Le Pain Quotidien: Bondi Junction

Shopping centres aren’t the kind of place that draw me to linger over a meal or my favourite brew. But when I spotted Le Pain Quotidien on my travels to Bondi Junction, I made a mental note to stop next time I needed a caffeine hit.

Le Pain Quotidien
Le Pain Quotidien: Bondi Junction

Located on level 4 Oxford Street Bridge, the overpass above street level with the two retail giants Myer and David Jones on either end, Le Pain Quotidien is an organic bakery and patisserie that serves a good range of breakfast and lunch dishes.

Le Pain Quotidien

French for “daily bread”, Le Pain Quotidien is the brainchild of Alain Coumont, a Belgian chef who opened the first concept store in Brussels in 1990 and soon became a worldwide phenomenon.

The first thing you notice as you go to sit down are the long communal tables on either side that act as a centrepiece and set it apart from other cafés. The philosophy here is to offer a place of conviviality where people share food and conversation whether they are eating alone or with company.

Le Pain Quotidien

The combination of wood furniture and display of wholesome foods on offer provide a warm and welcoming ambience amidst the buzz of the shopping centre. We didn’t choose to try the communal tables this time, deterred by a couple of screaming toddlers and settled for a quieter table for two.

The menu was impressive, particularly the breakfast options. The breads and pastries come with their Belgian praline spread which sounds ever so delectable. Lunch offered wholesome choices with vegetarian options and tartines with delicious fillings. But all this temptation had to wait for another day.

Le Pain Quotidien

Our order was taken with a smile and a dash of enthusiasm, something that I find lends an ambience to an eatery even if it’s a quick coffee stop en route to more shopping. My cappuccino arrived. Nothing like drinking coffee from un bol to transport me back to France, even for a just few minutes. The coffee tasted divine, not too milky or too strong, but with a robust caffeine kick. We shared an espresso chocolate tart that delivered the right balance of coffee to espresso without flooding the tastebuds with a sugary hit.

Le Pain Quotidien
Noisella

Le Pain also sells sweet condiments like the trio of spreads above: Blondie the white chocolate spread, Noir made with black Belgian chocolate and Noisella the saucy temptress with hazelnuts. The more savoury kind include artichoke paste, tomato spread, olive paste and mountain capers. Their selection of organic breads, viennoiseries and tarts peeking from behind the counter ensure another return for a more leisurely brunch or another pause café.

Le Pain Quotidien
Westfield Bondi Junction,
Level 4 Oxford Street Bridge
500 Oxford St
Bondi Junction, Sydney
www.lepainquotidien.com.au

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Le Pain Quotidien: Bondi Junction was last modified: December 20th, 2015 by Corinne Mossati

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Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.

10 Comments:

  1. Hi, is this the same Le Pain Quotidien that’s in NYC?

  2. Wow, coffee looks great.  I find the best coffee per se is secondary to the best Barista.  Here are my top 5 warning signs the coffee will be bad:

    1.  You live East of Leichardt, North of Chatswood or South of Maroubra.  or you live in Qld or WA
    2.  You are asked “do you want a double shot”
    3.  The Barista is NOT youngish, unshaven with trendy clothes
    4.  They have a sign out the front saying they serve Great coffee
    5. You are in a hotel, motel or pub

    • Frank: I see you’re well versed in finding the best baristas! :)
      I agree on the hotel coffee. Even in Italy, some of the worst coffee I’ve had was in hotels. And if you need to advertise that you make good coffee, then it’s dubious. How about young barista girls showing midriff and piercings? The guys at my work never complained about the coffee… but it was always cool and weak.

  3. oops again, meant west of Leichardt

    • Frank: To non-Sydney readers, the locations Frank has mentioned form a circle around the CBD. Anything remote of these areas hasn’t been to his taste in coffee.

  4. Does anyone know where I can buy Noisella in San Francisco?

    • Britton, I’d check their website for contact details, they may be able to provide you with a list of suppliers in San Francisco or nearby.

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