"The first Swiss Patisserie in Israel, Tel Aviv! Meticulous planning and excellent execution in every detail, from design right to the very first bite of their delicious treats. Despite its luxurious appeal, friendly staff and owners that'll introduce you to something new."
*Stunning images all courtesy of Jessica Bruning
The Swiss, known for their finest chocolates have yet another thing to be proud of: New in town and one of its kind, Gerald a Swiss Patisserie named after a famous pastry chef and father to Jennifer and Jonathan, whom under his guidance, have carried his vision from Switzerland all the way to Israel, Tel Aviv. Prior to opening the patisserie, Gerald came to Israel for 2 months to train the chefs using his recipes.
After a long period of careful planning and execution, despite the fact they only opened their doors less than a month ago, they’ve already created a buzz: At lunch a vast majority of the pastries and cakes they have on offer are already finished. New cushions for the chairs are still waiting to be placed, we particularly liked that each table seating has a fleece blanket draped over a chair for chilly days, a nice personal touch. Their website and social pages will be ready to launch soon, the important thing is to go there spontaneously and try new pastries and tarts!
Designed by famous top designer Yaron Tal, a contemporary and lavish interior that exudes a warmth, with dark wood throughout and beautiful green Italian tiles, which complement strikingly. Each detail has been meticulously considered, like the gold paneling framing the front counter. Nice natural touches have been added to soften its sleek design, like the large palm in the corner and a beautiful orchid on the main counter, all elements completing the design. Across shelves a few lustrous, black takeout boxes with ‘Gerald’ neatly gold embossed in the centre, looking more like brand label boxes from Gucci or some top designer.
Despite its spectacular entrance and prestige, the managers and staff are all very friendly and courteous, there is also a great sense of family pride – Jennifer was constantly on her feet and polishing the entire front counter. Jennifer was also very friendly and patient, taking a central role, gladly describing to us each pastry or exhibit, like a museum curator – truly the pastries are all a work of art, strategically aligned beautifully in rows and placed on gold cards – careful not to ‘overcrowd’ the display, so each can be viewed and admired in turn. The bold and luxurious design of the patisserie is echoed in all of their products. Each tartlet or Swiss (!) petite fours, looks almost mathematically designed and flawless, you are almost reluctant to spoil its aesthetic design as you take your first bite – but after that bite, you will feel no remorse, as all the delicate flavours dance around your taste buds.
Before you charge for the main counter … Stop for a moment and notice to your right, a fridge of golden glossy cake delights. A beautiful rectangular cheesecake with gold nuggets strategically placed on top, a salty caramel cake, lemon meringue and even a lemon tart. Further personal touches like Jennifer’s Cake, an acid pink dome covered in white sugar fondant flowers, filled with panna cotta, berries and sponge. Also the BiBopp Cake, which takes the family’s second name (Bopp) and is a delicious chocolate mousse cake. One would be so lucky as to receive either one for their birthday!
Luckily, you can try a mini version of each of these cakes in the main counter! We were quite eager to try Jennifer’s famous cake, which of course was already all gone! OK, now onto the main counter: A range of petite Fours-style nibbles, tartlets, layered cakes, like the raspberry and pistachio and the strawberry and pistachio. Delicate strawberry tartlets on a base of shortbread and round intricate towers of praline tarts. Two large round tarts sparked our interest: Hollander Cake (a special Swiss cake), a perfectly rounded glistening cake, made from apricots, and a delicious filling of apples, frangipane almond paste and vanilla. The other cake encased in a pastry shell with a filling of white cheese and whole strawberries that was generously covered with a thick crumble. A beautiful plaited sweet bread, looking similar to Babka (yeast cake) with figs, chocolate, cinnamon, raisins and walnuts. Other traditional Swiss editions include Gateau a la crème, Flute and Tuille – ask a member of staff to try either one (or all ;)) Gift packages of caramelised almonds are on sale, an enticing stand with a variety of chocolate almonds all dusted in confectionary sugar. Soon to be for sale crispy, cheesy flaky puff pastry sticks flavoured with salt and caraway, excellent with apertifs and wine.
I hate early mornings, but this is one place worth waking up for early, arriving at least around 10am – before all the various pastries are gone. When Jessica and I arrived around lunchtime, Jennifer had informed us that we missed half of the pastries, so don’t miss the full bakery!
Before you turn diabetic just reading this, there are of course savory items like freshly baked quiche, a variety of sandwiches and croissants featuring salmon, gruyere cheese and tuna fillings – try their famous house pretzel bread, which has a crispy crust and is salty. A new bread is introduced daily, today golden loaves of 5 Grain Bread with tangy cranberries. There are also vegan sandwiches available. The menu appeals to everyone, offering a wide range of breakfast options, soups, salads, quiches, sandwiches. Jennifer also suggests to come Friday, when they sell various special challot, both parve and milky and even a sweet twist, a brioche-style challah. You can enjoy Caffè Diemme, coffee from North Italy, a delicious roast.
Jessica and I shared 2 tartlets, both beautifully presented on white dishes, with a contrasting black serviette and pastries on the gold card. Our lemon meringue was too divine (a mini version from the larger cakes available), a rounded buttery shortcrust shell that was not too sweet, the lemon curd was perfectly balanced, without being too citric and finished off with the sweet, elegant swirl of light wispy meringue …. The other tart, crème brulee on a light sponge, dusted lightly with confectioners’ sugar. The crème brulee adds a surprising sugary crunch which contrasts with the airy texture of the sponge base and 2 cappuccinos’ to complete a very delicious tea break.
Jennifer wants the place to be not just about people coming in the day hours to enjoy a pastry, but extending the hours and opening until late, perhaps with a glass of wine and some quality nibbles. I don’t think it will take long for this place to gain traction.