Ten-Second Takeaway

The best éclairs in town – and possibly in the country – have to be ordered specially from a weekend delivery service based in Bandra.

Where To Get Them

Food Boutique is a weekend delivery service run out of the Bandra home of Pia Promina Dasgupta. What makes the éclairs even more priceless is that they’re not even on the regular bakery menu. They can only be ordered on request, and only when Dasgupta has the time to personally make – not supervise, or oversee – them herself.

Dasgupta has been making these éclairs since she was a 17-year-old in Calcutta whose mother encouraged baking as a way to keep her out of trouble. She started with a small counter at Park Street’s Hobby Centre. Along with the larger audience came stiff competition – Kolkata legend Flurys was just down the road. Being more generous with cream stuffing and a better chocolate topping led to Dasgupta’s éclairs being priced at a whopping fifty paisa more. Still, she outsold Flurys with regularity.

Now, Dasgupta, besides running the delivery service in Bandra, is also the founding chef of Kewpies, the Mecca of Bengali cuisine and probably the world’s best Bengali restaurant. Even the likes of Gaggan Anand go there to get their fill of pabda maach and shukto when in Kolkata. She also supplies Nature’s Basket with a lot of their fantastic cakes and cookies.

Today, her éclairs are the most satisfying, if not the best, éclairs this author has ever eaten.

Why Are They So Good?

What exactly makes these éclairs so good? We visited her Bandra bakery to find out.

To start with, Dasgupta uses an old French recipe for her choux pastry. This recipe has five versions, but the baker uses the one without any machinery involved: it’s just Dasgupta and her wooden spoon. The choux mixture has to be weightless before piping. While baking, she keeps a close eye to ensure that the éclair crisps, but doesn’t harden. Lastly, the chocolate must be tempered with care so that it can envelop the choux pastry which is now swollen with cream.

This results in an éclair which has a melt-in-your-mouth, chocolaty softness, but with just the lightest, most delicate crunch. Sure, the likes of La Folie and Le 15 do make delicious and inventive choux pastry offerings, but at the end of the day, none of their offerings are nearly as satisfying or as nostalgia-filled {only the Goriawala chocolate cake in Girgaum might compare} as this éclair.

Price: One eclair sells for INR 100. Delivery charges are INR 100 for delivery across Mumbai, INR 150 for Navi Mumbai and Thane. You can also pick up directly from the bakery.

Timings: 8am to 8pm. Order one day in advance.

Photos: Athul Prasad/LBB