This month see’s the launch of MoBa, an Asian-inspired urban boulangerie that uses traditional methods of French baking combined with authentic Vietnamese flavours and fillings to offer a gourmet upgrade to West-East takeaway fusion. Sound interesting – we think so too!
Located at the corner of Goodge Street and Charlotte place, MoBa – short for Modern Bakery – (SO NYC darrrrrling, think Noho, TriBeCa, etc) fuses the warmth, rusticity and elegance associated with homemade French cooking, with the fresh and simple tastes of Asian cuisines to lend new tastes to old comforts. From traditional French ‘Viennoiseries’ to exotic flavoured pastries (including green tea croissants!), modern & sophisticated Bánh Mi to healthy Asian-inspired salads, MoBa offers the ultimate in fusion takeaway, offering fast, nutritious and reasonably priced quality fare at the heart of the Fitzrovia district.
Founders Theodore Charoy and Thibaut Voury are proud to bring their hard-earned ‘savoir faire’ to bear on their first London bakery:
“We’re both very proud of the artisanal baking techniques we hold so dear in France, but at the same time, have been separately inspired by the exquisite Asian flavours we’ve sampled on our travels. What we’ve created is a French boulangerie that celebrates our own home cooking, complimented by Asian flavours and ingredients. And it could only happen in London”, commented Theodore.
The two Paris born friends met while studying at the world-renowned Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in Switzerland, and realised quickly that they had the same passion for food, service and creativity. Soon, success had them working thousands of miles apart, but when Theodore relocated to London after time spent as a restaurant manager in New York, Thibaut left his position as Chef de Cuisine at a Parisian ‘resto’ and decided to join him. Their mission? To modernize the French artisan bakery. With MoBa, they have broken the sandwich bar mould in the process.
“London loves a sandwich, and while the lunchtime landscape hasn’t changed much in the past ten years, people here are really receptive to new concepts, particularly when any kind of fusion is involved”, suggests Thibaut. “While many may have tasted Bánh Mi, they won’t have tasted anything quite as unique as what we’ll be offering at MoBa”.
Although both men are still in their mid-20s, they have amassed over 20 years food and hospitality experience between them, and absorbed a vast array of culinary influences along the way. By their own admittance, there is a perception that French food can be seen as quite heavy and rich, in comparison to the light, fragrant and often spicy ingredients used in Asian food, particularly Vietnamese. For them, the two forms of cuisine form the perfect partnership. Joining them at their London venture will be Master Baker Geoffroy Terrasson de Fougères who brings a wealth of experience from working in France and the USA with the crème de la crème of bakers including Mickaël Morieux.
Explaining the growing popularity of Bánh Mi, Geoffroy explains,
“Bánh Mi is a sandwhich that dates back to the French colonisation of Indochina – it’s actually a phonetic misspelling of “pain de mie” which can be translated simply as “sliced bread”. We are witnessing the growing trend of creative Bánh Mi takeaway outlets opening in the USA, and we are extremely excited and confident of the trend taking off in London, and hopefully the rest of the UK, thanks to MoBa.”
MoBa opens at 53 Goodge Street, W1T 1TG, 30th March 2015.