Article By Haytham
South Gate, Xi’an Concert Hall, Yanta South Road.
9:30am – 10:00pm
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 57RMB
PROS: Excellent quality pastries
CONS: Not enough room in my stomach to try everything!
To conclude this review into a single sentence, it would be “Vive la France.”
That is to say, the magnificence of the dessert served at Très has my ultimate admiration. If there is one thing I know about fine dining, it would be cakes and desserts. Back in my days in Singapore, I would go to the same café behind my hostel and order a red velvet lava cake or a matcha lava cake with a cup of espresso to work on my literature paper. I would order my milk tea with 150% of sugar—to hell with a healthy lifestyle—and explain to everyone that sugar is the fuel of brains. I have studied dessert books and tried just about every luxury hotel’s afternoon tea wherever I’ve lived.
The owner of this dessert salon, Liu Qian, was graduated from Ferrandi Paris, a school dedicated to cultivating top pastry chefs and tops Le Cordon Bleu. The latter is more famed, but lost in this round. When she finished her studies, she worked with the top chefs in the industry before returning to China to pursue her own career. This would mean that you have the chance to try authentic French desserts like Galette des Rois, a round cake made with just butter, flour and eggs but melts in your mouth. The first problem Liu Qian met was that the Chinese people have adopted the Yangsheng tradition and refuse to eat cakes that are too sweet. We follow trending Internet celebrities and buy cakes or desserts more to take pictures to post on social media accounts. The result would be a near-extinction to genuine dessert shops.
To judge food, there are three dimensions to consider-taste, texture and appearance. The Exotique provided in Très has got it all. Dip fresh pineapple slices in caramelised mango and passion fruit juice, heat up and transfer the essence of the fruitiness into the small chunks to complete the filling of this cake. Liu Qian puts it on a coconut base and wraps it around with coconut mousse to finish. She could not give a precise description to the general taste, but she said that the ingredients “spell summertime.” I finished the cake myself and I felt the summer in my breath even after I left.
The Très Salon de Thé is located at the southern end of the Xian Concert Hall, right in the centre of Qujiang. Compared to the commercial areas around it, there is a sense of isolation from the performers, the crowd and the smell of coins. The colour and lighting tone is bright and comforting, and the service is everything I could ask for: you would not notice the waiters, but they are there to fulfill every request. Before Très opened, this place was a Jazz café that I enjoyed for years. There were few customers then and I was a bit worried while enjoying the quiet atmosphere. My worries came true, the last store finally decided to close up and I was a bit hostile toward Très. Très’ food quality and style has turned me around and won my loyalty, and now I must do my part to make sure it does not end the same way as the last one.
Haytham works for MI6, KGB, CIA and Beijing, reviewing for Xianease with every sexy assassin Trump sends by his side.