Tasting Pastelería Lala Leelu in Barrio Italia – Natural, Quality & Elegance
On our way to and from Metro Santa Isabel, we’ve passes the fine pastry shop and café Pastelería Lala Leelu on several occasions before finally stumbling in one cold winter afternoon. Walking into this small cozy shop is truly an experience that you don’t get often in Chile unless you’re a regular. Hola, bienvenidos, ¿quieren desgustar de nuestros pasteles? / Hello, welcome. Would you like to sample one of our pastries? What? Did you say samples? They look delicious. Yes, I want to try!
We gawked at all of their pastries trying hard to pick the best sample to try, but there was no need. The samples kept on rolling in and we ended up taking a piece of our favorite pies with a hot chocolate and coffee. Many foreigners and Chileans alike complain about the customer service here in Chile, but Pasteleria Lala Leelu redeems the concept.
We were seduced by the variety of French-inspired sweets and enchanted by the charming family – Amy, Young and baby Andres – along with the friendly staff that described each sweet and told us more about what they do. It was great to see that we weren’t the only ones who received this warm introduction to the pastry shop, but everyone who came it was just as happy.
As we took a seat to enjoy our decadent cakes, we spoke with one of the co-owners, Amy Lu, in more depth about the bakery.
Natural Ingredients & Quality Products
We were curious to know more about their elegant, all-natural products devoid of artificial ingredients and flavorings. Amy gladly began by telling us, “We like to use seasonal products, for example, in the summertime we offer pastries made with fresh raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, etc, and in the winter we use pearss, apples, and more chocolate.”
Although the portions are smaller than your average Chilean bakery, the quality and flavor is incomparable. With time, we’ve shed this myth that more is better and replaced it with the idea that food is not just a necessity, but it is also an experience ideally enjoyed with friends and family. As with most experiences, quality trumps quantity.
With a love for all things food-related, Amy and her husband Young met in Australia when attending Le Cordon Bleu, a French culinary school. Later, they were separated as their careers took them to two different continents – North America and Asia. Young worked in the pastry team at the 4 Diamond Rimrock Hotel in Banff, Canada and in 2009, he had the opportunity to join an annual Canadian pastry competition with Guy Vaugeois, the executive pastry chef at the hotel. They shared some of their baking challenges with us:
”We had to change our recipes, since every ingredient was different, the eggs, the flour, the milk, the cream, because in Banff the elevation was higher, we even had to change the temperature and time of baking our products. Some products that are easily purchased abroad, here cannot be found or if so very expensive, so we have to adapt and make our own, fruit pulp (using natural fruits), coffee syrup, paillete feuilletine, etc. Also the Chilean brown sugar is mainly stained granulated sugar, not the real deal, so we choose to use local product ‘chancaca’, we actually incorporate chancaca in various preparation of our pastries. It is a lot of extra work, but at the end it pay off because it makes our products special, and not many pastelerías can match our flavor.”
Adventuring in Chile
So, how did they end up in Santiago? Amy, emigrated from Taiwan with her parents at the age of 7 and spent the rest of her childhood and adolescence in Santiago. After meeting in Australia and maintaining a long distance relationship for years, the couple decided to try their luck in Santiago. Although Young, originally from South Korea, had never stepped foot on South American soil took a leap of faith to accomplish the dream he shares with Amy – owning their own pastry shop and providing good quality products at affordable prices.
With a new addition to their family, baby Andres was an inspiration for the shop’s name, “Lala Leelu is actually our baby’s name, “Lee” and “Lu” are our last names.” As foreigners, we were curious to know what tips they had for other foreigners looking to try their luck in Chile, “From our experience, the hardest part is to get the commercial license. It was not easy for us to understand Chilean law, and we did not have a large social network. We recommend that you need to build social network in Chile. It will help to get correct information. You can save time and money.”
If you can’t decide which one to dig into, try one of these:
- White Chocolate Cheesecake: New York style cheesecake with 28% white chocolate
- Devil´s Cake: chocolate cake with 53% dark chocolate ganache
- Peanut Butter Crunch: 70% dark chocolate mousse, milk chocolate with peanut butter and crispy crumble
- The Chef´s favorite pastry: Opera cake, thin almond sponge, 53% dark chocolate ganache and coffee buttercream
In our humble foodie opinion, we think Pasteleria Lala LeeLu is one of the best fine pastry shops in town for their quality products, the concept and love they put into their work and the warm customer service. The best thing is to go and let yourself be surprised, and of course, try their samples to pick out your favorite!
For More Information about Pasterlería Lala Leelu
Amy Lu (+56-9) 6671 0926
Pasteleria Lala Leelu (+56-2) 2980 7252
Thursday-Friday-Saturday 11:30 to 20:00
They also take cake orders from Tuesday to Saturday
Pastelería Lala Leelu’s Website
Pastelería Lala Leelu’s Facebook
***All images used in this post were taken from Pastelería Lala Leelu’s Facebook