located at 40 rue de Debblyeme in the Marais district, Paris.
great little cafe hidden away from the chaos of paris. this is hidden in terms of location, but I suppose it really is a sort of open secret – we had to wait for nearly twenty minutes in order to get a table for four, and the tiny cafe was lined with tables and hipster-type parisians.
it was only after going to the bakery and doing a bit of research – as any self-assuming food blogger would do – that I found out that this place has incredible internet presence, turning up a torrent of blog posts – even from dorie greenspan and clothilde – and that it was open by a french-british couple who decided to emulate the british cafes so prevalent in london. I’ve already written much about my love for these establishments, and so it ought to come to no surprise that I rather liked this cafe. I do have to say though, that it’s very apparent that the environ and food are meant to be of the british-cafe-sort (as I see it in my mind), it is very clear that you are nowhere in the UK.
there is something about british hospitality that the french can’t compete with – and I’m not sure they want to. this is, of course, from a foreigner’s perspective, but since I am such in both the UK and france, it does allow me to make comparisons. I would compare rose bakery to daylesford organic in the UK, especially in terms of aesthetic and the kind of food served, but there just is a warmth lacking here. where you would see yummy mummys and little kids in the UK, the cafe was filled instead with trendy hipster french people – and the waitresses were aloof though efficient. I think you (and I) would be more comfortable here if you spoke french and/or lived in france, but as with many places in paris you do feel that sense of being-held-at-arm’s-length. this sentiment is my own, and though we have had loads of good experiences outside paris and with individual parisians though, my overall feel of paris is that you are ever-so-slightly overlooked if you’re not local.
in any case – those opinions are peripheral to the food, which is really what you’re here for, aren’t you? the bakery was truly welcoming in terms of its spread, with colourful salads and beautiful vegetables laid out, as well as an array of loaf cakes and quiches. there was an english menu, which made it easier for my parents to order, and what we ended up with was a quiche served alongside a selection of two salads, as well as a rustic and rather gentile version of an english breakfast. the mushroom quiche was tasty enough and still moist, with a buttery pastry, and the salads quite fresh and interesting. We got a shredded carrot salad and a sort of ratatouille, but the salads go on rotation so you might not have the same!
the fried breakfast came with two softly-cookd sunny-side-up eggs, a handful of plump and very tasty button mushrooms, as well as bacon and two halves of a fried tomato. a little oily overall – but you certainly don’t eat a fried english for its health benefits.
despite what sounds like gripe-ing at the beginning, this is a rather lovely cafe in paris, and a nice change from the usual sandwich stops and boulangeries. you eat off brown-paper lined tables in a narrow cafe – with a rather lively ambience – and the food is really quite good. we didn’t have the chance to try the sweet stuff because the servings were generous, and we got a plate of beautiful bread and french butter that we really got into.
p.s. if you don’t take butter – as I usually do not – good bread goes very well with a tiny sprinkle of salt and pepper if vinegar isn’t around.
p.p.s. have a look at that gorgeous fig! they are one of my favourite fruits, and an expensive commodity in singapore since they need to be shipped in, but they were in clear ripe abundance in paris when we visited two weeks ago. there’s just something about that scarlet inside – and I must have eaten more than twenty over the three days we were there.