Queues start at 6am on opening day of French pastry chef Cedric Grolet’s debut store at Como Orchard
Famed French pastry chef Cedric Grolet’s store opening at Como Orchard on Thursday saw a constant queue of about 80 people to buy his pastries and cakes.
The first person started queueing at 6am, and the line grew to 80 people by the time the patisserie opened at 8.30am.
There were also separate queues for those who had made a booking to dine at the 40-seat space and those who had reserved cakes online.
Cedric Grolet Singapore – the chef’s first Asian outpost – is located on the first floor of Como Orchard, a 19-storey building next to Paragon.
The menu here features an array of viennoiseries including his famous croissant ($8), pain au chocolat ($10), Pain Suisse ($16) and Parisian flan ($14).
His hyper-realistic cakes that resemble real fruit and are available for pre-order include Lychee ($26), Dragonfruit ($26) and the seasonal Mooncake ($52 for two) – his innovative creation which includes crunchy peanut praline, banana bread and caramel gel encased in a thin milk chocolate shell.
Pair the desserts with coffee (from $8), tea (from $12) or champagne (from $29).
Staff stopped the takeaway queue at noon, and those who remained in line were told there was a “50-50” chance of getting to buy anything.
That did not matter to Mrs Aileene Thangaveloo, who is in her mid-50s and the founder of and chief consultant for marketing consultancy TripNTravel Marketing Services.
She had been in the queue since 9.30am and managed to snag a photo when Grolet, 38, emerged briefly to greet customers and apologise for the wait.
She also gave him a painting that she did of one of his pear desserts. After five hours, she managed to score two cakes.
She told The Straits Times: “I have followed and been an admirer of his work for several years. I couldn’t get any reservations online, so I planned to come on opening day to see him and decided I had to paint something for him.”
The Frenchman, often lauded as the world’s best pastry chef with 8.4 million followers on Instagram, has two other shops in Paris and one in London.
Como Orchard also houses the Como Group’s 156-room Como Metropolitan Singapore hotel, as well as its wellness brand Como Shambala and multi-label fashion boutique Club 21.
Art teacher Chen Jia Qi, 27, who was not able to get his hands on Grolet’s cakes in Paris, managed to pre-order two sets of the Mooncake, one Paris Brest Flower and one Lychee cake here.
He said: “The queue was very long in Paris, so when I knew that Cedric Grolet was opening here, I had to buy them.”
Student Timothy Chua, 14, who had been in line since 8am with just $28 to spend, emerged gleefully from the store at noon with one Dragonfruit cake, and his bag signed by the chef.
He showed ST his wefie with chef Grolet and said he would return for his original plan to buy a croissant and pain au chocolat.
He said: “I have wanted to become a chef since I was in Primary 2. I started getting into baking and love to watch chef Grolet’s videos. He is the only pastry chef I look up to. My wait was worth it.”
Another student, Clarissa Lee, 18, managed to buy a Pain Suisse and Parisian flan. She started queuing from 7.45am and entered the store at around 10am.
She said: “The madeleines were the best I ever had, I almost cried.
“For the brand, quality and the whole experience, it is worth the price and the wait. I would return to dine here if I get the chance.”
- Cedric Grolet Singapore opens daily from 8.30am to 6pm at Level One Como Orchard, 28/30 Bideford Road.