Shanghai | Farine Bakery
Restaurateur Franck Pecol finally opened his latest venture in Ferguson Lane, Wukang Rd - a classic French Baker, Farine. As an artisanal French bakery, Farine bakes everything in-house using imported stone ground flour. Besides fresh bakeries, Farine also makes premium fresh roasted coffee. It has been my favorite bakery in town since its grand opening years ago, their croissant and baguette are still the best in town.
Last Visit: August.15. 2015
Address: 378 Wukang Rd. near Tai’an Rd, Ferguson Lane, Xuhui 徐汇区武康路378号,近泰安路
Hours: 7am-8pm daily
When Farine firstly opened years ago, 90% of the customers are white people. Now even Shanghai old aunties love to grab a baguette here. The spot is quite crowded no matter on weekends or weekdays, but certainly less people during weekdays.
My sister hates Madeleine kinds of 'cakey' desserts, but she is crazy for Farine's Madeleine and Vistitandine. The moist and soft texture with moderate sweetness is really irrestitable. Farine also sells homemade (seasonal) Rhubarb Jam and Granola (30 CNY), which are ideal for a nourishing breakfast.
You have to try Farine's tarts. I am sure there's something for you: Cheesecake (40), Caramel Chocolate Tart (40), Lemon Passion Tart (35), Apple Tart (40), Banana Chocolate Tart (40), etc. Besides, seasonal tarts such as Raspberry (45), Rhubarb, Strawberry, Summer Fruit Tarts are also available up to the season's best produce.
I am not a big fan of chocolate and caramel desserts, i have tried most of the tarts besides those. I loved their Raspberry Tart and Strawberry Tarts (each 45 CNY), the tart base was buttery and very delicious. Sponge layers in between were airy and 'eggy'. The fresh fruits brought a refreshing touch and balance well. Chocolate lovers must try their Chocolate & Banana Tart (40 CNY), which is one of the best sellers at Farine. If you prefers more sour ones, try the Lemon Passion Tart (40 CNY). The rich and creamy filling with a balanced sweet and sour flavor never fails. Very view bakeries in Shanghai sells Rhubarb Tart (40 CNY) , Farine is one of them and probably the best one. Cheesecake (40 CNY) is not a classical French dessert, but it is no doubt a must for a complete afternoon tea. It is pretty smooth and more on the sour side.
Not in a mood to eat sweets? No worries, Farine's savories are pretty well done as well. Popular items includes Quiche of the Day (40 CNY), Sandwiches (35-40 CNY) and savory breads.
I have tried most of their sourdough,too, which is very 'real' - heavy, crusty outlayers and soft inside. The crust might be a bit hard for some people, but its chewy texture is almost the same as those in Paris. The breads are pricy, but definitely worth the money.
You have never ever been to Farine if you haven't tried their signature coissants, which is said the best in town. The classical Butter Croissant (14 CNY) with a buttery flavor and flutty texture is die for. Chocolate Croissant (18 CNY) is an alternative choice in case butter croissant is sold out.
Some people may complain their breads (crust) were too hard, but that's what the best breads should be. Most of the large breads are sold in 1/2, 1/4 and very few people purchase a whole. In case you cannot finish the freshest breads in time (maybe several days?), get the smaller ones. Beaujolais priced at 5 CNY each is a bit pricey, but my personal favorite. I also loved their Figs & Walnut (15 CNY).
There are only limited seats inside which can fits no more than 10 people. The outdoor area is probably too hot for the burning summer in Shanghai, ideal for spring and autumn, but it is not surprise to see it is fully occupied even on weekdays.
Besides the breads, Farine also serves savories such as quiche and sandwiches. I loved their tarts a lot, the seasonal rapspberry has a buttery base and airy sponge cake, the cream was rich yet not too heavy. Strawberry tart is served during spring time, now they also serve peach tart and rhubarb tart during summer.
Choux a la creame, which is cream puff, is another highly recommend dessert at Farine. I ordered it every time i visit here, unless it was sold out. Once i had quequed up for 10 more minutes, and the lazy in front of me bought all the puffs for the day, as well as tones of tarts and breads, probably for a party. Honest crusty pastry, with a lighter inside. The vanilla cream is very light and creamy. Lovely one.
Farine also offers nice coffee. I am not a coffee fan and don't know coffee very well. But my coffee-addictive friends high recommend their coffee.
The people here speak English well but the service standard is similar to fast-food standard, and really depends on who is serving you. Don't complain too much as its quite common in China, anyway they don't charge service fee. I will always come back, Farine :)