Farine Bakery – A Piece of France in Shanghai, China
Farine Bakery is an upscale French bakery owned by French chef Franck Pecol in the Xuhui District of Shanghai. This bakery is a godsend for any Western expat in Shanghai who craves excellently made artisan bread and pastries. The staff could crank out solid cups of espresso-based drinks, especially for this New Yorker spoiled by the Third Wave movement. All of their dairy and flour is organic and imported from France.
The light and open space features a glass counter down one side, a small coffee bar and a handful of bar stools for customers who want to eat in. There is a deck with communal seating for those who want to dine outside. It feels like a piece of urban part of Paris in Shanghai and cares about creating and selling the best possible baked goods and caffeine to the locals and expats.
My family and I wanted a mix of sweet and savory for our breakfast so we shared out a wonderfully chewy and flavorful olive roll that had a delicate crust. The kouig amann was incredibly buttery and have the desired crackly, deeply caramelized crust. The buttery, flaky croissant was great and my mother wanted to keep the whole thing to herself.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, they do have a very good coffee program. The espressos (they don’t sell drip here) are brewed well. Fruity, bright and the beans aren’t burnt. The milk used here is the same as what they use in their pastries.
The savory options we chose were the quiche Lorraine and the croque monsieur. The staff was more than happy to warm these for us and they were delicious. The quiche was flavorful and the crust was substantial enough to hold up the filling. The croque was based on a slice of their signature bread, Le Pain de Franck topped with ham and delicious mixture of cheeses.
We finished off our breakfast with two sweet notes — the apple tart and cheesecake. The apple tart looked like glistening amber jewels in the pastry case that I needed to order one and it was indeed delectable. Not too sweet and the apples were soft enough to be cooked through but not mushy. The cheesecake was a favorite mostly to the males of my family. Not too sweet and dense, creamy cheesecake lined with poached apples on the bottom to make it a slightly complex cheesecake.
This bakery is a piece of France for me despite being in one of Shanghai’s French Concession districts that are premier residences and houses ambassadors.
To view more photos of this visit, please CLICK HERE or view the gallery below:
Chinese address: 徐汇区武康路378号1楼, 近泰安路
Phone: +86 21 6126 7661
Hours: 7 AM to 8 PM