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torakris

French Pastry Shops in Japan

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Can someone tell me why Pierre Herme has a gazillion outlets in Tokyo, yet none in the Kansai area?  I was considering ordering some macarons online, but I think they choose the flavours, rather than letting you choose them yourself. 

Does anyone know if they'll be opening in Kansai in the future?  I tried to find the info on their website, but my reading is limited, so I didn't get very far.

Apparently there is only one place to get Pierre Herme in Kansai and that is at the Cassina IXC Cafe in Osaka. They definitely have the macaroons but I am not sure what else. Here is some information. The actual website for this place is quite confusing, click here then enter the site (it will open in a new screen) at the bottom click on shop information and then on Osaka. It will give a map to the cafe's location.

I don't think it is too close to you but it is closer than Tokyo!


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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Apparently there is only one place to get Pierre Herme in Kansai and that is at the Cassina IXC Cafe in Osaka. They definitely have the macaroons but I am not sure what else. Here is some information. The actual website for this place is quite confusing, click here then enter the site (it will open in a new screen) at the bottom click on shop information and then on Osaka. It will give a map to the cafe's location.

I don't think it is too close to you but it is closer than Tokyo!

Thanks! As luck would have it, I'm going to that area this weekend! I hope my friend doesn't mind going cafe hopping. We were already planning a visit to Ek Chuah that day (chocolate shop/cafe). One can never have too many sweets!

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My friend and I were at Isetan Shinjuku yesterday, and I picked up some macarons for a taste test (caramel and coffee flavoured). In all I had 5 caramel, and 4 coffee (some places had both, some either or). The contenders were Chez Cima, Henri Le Roux, Jean-Paul Hevin, Pierre Herme, Sadaharu Aoki, and Dalloyau.

The winner in the caramel division was Chez Cima--perfect burnt caramel flavour and nice chewy texture.

The winner in the coffee division was Pierre Herme. Strong coffee flavour, though there was a wee bit more filling than I like.

Of course I couldn't let them go to waste, so I had to finish every last crumb. The test began at 7:00am, and it is now just after 8:00am.

I feel sick...The things I do for my fellow eGulleters!

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We found Baikal pastry shop in Kyoto marvelous. French croissants, eclairs and sticky pecan buns were our favorite. An open kitchen allows visitors to watch them make there famous berry pies-it was apple that day. Will get the address.


What disease did cured ham actually have?

Megan sandwich: White bread, Miracle Whip and Italian submarine dressing. {Megan is 4 y.o.}

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We found Baikal pastry shop in Kyoto marvelous.  French croissants, eclairs and sticky pecan buns were our favorite.  An open kitchen  allows visitors to watch them make there famous berry pies-it was apple that day.  Will get the address.

elfin--do you remember where Baikal was? I'm headed to Kyoto for a day of beauty soon, and what's a day of beauty without sweets?

Has anyone tried the new Laduree Tea Room at Mitsukoshi in Ginza? Opened at the end of July, I read. It's definitely on my list!

Henri Charpentier has a to-die-for salted caramel cake. I have pictures somewhere...And their cafe macaron is very very good. It might even take first place in my coffee macaron taste test. Their caramel comes pretty close to first, as well. I'm going to have to do a side-by-side with Henri Le Roux's, but I'll have to go to Tokyo for the HLR's!

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I have searched for their card and can not locate it. It is on a major street near a discount liquir/beer wholesaler. I am sorry I can't help you more. Perhaps your conceriege will be able to locate it for you.


What disease did cured ham actually have?

Megan sandwich: White bread, Miracle Whip and Italian submarine dressing. {Megan is 4 y.o.}

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I pass through Yokohama station every Thursday, and the Antenor kiosk there haunts me. I finally got an excuse to buy something there this week, when one of my co-workers booked Shinkansen tickets for me. (W00t - Takayama getaway, here I come!)

She loves Mont Blanc cakes, and Antenor was featuring a sweet potato version, so we had an impromptu Mont Blanc picnic in the office on Friday. I thought it was absolutely gorgeous, with the textures of the marron and sweet potato melding perfectly. The mound of sweet potato puree on top was a breathtaking gold colour. Is Antenor a Japanese chain, or is it French? My google turned up only references to Greek mythology.

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I pass through Yokohama station every Thursday, and the Antenor kiosk there haunts me. I finally got an excuse to buy something there this week, when one of my co-workers booked Shinkansen tickets for me. (W00t - Takayama getaway, here I come!)

