Monday, May 16, 2016

Japan: Must try dessert shops in Tokyo

To me, Japan is the sweet mecca of the east, just like how one would associate Paris to all things sweet and sugary. I would ideally like to spend a few days exploring the sweet scene in Tokyo but due to time constraints, I could only visit a handful. Next time will have to do;)

Dominique Ansel Bakery

Having already established himself in the big apple, this award winning baker brought his A game to one of the most exciting hubs in Tokyo, Shibuya. A little hidden in one of the alleys but with the help of clear signage, we easily tracked down this place.

We could have easily succumbed to having a piece of the bakery's famed cronut but heck, I am here to try their kouign amann aka the real deal in my eyes. Patisseries, boulangeries or viennoiseries? If I have to pick, it will be the viennoiseries category anytime.

Our cake got a little squashed in the box due to improper handling:( Nevertheless, it was still a refreshing treat to have under the sakura trees.

The kouign amann - can't get any better than this. Buttery, flaky and evenly caramelized on the outside, it was heaven on earth for me. Words left me the moment I took a bite out of this little fella.

Pistachio macaron ~ hello gorgeous, who knew you would have tasted better than expected? Also another item worthy of that extra run on the treadmill.

Patisserie Sadahara Aoki

Tokyo bred and having perfected his crafts in Paris, Sadahara Aoki was a much sought after patissier by the likes of Chanel, Kenzo and Christian Dior just to name a few. He aims to constantly improve what he brings to the market - talk about dedication!

I have visited both his Taipei and Paris outlet before and could not wait to get my hands on his goods here in Tokyo. Conveniently located in Isetan, we managed with takeaways and boy, were they good midnight treats to sink our teeth into;9

I love love his framboise/ strawberry tart. Not only were the strawberries fresh but the filling was well balanced in terms of sweetness and richness. Crust was thin enough to be pried open with the touch of a finger but thick enough to carry the weight of the filling and topping.

Patisserie Hidemi Sugino

A little quiet achiever that he is, Hidemi Sugino has actually accomplished quiet a feat throughout his career. Situated in Ginza, his cakes are extremely delicate to the point whereby consumption after 2 hours out of the fridge is the biggest sin one could ever commit.

We waited for a good 30 minutes before we were seated and boy, was there a line up. No pictures allowed and do be mindful of the quiet surrounding.

His cakes were just sensational. Every single flavour profile was so well defined and fresh to the tee. Silky smooth, robust and aromatic would be my best description of his cakes. In other words, no visit to Ginza is complete without visiting his cafe. Cakes were not expensive at all and if you are in need of a coffee fix, they do serve a pretty good cuppa;)

Henri Charpentier

Beautifully decorated with a brightly lit up entrance, it is hard to miss this dessert cafe. As we descended the spiral steps, my eyes caught the sight of an interesting bookshelf that is the door to the restrooms. Talk about creativity and mystery!

Mille crepe au fruits ~ famous for their crepes but unfortunately, we were too full to share a serve of it, we opted for a smaller version. It was a well balanced crepe and cream sandwich that utilized really fresh cream - how would I know you ask? well, I am slightly lactose intolerant and am very sensitive to dairy products that are not fresh.

Matcha of opera ~ slightly richer than Sadahara Aoki's version. Still packed full of matcha flavour and worth a try.

Mont blanc ~ the sister is not a big fan of this chestnut flavoured dessert but I love it. Not overly sweet and has a creamy nutty texture that is perfect to wind down to after having a sugar loaded day.

Orange cake ~ another carefully constructed piece that is bursting with citrus flavours. At this point, both of us were on a sugar high mode.


Now if you don't want to sit around or wait for a seat, which might take ages, the next best thing would be a cheesecake tart. I was skeptical initially but the sister convinced me to give it a try.

We bought the matcha flavoured and original flavoured mini tarts. For a small price, they were sensational. Warm, slightly gooey in the middle and oh so creamy, this is a must have in Japan. So do yourself a favour;)

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