After all, life’s a bit boring if you go through it blindly ignoring the opinions of people you respect.
Which brings me to Cocorico Patisserie on Whitchurch Road.
The last time I visited this French patisserie back in 2012, I was distinctly underwhelmed.
However, since then I’ve heard fantastic thing after fantastic thing from friends and acquaintances.
And with a recent relocation to brand new premises a few doors down from their previous place, I was long overdue a revisit.
Unsurprisingly, it was bloody lovely.
The new shop is a dramatic improvement upon the previous incarnation. Modern, airy and minimalist, it’s more posh Parisian patisserie than run of the mill Gabalfa cafe.
A display cabinet running the length of the shop is laden with sweet treats I’d gobble with gusto. Intricate pastries, chocolates, macarons and entremets have all been made with great skill by Frenchman Laurian Veaudour and his team.
With a bigger kitchen in their new shop, Cocorico now serve an expanded brunch and lunch menu which includes technical sounding dishes like soy & shaoxing marinated mackerel (£6.10) with salted cucumber and wasabi mayo on squid ink focaccia.
I ordered a golden pretzel bun filled with tender chicken (£6.10), sweet wood roasted red peppers, smoky and creamy chorizo slaw and a few leaves. The knotted bun was top drawer and it’s easy to see why it’s the roll of choice for local barbecue legends Hang Fire Smokehouse.
A flat white was on the nail.
For dessert, I ordered a tarte au chocolate (£3.10). Crisp chocolate pastry was filled with a layer of sticky salted caramel, nutty pecan praline and glossy chocolate ganache. Oofh.
Of course I had to take a few treats for the road. I fully intended to savour them over a couple of days. In reality, I snaffled them within the hour.
Cocorico have only been making macarons (£1.20) for the last few weeks and I’m glad to say they can hold their own against the best of them.
Standouts included strawberry filled with jam, chocolate, and peanut butter ganache - it was like the best peanut butter and jelly sandwich ever. Equally memorable were a fragrant tonka bean variety filled with a thick layer of salty caramel and a creamy white chocolate number.
A cracking Paris-Brest (£2.70) saw light and golden choux pastry filled with crunchy praline and a sweet caramelised hazelnut cream. A banana eclair (£2.50) was delicious but not as memorable. Crisp pastry, vanilla flecked custard, banana icing and dehydrated banana shards all combined well.
I was wrong, Cocorico kicks ass and I can’t wait to explore more of their delights.
Address - Cocorico Patisserie, 35 Whitchurch Road, Cardiff CF14 3JP
Telephone - 02921 328 177