It’s been just 18 months since Croff opened its flagship outpost on Barrack Street and the boutique croissanterie is already adding to its footprint with a brand new store at Raine Square. Egged on by their most loyal customers, owners Harold Bong and Giselle Sim decided opening a store on the opposite end of the Murray Street Mall would not only better service their patrons on the western end of the pedestrian street, but it would also give them the opportunity to expand their menu and further push the boundaries of croissant making.
The pair has garnered a reputation for revolutionising the French pastry with their loaded Asian-fusion creations. The two stores currently have a repertoire of 12 sweet and savoury croissants, ranging from a rich and spicy beef rendang in a traditional croissant to a gooey, caramel-esque salted egg custard in a striking charcoal pastry. But at the new Raine Square site, which officially opened this morning, the team’s focusing its attention on sandwiches. Specifically, toasted sandwiches made with thick-cut slices of Sim’s light, flaky and buttery “croissant loaf”.
“It’s literally like having a sandwich with buttery layers,” says Sim. “Every bite that you take it's all crunchy, flaky, and full of flavour. It tastes very different than a normal white bread sandwich. In the oven it gets a nice toast and the buttery-ness of the croissant dough gives it a bit more crunch. Basically, whatever you put in it, it tastes amazing.”
“Raine Square is a bit smaller and it's different from what we're doing at Barrack Street,” continues Sim. “We’re rebranding Barrack Street to be more of a dine in and sit-down venue, where people come in to have a nice brunch or lunch menu. With Raine Square, we wanted to expand on our product range to do more sangas in a take-and-go form; kind of like the Japanese form where they just cut them in half and then serve them in a bit of paper, almost like a burger.”
Alongside the expanded sanga menu, plus their selection of inventive croissants and weekly changing fruit danishes, Bong and Sim have introduced a limited-edition croissant – inspired by Prince – to the Raine Square menu for the month of August. “The new flavour is called Purple Rain,” says Sim, who’s hinting at it becoming a permanent menu item should it prove to be a winner. “It’s a purple pastry filled with blueberry coulis with a cream cheese custard, half dipped in blueberry jam and covered in torched meringue and edible blue blossoms. It's oozy and runny, and it’s very pretty. It’s not an Asian-fusion flavour but I feel like you can’t go wrong with blueberry cheesecake.”
Even with the challenges that 2020 and 2021 have thrown at the hospitality industry, Croff has been a resounding success. But Sim is conscious of expanding at a sustainable rate. “We're always exploring and trying to do more, and do new things,” she says. “I wouldn't say we're not opening a third store, but we’ll just see how this one goes first. I think what we’re really trying to focus on is just doing everything well, and not opening too many different stores and trying too many different things at once.”
300 Murray Street, Perth
Mon to Fri 7am–3pm
Sat & Sun 10am–3pm