Bakery outlet then order for 2 things , one is croissant and another one is macaroons. All the macaroons were sold out so couldn’t manage to get them but croissant yes I did. They use Elle & vire butter for making all their breads and breakfast rolls, which gives a better & richer product as compared regular butter. The croissants were crisp from outside, flaky from inside and distinct layers could be seen when cut through.
Aimee (195 Rs)
It’s not a classical dessert, this pastry is named & dedicated by Chef Anees after his ex colleague who use to work hard with him in pastry kitchen then. The Aimee is termed asbshow stopper at Star Anise! Very light dessert but creamy with dominating flavour of raspberry stuffed inside with white couverture creameux. It also had a hint of lychee which made the dessert more refreshing.
Le Petit St Antoine
It tasted extremely delicious, star of the day for me. I couldn’t stop my self from finishing it entirely. It was presented very well, it actually showed the skills of the team he has. The flavour profile and combination was bang on. Lastly it was killer and Chef Anees has nailed it with this one. The nutty flavour of hazelnut added extra value to the dessert.
Homemade Jams (165Rs – 215 Rs)
This pastry shop is like a Demart, you enter look around collect all the required things, pay and walk off. Every single product is displayed on the shop floor in a very effective way. Home made jams are trending like crazy in the market, firstly because of freshness and secondly no use of additives. Chef Anees has 6 home made jams to offer that are made organically from fresh fruits and vegetables.
Spiced mango & Kaffir lime jam -Fresh mangoes have been processed during the season and are used accordingly when ever required, no artificial flavourings are used for this jam. The classical combination of mango and chilli was bang on but with the dash of Kaffir lime it took it to completely different level. My star for the day.
Crackling orange & apricot marmalade -Sweet and Tangy jam with zesty flavour. Orange zest has been incorporated which is being blanched in sugar syrup thus making it edible to add texture to the jam.
Homemade strawberry jam – Fresh strawberries slowly cooked on flame with spices creating a perfect blend of jam. Best option for kids.
Melon & star anise jam -Another innovation that turned out well for me, combination never tried before. Do pick one when you visit.
P.S – This jam couldn’t go wrong because it has Brands name in it, are you serious? That’s why everything on the menu is fabulous.
Watermelon, green apple & rosemary jam – My 2nd favourite jam on the menu. Each flavour did stand out how it should without over powering one another. Sweetness of watermelon , sourness of green apple and the aroma of rosemary created wonders with the jam.
Sweet chilli & red pepper jam -A Perfect blend which can be used in sandwiches. Sweetness of pepper and spiciness of chilli will do the rest.
Star Anise, as I said is like a demart it has some amazing collection of Tea and Coffee. While your order is getting packed you can just grab one and relax. Innovative way of making sugar sachets – cones stuffed with brown sugar. Another feature that makes this place worth a visit is that they have a collection of coffee table books which are specially kept for people who want to spend sometime in the outlet. Which Pastry shop does that? Small things that make a difference. Well thought, kudos to team Star Anise. Few More Collection to offer
Rasberry mousse, melon creme, melon caviar, flavoured with thyme on a lime shortbread cookie
Banana, Mango and coconut creme on pecan nut banana bread.
Clafoutis baked freshly with almond custard, blueberries on a cinnamon & lime shortcrust.
Baked sour cherries crumble tart with vanilla creme patisserie, almond cream, cinnamon & lime soil crust.
Creamy chocolate hazelnut tart with roasted hazelnut nibs, recommended for Nutella fans!!!
Luscious caramel, crème cheese and condensed milk go into the making of this French cheesecake with chocolate soil.
Chef’s pick: white chocolate, spiced pistachio brittle & passion fruit mousse.
Star Anise Patisserie – Shop 2A, 264 Geeta Niketan, Next to Shoppers Stop, Linking Road, Bandra West, Mumbai 400050