Zagreb is set to boom from one to five or six great pastry shops, which is significant progress worth cheering for
Until recently one could pine over how Zagreb had no solid bakery, while great cakes where confined to the veteran pastry shop Orient. On the other hand, the baking industry is among the most successful economic sectors, with a constant growth of turnover, income and jobs. It seems that quantity has, slowly and modestly, begun turning into quality.
In Zagreb, there are suddenly not one, but three really good pastry shops. They are the Time by pastry chef Robert Hromalić, causing sweet curiosity with his five to six types of lovely cakes (a raspberry ball with chestnut noodles is the current hit). It is especially beneficial that Time is due to open another location in the centre, with a programme expanded with viennoiserie pastries.
Then next is the Orient, whose consistency and quality we were convinced of again these days, tasting their excellent chocolate chestnuts: the chestnut season, along with the ice cream season, is Orient’s forte.
The third is the recently opened La Marquise in Rebar Street, whose French and Croatian owners plan an express expansion to two more addresses close to the centre. La Marquise is a pastry shop which convincingly handles basic French genres, from croissants to éclairs, which we really didn’t have in Zagreb so far, except in one or two luxury hotels like the Esplanade. If Time and La Marquise manage to open their new locations, Zagreb will boom from one to five or six great pastry shops, which is significant progress worth cheering for.
Speaking of bakeries, the good news is that Korica in Preradovićeva, the only Zagreb craft bakery, has survived the most sensitive first business period. Their dark breads and still quite fine, while the baguettes are irresistible.
It is also interesting that O’Hara has begun baking bread, which can bring excellent results, considering the perfectionist passion of Marin Vanjak towards bread dough. It is important to note here that the breadmaking skill in Zagreb, instead of from bakeries, is actually expanding from restaurants, so some of them make the best breads we’ve tasted in Croatia, such as a very dark, dense and sour bread used as a starter for 16 years. Bakeries and patisseries have so far, in the gastro segment of the Croatian food industry and catering, been strangely neglected, considering the market has potentially very many consumers. Thus it is a joy that this scene has started changing.
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