Muhammad Fairoz's lemon passionfruit cake.

One of Seattle’s coolest, most adventuresome bakeries is expanding to downtown Bothell, but also making big moves at its original location in Chinatown–International District.

Chef Muhammad Fairoz and Katie Pohl opened Susu Dessert Bar in the restored Louisa Hotel building in April 2020. The plan: A cool sit-down dessert bar with a menu of composed sweet dishes that display all the invention and technique most chefs funnel into savory courses. The Covid-induced reality: Serving baked goods out of the bar’s front window.

But oh, those baked goods. Airy basque cheesecake, crisped kouign-amann—cookies tall enough to make a muffin feel insecure. Not to mention the occasional blue cheese–kimchi scone…a combination the world definitely needed.

Fairoz—he goes by Fai—grew up in Singapore and cooked in some Michelin-starred kitchens in France. Even under these new circumstances, he still found ways to combine Southeast Asian flavors and French techniques, like a durian pâte a choux. Even the rotating frozen custard (essentially soft serve, made with eggs) packed serious creative verve.

Now the couple will move the baked goods that built such a following up to their new spot, T55 Pâtisserie, at 18223 Bothell Way NE. Fairoz will fill the case with croissants, danishes, tarts, mousse cake, and possibly eclairs. “Up here we’ll focus on French technique and what you might find in a Parisian bakery,” says Pohl.

The space is also big enough to hold a market section stocked with baking supplies, jams, caramels, sauces, chocolate, and coffee. T55 Pâtisserie will also serve espresso.

Once the new spot is up and running—hopefully it opens late summer—Pohl and Fairoz will turn Susu into what they originally envisioned. A table service dessert spot where the plates push flavor boundaries and glory in presentation, but the atmosphere is casual.

“Fai likes to do off-the-wall dessert flavors like veggies and herbs, incorporate cheese into our desserts,” says Pohl. She hopes Susu can be the late-night hangout they first intended, with beer, wine, and a small bar menu of savory dishes.

Fairoz’s durian creations will remain at Susu, for now, and the popular basque cheesecakes might appear in both locations. Good news for fans who wait in line for Susu’s current roster of baked goods: The couple still wants to serve pastries at their Chinatown–International District spot in the future, if they can swing it.

Meanwhile, Susu will be closed on occasion as the couple prepares their new patisserie. Keep an eye on Instagram for updates.

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