She loves Mont Blanc cakes, and Antenor was featuring a sweet potato version, so we had an impromptu Mont Blanc picnic in the office on Friday. I thought it was absolutely gorgeous, with the textures of the marron and sweet potato melding perfectly. The mound of sweet potato puree on top was a breathtaking gold colour. Is Antenor a Japanese chain, or is it French? My google turned up only references to Greek mythology.

It's a Japanese chain based in Kobe. While I haven't tried most of their cakes, I haven't been impressed with the ones I have tried. But I remember they had some cakes/desserts that were served in really nice dishes that you got to keep. I liked that! :biggrin:

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I pass through Yokohama station every Thursday, and the Antenor kiosk there haunts me. I finally got an excuse to buy something there this week, when one of my co-workers booked Shinkansen tickets for me. (W00t - Takayama getaway, here I come!)

She loves Mont Blanc cakes, and Antenor was featuring a sweet potato version, so we had an impromptu Mont Blanc picnic in the office on Friday. I thought it was absolutely gorgeous, with the textures of the marron and sweet potato melding perfectly. The mound of sweet potato puree on top was a breathtaking gold colour. Is Antenor a Japanese chain, or is it French? My google turned up only references to Greek mythology.

Antenor is アンテノール

Thanks for giving me some laugh. That's exactly what I need right now. :smile:

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It's a Japanese chain based in Kobe. While I haven't tried most of their cakes, I haven't been impressed with the ones I have tried. But I remember they had some cakes/desserts that were served in really nice dishes that you got to keep. I liked that! biggrin.gif

I'll admit their cookies look dry, and the macarons look a little pallid, but their cake selection always looks delicious - maybe because I always see it at lunchtime? I can see serious investigative work here is needed. I volunteer for this difficult task! :biggrin:

Antenor is アンテノール

Thanks for giving me some laugh. That's exactly what I need right now.

Well Hiroyuki, I'm always good for a laugh, if nothing else. I'm going to have to break down and buy a computer in Japan, so I can start typing in the kana.

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Well Hiroyuki, I'm always good for a laugh, if nothing else. I'm going to have to break down and buy a computer in Japan, so I can start typing in the kana.

You can do that on an English-language/system computer, too. You just have to adjust the keyboard settings. PM me if you want more details.

Antenor has macarons!? Maybe I'll have to drop by to check them out. I'm still on a quest to find the perfect coffee and caramel macarons, so I need to be fair and eat everyone's!

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Thanks elfin, for looking, and thanks Helen, for finding the website! When I looked I realized I had been to Baikal before...way back when I first lived in Japan. I'll have to put it on my list of places to re-visit.

Today in Kyoto I visited Patisserie Kanae. She has a lot of interesting macaron flavours--kurogoma, sansho, bamboo charcoal (I can never remember the Japanese word). I bought six--caramel sale, kinako, foret noir (I'm a sucker for black forest anything), sansho, kurogoma, and one more...tarte tatin!

And of course, for comparison's sake I bought a caramel sale from Henri Charpentier (my favourite caramel sale in the Kansai area).

I have pics, but they're on my cell phone. I've only eaten the caramel ones (so I could get a good comparison), but the Patisserie Kanae ones suck! The shells are practically hollow (no chew, just empty crunch), and the filling is very skimpy! Plus the caramel sale tastes just like burnt caramel--not necessarily a bad thing, but there's no salt flavour at all! And it's more expensive!! OK, it's only Y1 more expensive (Y180 to HC's Y179), but still...


Edited by prasantrin (log)

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Chez Copain went bankrupt! Actually, its parent company went bankrupt, taking Chez Copain, Takatora (cream puffs), and Ashiya Gin-nan (ramen shop) along with it.

It was quite a popular shop in the Kobe-area (where it originated). I know they had shops across Japan (including Tokyo).

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There's a Henri Charpentier located (dangerously) close to my office in Yokohama. I walked by their Spring line last week with my husband, and we couldn't resist picking up a couple cakes.

My husband selected IIRC the "Fromage Maniee"

gallery_41378_5233_7007.jpg

This had a layer of cheesecake, topped with a cheese mousse, sultanas, and a cheese-shaped accent in white chocolate. Sometimes I don't like mousse-based cakes, because I feel like I'm eating Gillette. I did not get this feeling with this cake.

I had to have chocolate:

gallery_41378_5233_187090.jpg

A layer of dense chocolate cake with - perhaps praline? It crunched, in a sugary way. A layer of thick salted caramel, chocolate mousse, and thinly sprayed ganache. The "caramel" on the top is actually salted caramel mousse enrobed in caramel jelly-like ganache. I'm not sure what you'd call it. It was flexible like jelly, but tasted like ganache.

