Words: Ambica Gulati
It’s an opera of French flavours, aromas, ingredients that L’Opera sings at its production centre in Noida. And the music reaches the audience at its many outlets in Delhi-NCR. Sitting at its sunny, green outlet in Epicuria, Nehru Place, Delhi, trying to choose between the cookies, jams, pastries, the French breads, the sandwiches is a difficult task. The brainchild of Laurent Samandari, L’Opera has an offering of over 100 delicacies at Salon de The in Epicuria. Eating out it the sun on a nice January afternoon, Masud Samandari enlightened that the baguette is the signature French bread. This is not meant to be stored but eaten as quickly as it reaches the shelves. Baguette is also breakfast bread, “people eat it on the way to office”, smiles Masud. Considering the entire range with its different mixes and matches, L’Opera has an offering of around 135 delicacies for the Indian market.
Though the company does keep adding and subtracting from time to time, some favourites never make it out of the menu such as the Mille Feuille with its strawberries and the Chocolate Eclairs. Festivals and seasons decide what’s new on the menu or special for that season.
Tasting the 100 was impossible, but I think we did bite into something close to 20 delicacies. Amongst that, my favourite turned out to be the Lemon Tart, Mille Feuille, L’Opera classic chocolate, the Baguette Sandwich Ham and Eggless Mushroom Quiche. True to the promise, these were soft, melted in the mouth and left a good lingering taste. I wasn’t even counting the calories as the meal was delicious. If you are in a large group, then you could order the assortment of pastries. It has a bit of all that is tasty and tempting.
The journey of L’Opera began in 2008 with a small beginning for breakfast at the French Embassy. But since then there are around 11 outlets across Delhi-NCR, besides the L’Opera products being found across some restaurants, German centre. There are catering facilities and home deliveries for special occasions. The production centre runs 24X7 as freshness and quality are of prime importance, says Chairman Kazem Samandari. Around 125 people are employed and transparency is the key to lasting success.
Walking through the three floors with the aroma of fresh butter and chocolates tingling our noses, one is struck by the cleanliness and the hygiene. Even the store is spick and span. We walked into a freezer in which the temperature is -23ºC. The equipment has largely been imported from Europe and 11 vehicles begin their journey around 6.30 am daily to bring fresh trays to the outlets. All that is baked in the morning is preferably consumed by night, if not at the outlets, then it is given to dog shelters, distributed outside temples and sent to orphanages.
It took six months of intense training before L’Opera began its operations. Many French chefs including the France’s famous Jean Louis Clement trained the staff. And he is invited regularly as and when a new delicacy or change in menu is planned.
A fresh buttery croissant on our plate with a slice of cereal baguette and a cup of tea to drown it with, we felt full. Gifted with the freshly made jams, I know I will go back for the macaroons, cinnamon roll and French heart.
Meal for two: Rs. 1,100 onwards.
For orders and deliveries: visit www.loperaindia.com or
call 91- 120-4066-888.