Some may have a sentimental adoration for Exquise’s first home in Rumah Cokro, Menteng, a home-like patisserie decorated with a mural of the Parisian street and a trail of flowers framing the doorway (the latter is a running theme at Exquise’s Kelapa Gading and Gading Serpong branch). But the well-known French-inspired patisserie, which was recently awarded the Jakarta Tourism Award 2022, wants to bring another kind of experience to its name.
Came Exquise’s new residence in Gunawarman, setting itself apart with a bistro concept while bringing over its mainstays of gateaux and French pastries—which founder Andrye Setiawan and his team of pastry chefs have whisked and continuously explored since 2014—closer to the central area. No signs of the brand’s characteristic flowy flowers anywhere, instead, the delectable design of teal-coloured sofas, gold-rimmed furnishings and pretty ornaments make it known that those who come here will want to delight in more than just the pastry and confectionery on offer.
Exquise’s classic cakes with their Parisian personalities—the bold Pierre chocolate mousse and the spirited Emilie mango mousse—still find their way to the hearts of regular customers, while experimental ones like the street snack twist of Jasuke (jagung susu keju or corn, milk and cheese) and the Choco Passion Andaliman infused with the native spice in passion fruit ganache and cream, spark a quirky taste.
The bistro experience falls on Exquise’s newly-released menu that one can only find at the Gunawarman home. From the warmth of the truffle mushroom soup and all-day breakfast to the choices of fulfilling pasta and fried rice, offerings here nod to both local and international comfort dishes, a selection that doesn’t make one scratch their head for their unfamiliarity.
In one corner, a group of mothers waiting for their children to finish school take photos of their outfit of the day; in another corner, a duo of businessmen in their batik blouses settle comfortably on the sofa with their cups of coffee and a plate of croissants. Tying the experience together, it may be easy to brush off the look of the new bistro as something “too feminine” or “too on the nose” with its French inspiration, but Exquise’s own charm naturally draws both the expected and unexpected crowds, making for a pleasant environment to linger and return to.