Bakery by Boris: A Parisian Retreat in Vientiane
Though Bakery By Boris has opened its doors to the public just this month, the good people of Vientiane have been satisfying their sweet tooths with Boris’s distinguished cakes since 2014.
Before the debut of the brick and mortar version of Bakery By Boris, the 27-year-old French pastry chef had been catering to Vientiane’s demand of delicate pastries and skillful cakes out of his professional home bakery. Over the past three years it hasn’t been uncommon for patrons to walk into various cafes within the city and recognize his perfectly portioned cakes glistening from inside their glass cases, just begging to be eaten.
With so many skilled and talented chefs opening up their own patisseries and bakeries across Vientiane, the selection for hand-crafted baked goods has increased in the capital significantly. Nevertheless, I have anticipated the opening of this bakery since the first day I laid, er, teeth on Boris’s decadent three tiered chocolate cake.
The bakery is located in a residential neighborhood down a small alley in Simuang, so when you arrive, the first thing you will notice is how serene and calm it feels. Outdoor seating surrounds the front and side of the building, and tables are invitingly placed under leafy trees to provide shade (a reason to go early, we haven’t encountered any free outdoor seating as of yet).
Upon entering the patissere, you instantly notice how trendy the bakery feels with the partially- exposed high ceilings, the minimalist concrete floors contrasting the white walls, and natural light spilling in from the wall-to-wall windows, with a view of the outdoor garden. Though visually appealing, the acoustics of the establishment does have a downfall; because of the minimal materials used to reach its stylish, raw atmosphere, the echo of the coffee machine and voices of patrons idling by, bounces off the floors and walls making it feel unbearably noisy at times.
This bakery is an Instagrammer’s dream come true (c’mon, you know your food tastes better once social media has seen it), as the pastries look as beautiful stock piled behind the display case as they do sitting on the plate in front of you. In my professional experience ( for those of you who don’t know, I am a self proclaimed professional cake eater. Official title: Eater of Cakes.) what makes Bakery By Boris so appealing is that they provide so many choices when it comes to baked goods.
From cakes to croissants, to cookies to puff pastries stuffed with savory filling, you can be sure everyone in your party will find something that will satisfy their current mood. For an indecisive person, like myself, I relish on not having to face the decision of what I feel like eating until it is in front of me. That being said, Bakery By Boris has been attracting a large number of patrons, and the few times I have shown up on a late Saturday afternoon, most of their inventory has been depleted. So if you decide to drop by on a weekend, this is another reason why you should go early.
On this particular Saturday afternoon, I had no trouble deciding on what I was going to devour, since my all time favorite strawberry cake was beckoning for me as soon as I stepped in the door.
My partner ordered a pain au chocolat (also known as ‘chocolate bread’, made from the same layered dough as a croissant with dark chocolate stuffed in the middle. Once, I called it a ‘chocolate croissant’ and my French roommate nearly had a meltdown) and hot chocolate while I ordered an iced Americano to enjoy with my cake. A staff member quickly cleared off an unoccupied table when he noticed we were scouting for a place to sit. My strawberry cake arrived almost instantly, while my partner’s pain au chocolat arrived a few minutes after being warmed.
My first blissful bite into the silky strawberry cake was sublime. The fresh strawberry slices were draped in a mousse that sweetened the tart fruit perfectly and was textured by a soft sponge cake at the bottom. The chocolate bread had a semi-sweet stick of chocolate planted in the center surrounded by a flaky, light outer texture, not much different from a croissant *ahem*.
We had almost finished eating before our beverages arrived, my iced americano was a bit watered down and the hot chocolate was decent, but nothing to write home about.
The price tag on our afternoon gourmet excursion was about 87,000 KIP, which is reasonable given the quality of ingredients and the skillset it takes to construct these intricate flavors. I will absolutely return to Bakery By Boris despite the coffee needing some improvement and the noise level being slightly bothersome. It still has an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere and view, delicious pastries, and excellent service.
Bakery By Boris opens daily Tuesday-Sunday from 7AM-6PM and is closed on Mondays. If you are going towards Simuang temple, count the second alley on the left after the Honda dealership. If you are coming from Simuang temple, turn left into the alley before Nuno balloons, there is minimal parking available for a few cars and motorbikes. If you are on foot, or bicycle, you can enter through the front of the bakery, the first alley on the left after Honda.
For more inquiries into Bakery By Boris please visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/bakerybyboris/ or call 020 77 792 228.