Donna Sue Robson is a freelance writer and essayist specialising in the arts, Latin dance; & natural & alternative therapies for people and pets. Check out her own energy-healing consultancy and boutique natural products at www.jamienatural.com
Published September 8th 2016
Satisfy coffee cravings and French-dessert addictions
Monsieur Spoon's croissants are authentically 'French', in terms of their recipes, techniques and traditional selections.
Monsieur Spoon is a first class French patisserie and coffee house with cafés in Ubud, Seminyak, Canggu and Umalas, Bali. Like many Westerners, my craving for a real, authentic café latte, led me straight to their Ubud bakehouse. With Wi-Fi access, Monsieur Spoon is a great 'breakie' stop, or equally recommended as a place for an early morning caffeine fix after a traditional Balinese breakfast at your home-stay or hotel. French and European breakfasts are popular breakfast choices at Monsieur, and the menu includes familiar favourites such as crepes, eggs on toast and eggs with salmon.
Desserts, coffee and cakes are not high on the Balinese or Indonesian cuisine agenda. Indonesian cooking has strong links to spices and savoury dishes are its heroes. Most Balinese desserts are fruit-based, or involve some sort of pancake, jelly or fritter. Not so French cuisine, whose desserts and pastries never fail to delight the sweet-toothed. I take my hat off to the Balinese, who have once again found the whole in the market and created the Monsieur Spoon chain to satisfy Western addictions and home-sickness for European-style desserts, cakes, breads and coffees.
Pastries come in two sizes: the 'petit four' that is a perfect accompaniment to coffee 'because you can't resist and don't really need it'; or the full single-serve size for around AUD$4. It is inexpensive by Western standards but an absolute indulgence by Balinese. The 'a la carte' patisserie includes: macarons, lemon meringue pies, strawberry custard tarts, chocolate slices and an impressive variety of sweet croissants such as chocolate, almond and custard.
Fresh bread is hard to find in Bali. To have a French bakery, with crusty, light sourdough, multi-grain and wholegrain varieties satisfies Western cravings.
Fresh bread is hard to find in Bali. Most of the time, bread comes as sliced loaves and has a high percentage of sugar. To have a French bakery, with home-baked crusty, light sourdough, multi-grain and wholegrain loaves is a real traveller's treat. Many travellers in villa-style accommodation call in to buy their bread for the week. Monsieur Spoon also has an extensive selection- in breads, savouries and sweets, that are low-sugar and gluten-free. They even serve wheat-grass shots for new-age, health-conscious globe trotters.
The selection of coffee follows the standard Western menu and includes: espresso, macchiato, long black and latte, all for between AUD$2.30-$3.00. Coffee is presented on a wooden tray with a glass of water, befitting the French reputation for service and a commitment to stand-alone coffee menus.
A real expresso or latte is a highly sought-after delicacy that the Western pallet just cannot replace.
There are hand-made savoury treats and special meal-deals. No French patisserie would be 'true' without a quiche selection- there is salmon, Lorraine and vegetarian- as well as croque-monsieur and sandwiches that highlight Monsieur Spoon's own loaves and creations. There is a salad menu triumphed by the world-famous 'Nicoise' as well as all-day duo-deals such as a plain croissant with coffee. Monsieur Spoon opens at 7 am and serves the complete menu until closing time at 9 pm.
Monsieur Spoon promotes the Western practice of 'brunch' with a smorgasbord-style selection of savouries, sweets and beverages on one Sunday per month at each location. The all-you-can-eat brunch is AUD$15 per person and is a perfect indulgence for singles wanting to meet people, couples looking for a romantic 'morning after', and of course, larger groups who want a taste of home without fuss or rush.
The set-up of Monsieur Spoon is as stylish as its food and coffee.
For children, there are cooking classes which are also AUD$15 per person. Young people 14 and under can learn the French art of pastry making and eat the rewards! Not only is this a great fun and delicious activity for kids, but adults can have a leisurely uninterrupted 'coffee or two' on site, while the kids are entertained.
Monsieur Spoon is proving popular in Ubud. Western tourists come for coffee, cake, buffet brunches and take-away bread loaves and treats.
My love affair with Indonesia started over 20 years ago when I learnt Bahasa at school and University. Nowadays, my brother lives in Lovina, and I was there on holiday 2 weeks ago to see him and to experience his new life. I have a couple of skills- writing and photography- to try to be able to fund regular trips, and also spent some time setting up contacts to run a couple of my Healing courses there (Oct next year, in Ubud, Lovina and Bedugul). I am trying to 'live more globally' to get the best of what the world has to offer, and extend my own business so that family connections remain strong. I hope to be able to visit and do work over there every six months- or at least annually. Who knows- but that's the plan. The other areas of interest are Paris (perfume and natural therapies) and Buenos Aires (Tango) - so we'll just have to see what happens! Thank you for your curiousity! It is a gift that drives the world! :)
If you are in Nusa Dua looking for a real coffee, French pastries, desserts and fresh baked bread go to Pause Cafe at the Novotel (nusa dua- not benoa) prices are cheap, and food lovely. Kids from the kids club come in once a week for a cooking session. Tucked away at the back entrance to the resort. Great little place to Pauae over a macchiato and almond croissant! Tess from Brisbane.
Great article. Love your tips. If you are in Nusa Dua looking for a real coffee, French pastries, desserts and fresh baked bread go to Pause Cafe at the Novotel (nusa dua- not benoa) prices are cheap, and food lovely. Kids from the kids club come in once a week for a cooking session. Tucked away at the back entrance to the resort. Great little place to Pauae over a macchiato and almond croissant! Tess from Brisbane.