What do you get when you cross a Japanese, a Hong Konger, and a Swede who all love bread? Po’s Atelier.
Located in the ever cosmopolitan city of Hong Kong, Po’s Atelier is, according to its press release, “…a French-Japanese boutique bakery focusing on artisan breads and pastries paired with inspiration from Scandinavia.” Sounds like a delicious combination from our perspective.
Vincent Cheng (Hong Konger) and Jonathan Leijonhufvud (Swede) first started Po’s Atelier as a result of what they perceived as Hong Kong’s “lack of quality bread free of additives and other nasty chemicals.” Though the two come from backgrounds in art direction, design, and photography, they were excited about the challenges of creating a bakery. They were looking for an opportunity to “present their recipes in a unique yet humble environment”–something of a rarity for bakeries in Hong Kong.
Since opening, Vincent and Jonathan have really enjoyed getting to know the neighborhood and establishing a regular clientele of enthusiastic bread lovers. Customers’ comments and suggestions are frequently the impetus that brings Jonathan and Vincent back to the drawing board with their designer chef and baker Masami Asano (the Japanese). And as one might expect, bakery favorites tend to fall along nationality lines…
For Chinese clientele, the top breads are Madame Cheng (a dairy-free loaf baked with fresh homemade soya milk–a recipe passed down from Vincent’s Mom), AOP (Po’s Atelier’s signature brioche made with Grand Fermage butter) and Oolong (also dairy-free, made with Yunnanese oolong tea seed oil and fresh tea leaves). For western customers, subtle tangy sourdough breads and savory grissini take the cake. All patrons though are fond of the Danish pastries–whether with Valrhona chocolate, escargot, or their special green bean and manuka honey reduction.
This month, Jonathan and Vincent are preparing to open Café Deadend next door which will also feature the humble aesthetic and artisanal delicacies of Po’s Atelier. With plans to begin supplying their breads to a few like-minded eateries in Hong Kong, the only question we still have is when are they coming to Beijing?
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Photos provided by Po’s Atelier