If you are a connoisseur of croissants in Mumbai, you are probably aware of House of Amel. For quite a while now, I have been on the hunt for an excuse to order a box of croissants from there. The number of “you have got to try it!” texts that I have received from friends about this space, is endless. Enter calendar year 2024, and my colleague told me it’s National Croissant Day. Naturally, I had finally found an excuse to cheat on my diet.
Over the years, I have had several croissants. Some have stuck to classics like the pain au chocolat, almond, or cheese and many others have broadened their croissant offerings to include the trends pouring in from across the globe. House of Amel manages to stand out, steer away from trends, and is a recurring order for several croissant mongers in the city.
Founder Sana Ahuja is behind it all. In 2010, she began with Crumbilicious, a bakery that you could expect to be charmed by anytime you were in Colaba. Needless to say, it was the neighbourhood’s go-to for cakes. But with House of Amel, she’s baked a new layer of success that’s riding on croissants because, “there is minimal wastage which leads to better profitability.” A could bakery, House of Amel ensures 100% freshness since everything is only made to order.
The bakery is now layering several croissants that include savoury and sweet fillings. But what sets them apart is, “the fact that we offer our croissants in two sizes; [and] all of our croissants including the filled ones are egg-free,” says Ahuja. House of Amel has also managed to carve a niche for itself as they keep innovating their croissant menu constantly.
Speaking about the inspiration behind the flavours, “We follow a certain method while working on new flavors. It has to be a comforting flavour pairing that our customers won’t think before ordering. When it comes to sweet ones, then we prefer working with seasonal fruits. And, at times we take a classic pairing and add one unique element to it which adds the umami factor, says Ahuja.
You can see her words translate across the menu. You will find comforting flavour pairings in the Caramel Chocolate Croissant, season fruit in the Strawberry Cream Croissant, and a classic with a hint of innovation in the Korean Garlic Croissant.
Croissants you must try at House of Amel
We tried four of House of Amel’s mini croissants. The first was the Korean Garlic Cream Cheese Croissant, an obvious play on the Korean buns everyone’s been baking lately. We liked this croissant rendition for the obvious garlic butter and cream cheese combination. It’s going to make fans of K-culture quite happy. But to be honest, having had several renditions of Korean cream cheese buns across the city, the only thing exciting about this was the mastery of the croissant.
In contrast, the Almond Croissant (twice baked) is a better order. It’s also Ahuja’s favourite. And, I do not exaggerate when I say it’s one of the better almond croissants in Mumbai. In my experience, most bakers either make it too bitter or too sweet, but House of Amel has cracked this nut.
We couldn’t stay away from the Caramel Chocolate croissant, which has a generous caramel filling that’s bound to make a sweet mess after the first bite and a complete chocolate exterior. A few bites in, this croissant is personally too sweet for me. Would I have appreciated it more in my younger, only-chocolate-for-me eating days? Definitely.
Those with a more refined sweet tooth will appreciate the Strawberry Cream Croissant. As a Mumbaikar, the strawberry and cream combo is sacred. It’s a dessert I have grown up eating on every night-out from Haji Ali Juice Centre in strawberry season. It’s also one that I have travelled to Mahabaleshwar for several times.
The croissant is filled with a tart strawberry filling and a light cream that adds to the airlines of the croissant. At no point does this croissant feel heavy. In fact the crunch and flaky exterior adds to each bite, elevating the experience. You get sweet, tart, crunch – all in one go. What’s not to love?
Speaking of the croissants alone, you see Ahuja’s expertise. The golden exterior has the perfect crunch (you will hear the sound, no kidding) and every bite is light and airy. Every other bakery severa a croissant in Mumbai, few manage to serve them as fresh as House of Amel does.