At 8 a.m. on a recent Saturday, five people were lined up outside the new Lakon Paris Patisserie in Newton Highlands despite the chill. Golden, flaky croissants oozing French butter are the draw in the morning (plain, almond, chocolate, rose lychee, or ham and cheese; $4.50 and up). You can’t help but eat one in the car on the drive home. It’s also hard to resist the exquisite pastries here. Co-owner and pastry chef Vichaya Kiangkaew, 28, who goes by Jenny, creates the desserts with French techniques and incorporates tropical fruits. “My pastries are traditional with a twist,” says Kiangkaew, who grew up in Thailand and studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Bangkok and then in Paris. There are classics, such as pastel macarons with passion fruit. Eclairs have a strawberry basil cream filling, and tender madeleines are plain or laced with rosemary or coconut orange. A riff on tiramisu, a long slice with layers of whipped cream flavored with Kahlua and covered in chocolate, is subtly sweet and light. A lemon tart, with its pale crust, is vivid yellow and bracing. Kiangkaew moved to Boston for her fiancé, Kope Kharuharat, and spent a year working for Barbara Lynch at Menton. “My goal was to open my own store,” she says. She had already launched her career in Thailand, running a Lakon Patisserie with a partner in her home city Lampang (Lakon is the city’s traditional name). When the couple saw the vacant corner space in Newton Highlands, they both agreed, “Let’s just go for it,” said Kharuharat. Some of Menton’s pastry team came with. For the holidays, Kiangkaew has created a short cylinder-shaped milk chocolate mousse cake adorned with chocolate reindeer ears and a Santa hat in dark chocolate mousse and cherry jelly — both light and airy and not too sugary. You can warm up with an espresso drink or a rose tea latte. 1169 Walnut St., Newton Highlands.
ANN TRIEGER KURLAND
Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.