Monforte Viennoiserie – a tiny, two-metre-by-five-metre patisserie – opened quietly in the middle of 2020. And it’s been going gangbusters ever since.
Viennoisieries are a family of pastries made with laminated dough, which includes the croissant. You’ll find plenty of them at Monforte, as well as pains au chocolat and danishes. But much of the menu is made up of esoteric, less-recognisable pastries.
Owner Giorgia McAllister Forte treats viennoiseries as a jumping-off point – they’re vessels for the flavour combinations she’d like to try and whichever ingredients she happens to be obsessed with. You might get one loaded with asparagus, goat’s curd, preserved lemon and hazelnut, or one slathered with ‘nduja, fried walnuts and sage. But even the typically classic pastries go off-piste: there’s a croissant that swaps chocolate for gianduja (basically Nutella), and another that subs out ham and cheese for guanciale, parmesan and thyme.
But one item that can’t – that mustn’t – leave the menu is the leatherwood honey and sea salt croissant. It’s one helluva pastry, glazed with a light-refracting honey gloss and wreathed with fat flakes of salt. An instant classic. You’ll also find gluten-free “not viennoiserie” options, such as strawberry-yuzu muffins and ginger brownies. There’s also batch brew by Everyday Coffee and croissant loyalty cards (remember loyalty cards?) – your eighth is free.
Oh – and make sure to get in early. Monforte almost always sells out of pastries.