Food has always been a part of expat Anais Beloubad’s life. Being blessed with Italian and Moroccan grandmothers, she grew up spending hours in the kitchen being immersed in the flavours of these two amazing food cultures. Anais has now taken this passion and knowledge and used it to create her business, LALLA, specialising in handmade pastry recipes which bring the best of the Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern flavours to the foodies of Hong Kong.
How it all began
Anais has Moroccan-French and Italian heritage and grew up in Casablanca. She lived and worked in Paris and London as a marketing and business development manager before relocating to Hong Kong with her husband. The birth of her baby daughter, now 10 months, inspired the idea for LALLA.
“LALLA is the Arabic Moroccan word given as a title to women of noble or royal background,” Anais says. “It is also used to address older women, like grandmothers, as a sign of respect.”
“I grew up with two amazing grandmothers who taught me the beautiful dishes and flavours that are specific to the Mediterranean region. After my beautiful baby girl was born, I felt compelled to create something close to my heart. LALLA combines my love for cooking, my cultural backgrounds and of course, my sweet tooth.”
Creating the perfect pastry
There are three recipes in the current selection from LALLA. These are inspired by the traditional macarons of France and enhanced by Moroccan flavours such as orange blossom, rose and cinnamon. Anais makes sure she uses only the finest ingredients, including Moroccan rose water and orange blossom, French flour and butter, Iranian pistachios and Californian almonds. “Each cookie has between 40 to 70 percent nut content, ensuring they are rich in natural oils and uncompromised flavour,” she says.
The pastries are all handmade in Hong Kong, and packaged on location. The three flavours are:
Almond & Orange Blossom – the delicate fragrance of Moroccan orange blossom elevates the sweetness of Californian almonds
Pistachio & Rose – Iranian pistachios are given a floral lift with Moroccan rose water
Almond & White Sesame – Californian almond cookie coated in a sprinkle of toasted white sesame seeds
You can buy individual bags of 10 pastries from HK$130 or a gift box and bag with all three recipes or Moroccan accessories, starting from HK$400. Anais can also cater for special orders and corporate events.
For deliveries to Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, place your order online at mylalla.com. Expat Living readers can enjoy a 10 percent discount on your first order with code FIRSTLALLA.
Want to read more about Hong Kong’s food scene? Head to our Wine & Dine section!