Sometimes I don’t feel like having a complicated and substantial experience when I go out. Sometimes, I just want some sweet, sugary and girly which is exactly what Petit Fours Cafe is. They have three branches in and around Johannesburg including Cresta, Kramerville and Bryanston. Each branch is themed around a city, namely Paris, Milan and New York.
Though I can’t attest to the Kramerville and Bryanston branches, the Paris Branch is not obviously Parisian in its decor. It has the customary references to the Effiel Tower and macarons but the shop is more generically pink and floral in its decor. Not that this is a criticism.
The store is split in half with one side housing imported products that one would typically see in a boutique home decor store including (at least according the website) Norwegian crockery and imported linens. At the back of the store is a counter displaying the baked goods on offer for the day.
Everything is carefully decorated as the massive marshmallow spheres surrounding the bakery goods would indicate. Inside the glass domed jars and intricately tiered platters are a number of diverse individually-sized delicacies. To get a feel for the full range, I sampled inter alia a savoury cheesecake, an apple carrot cake, a lemon meringue pie, a tomato and goats cheese quiche and a fruit tart. Some of these I had as a take away while we asked for the lemon meringue pie and tart as a sit down.
Upon entering the other half of the store that constitutes the restaurant, the carefully maintained pinkness definitely hits you full on. There’s no room for subtlety here but it is definitely adorable. Each table is carefully decorated with beautiful and quirky tablecloths and houses fresh flowers in tea pots. It’s all very artsy and girly and, at least in my opinion, tasteful albeit a little on the nose.
The drinks menu is as extensive as the selection of baked goods so it was a little tough to make a decision. In the end I went for the Petit Fours Signature Tea: Hong Kong “Silk Stocking Milky Tea”. I did ask why it was called a silk stoking tea just in case it involved the steeping and filtration method but I can’t quite recall the waitresses answer.
The tea is a lot like the store. It has a level of complexity that is eclipsed by the obvious sweetness which is also enjoyable though it is distracting. My accomplice had a straight forward coffee of some sort and then we ordered a milkshake because neither of us could resist.
There are four “pf milkshakes” and let me tell you, none of them are in the least bit ordinary. No chocolate or artificially flavoured lime milkshakes here. Instead treat your tastebuds to turkish delight & rose water, tiramisu or caramel crunch topped with salted caramel popcorn. Personally I can’t resist a dessert with popcorn but since this was a democracy we went with “creme brûlée” which is served with roasted marshmallows.
The milkshake was ridiculous with the marshmallows being toasted to perfection with a gooey centre and crusty outside. Our desserts were served with a shot glass of cream though I don’t generally partake in this sort of side. Since we went pretty late in the afternoon for a high tea of sorts, we didn’t really have an opportunity to sample any of the foods listed on the lunch or breakfast menus but we did have a gorgeous afternoon tea.
I also took home my other goods The quiche was phenomenal as was the apple carrot cake (it may be my favourite variation yet). Unfortunately the vegetable savoury cheesecake wasn’t particularly in my wheelhouse but perhaps it may be to your tastes.
Overall, an enjoyable afternoon tea full of sugar and girly things.
Verdict: Take your best girl friend there for a sugar injection of note, don’t forget to try the milkshakes!
Petit Fours Paris Cafe can be found at Shop 52A, Heathway Shopping Centre, Blackheath (next to the Cresta Mall)