In Bali there are many surprises. A local Balinese blesses a road intersection. An expat opens a combination barbershop / felafel stand. A kite falls from the sky, into your backyard.
And now there’s Esperluette, a white on white cafe on a nondescript street, popping into existence like a sweet summer dream. Confidently run by Nina, a graduate of the famed Le Cordon Bleu pastry and management programs in, you guessed it, Paris, France. Our little town of Pererenan can now be known — in addition to being the quiet neighbor of busy Canggu — as a pastry paradise.
Nina’s dad has had experience in entrepreneurial ventures in Bali, but now it’s Nina’s time to shine. Her courage to fling her cafe’s doors open during a pandemic is a testament to her belief in her abilities (and her family’s unwavering support).
For my first pastry I decided on a something that looked like a coconut snow ball, and it was a glorious choice. With a marshmallow-like texture and a mango jam-like center, dressed with tiny coconut flakes, it was delectable! Sitting on top was a couple of slices of dried coconut so that you can remember you’re not sitting in front of a real snowball 🙂 Under the ball is crunchy pastry dough that pleasantly enhances the creme-like experience.
I decided to come back the next morning for something warm, and chose a classic: French Toast. It proved to be a wise decision, as the bread was hefty with a rich egg and milk (and maybe some cream?) mixture. If there’s one thing I can’t stand is French Toast where the bread barely touches the egg mixture, making the center of the bread dry. Not to worry, Nina has trained her staff well!
The caramelized pineapple toppings with a touch of cinnamon was the perfect addition to make this the best French Toast I have ever had in Bali. And in my top 5 worldwide!
The atmosphere of the cafe is intimate, with outdoor and loft-like spaces buttressed by steel containers. The cool white look doesn’t leave you cold. On the contrary it’s a very relaxing setting.
And more good news: the menu will never become tiresome, as there are weekly pastry specials.