O Délices, Vientiane

When I heard that there was a new French patisserie in town, my taste buds gave a leap of joy. I wouldn't describe myself as a sweets addict but I can't go past a delicately made pastry, a dusting of icing sugar, a lightly whipped mousse... and you know I'll track a good pavlova across the world. And if there's chocolate on the menu, well, enough said.

O Délices opened along Thadeua near the clock tower just last month. It's owned by French-Lao couple, Alain and Vilayvanh, who recently moved to Vientiane from France, though they've been back and forth to Laos for about 5 years. Alain is the pastry chef and Vilayvanh (who moved from Laos to France with her family as a child) manages the front of house.

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It's not that easy to spot from the street as the building is shadowed by a shop selling brightly coloured t-shirts, though once you know where it is, that makes a good landmark. And there's a helpful sign.

Inside there are comfy chairs and tables and the menu is growing by the day. Sweet treats like chocolate eclairs, tartins, almond croissants and chocolate cakes take the lion's share of the glass displays but there's also savouries like quiche lorraine.

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Alain the chef looking serious here about to put shiny chocolate icing on this beautiful (you guessed it) chocolate cake

Alain the chef looking serious here about to put shiny chocolate icing on this beautiful (you guessed it) chocolate cake

Behind the counter is a glass wall with the kitchen beyond it. Alain also makes the pastry and bases for a pizza shop down the road. Eventually, they plan to open another shop closer to town and use this space for the cooking.

The first time I visited O Délices I thought it only good sense to buy one of everything they had (only 8 items at the time) and then find some hapless guinea pigs to taste them for me.

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The guinea pigs displayed much enthusiasm but not a great deal of critical thought. So I went back again and bought some more. If at first you don't succeed... try again. Sounds about right.

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Check out O Délices' Facebook page for more yummy photos and examples of cakes they make to order. I saw something with passionfruit and my taste buds took off again. Delights indeed.

Must try: Gosh, that's a hard one. The chocolate almond croissants probably "takes the cake" for me.
Tip: Call ahead for a big cake. The cake itself is likely ready but the icing and decoration takes a few hours. 

O Délices is on Thadeua about 200m from the clock tower. If you are heading towards the clock, turn around at the roundabout and head back. Look out for the brightly coloured, sporty t-shirts. There's limited parking out front.