Bare feet and pineapple flambé are seldom, if ever, found in the same place. An ambitious pâtisserie seems better suited to Parisian laneways than the main drag of a beachy suburb. But step inside Madame and Yves, the Clovelly pâtisserie owned by classically trained French pâtissier Yves Scherrer, and you’ll find the best of both worlds, where post-swim pastries of all shapes and sizes come with a side of sea breeze.
The smell of burnt butter lingers in the air of the humble street-front store, flanked by white-tiled walls and punctuated by pops of pastel pink. Yves himself stands in front of the glass counter surveying his creations: a symphony of baked and piped treats, not a polished lemon tart or glazed éclair out of place. It’s clearly the work of a professional – and some might say perfectionist; Scherrer spent two decades in kitchens around the world finessing his technique, before moving to Australia in 2009.
Down Under, he’s carved a niche of his own crafting some of our city’s most beloved sweets, including Saké’s original Dragon Egg and Ananas Bar and Brasserie’s salted caramel éclair. On the tenth anniversary of his move to Australia, Scherrer opened Madame and Yves, which revisits the classics and expands his repertoire of restaurant-worthy desserts without the competition of entrées and mains.
When it comes to the daily-changing menu, your game plan should be Napoleonic: divide and conquer. A rainbow of éclairs will catch your eye first: tangy lemon myrtle, Earl Grey-infused or the signature salted caramel? After deciding which budgie smugglers to don, it’s the hardest decision you’ll make all day. The traditional layered mousse cakes, or entremets, are equally glorious glossy things. For a pre-surf pick-me-up, try the tiramisù edition – perky from a shot of Mad Ding Crowd espresso and the satisfying crunch of hazelnut crumb.
Scherrer’s creations are conscious of dietaries – with nut, gluten and dairy-free options readily available. They’re all made without additives or artificial colouring, so rest assured that the sherbet-pink of freeze-dried raspberries and the blueberry entremet’s indigo glaze are entirely natural. Even vegans will be stoked to find the much ’grammed Piña Colada tart – a tropical holiday for your tastebuds with chewy coconut tapioca and poached pineapple curd – on a soy-based shortcrust pastry.
The croissants might not compare to those at Iggy’s around the corner, but they offer their own charm – a dense, buttery flavour thanks to Belgium’s finest (and most expensive) butter, Corman. If you’re craving a hazelnut-speckled or jammy almond croissant, get in early – the crisp pastry layers are no match for Sydney’s hair-fluffing humidity.
When they’re not boxing croissants to take away, friendly staff scoop gelato by the bowlful. Peak-season mango-passionfruit or the house favourite, pineapple and yoghurt? Either way, sweet and tangy flavours come together with delicate, almost balletic, balance.
At first glance, Scherrer’s digs might seem out of place rubbing shoulders with tuckshop burgers and chicken-salt chips at Out of the Blue. A closer look reveals a happy local hub, where a sweet tooth is mandatory – and shoes are only optional.