I'm going back tomorrow.

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HC's salted caramel cake is my favourite!!! It's a bit expensive, but well worth it, in my opinion.

I love their macarons, too, the caramel one in particular. It's much better than Pierre Herme (I don't care for PH macaron, actually), but I'm not sure how it ranks against Chez Cima, my number one macaron from my taste test last spring.

Also try their financier and madeleine. They're so underrated, but they're really quite delicious (very buttery!).

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[posted in part elsewhere]

I've been in Tokyo for a couple of days, and have been making the rounds. I'm trying not to eat too much (I'm only here for a few days, after all), but when your eyes are bigger than your stomach, it's hard not to buy too much!

First stop was A Tes Souhaits. It's a bit out of the way, but since I was sort of in the neighbourhood, I stopped by. They have a few tables, but it's primarily a take-out place. I got some kind of caramel cake. The bottom layer was praline, I think, and then there were alternating layers of cake and buttercream. I like this cake a lot. It's not too sweet, and the praline layer adds a nice bit of texture contrast. The caramel flavour is pronounced, but not overwhelming, so it's a nice cake if you like caramel. I also got some vanilla caramels (not yet tried), a couple of florentines (not yet tried), and a very good kouign aman. I liked the kouign aman a lot, except it had a bit of a cinnamon flavour to it. Wasn't crazy about that part, but aside from that, it was excellent.

Later that evening I had dinner at L'Atelier Robuchon, so I shopped at the bakery first. Here I picked up a couple of savoury breads (one with olives, the other with sun-dried tomatoes), three macarons (caramel, citron, and praline), a kouign aman, and a salted caramel tart.

The caramel tart wasn't quite what I expected. It was good, and not too sweet, but I would have preferred a thinner crust. There was also a thin layer of chocolate between the crust and the caramel, and I would have preferred that chocolate not to be there. It interfered with the enjoyment of the caramel, I thought.

And his kouign aman isn't that great. It's not bad, but not really good, either. Just ordinary.

Yesterday my only cake stop was Hidemi Sugino. I arrived bright an early at 9:20, knowing the line-ups would be long by the time the shop opened at 10. I was the fifth person in line. Score! But imagine my surprise when passing by the shop, I noticed a sign in the window stating the shop would not be opening until 11. . . With nothing else to do until 1, I stayed in line for 1 hour and 40 minutes until they opened. Only in Japan would something like that be acceptable. I can't imagine any other country where, unannounced, a store could open one hour later than usual and people would still stand around waiting. By opening at 11, by the way, there were about 50 people or so in line.

They've got some very strict rules about shopping there. About 15 minutes before they opened, a staff member came out to explain about shopping there. You have to line up a certain way, and then you're only allowed 2 cakes to eat in, and 6 cakes to take out (or maybe 6 cakes max in total, with no more than 2 for eat-in--I couldn't hear very well because some annoying women who also cut in front of me kept jabbering away while the rest of us were trying to listen to the announcement). Some cakes can't be taken away, but must only be eaten in the cafe area. I got a bunch of little things (madeleines and the like), and then got one cake to eat in, and two cakes to go.

My eat-in cake was Arabique, I think. It was coffee-flavoured, and could only be eaten in the shop. The first bite was powerful. If you like coffee, this would be a good cake for you. After a few bites, however, I could no longer taste the coffee flavour, or any other flavour for that matter. I could only "taste" the richness of the cake. This was a mousse cake with layers of coffee jelly and another kind of mousse inside (a lighter, creamier, more pudding-like mousse than the rest of the mousse of the cake). It was very very soft. So soft that whenever I took a bite, it reminded me of how when you have a cold and you try to breath in through your nose, the mucous sometimes slides down the back of your throat. Not that I've ever had that happen to me, but if I had, that's what the texture of this cake would have reminded me of. :wink:

I took out the Bresilienne (sp?) which was coffee and caramel, and his version of black forest, called something like charme (with an accent aigu on the e). I didn't particularly care for either of them. The black forest is just sweet to me, and the Bresilienne was more coffee than caramel. And it, too, was very much like a soft mucousy mousse.

I know Hidemi Sugino is famous in the world of pastry, and his cakes are very good, but I don't think I'll be standing in line for 1 hour and 40 minutes ever again for them. Or even 40 minutes. Ten maybe, but I think that would be my max. And contrary to what some people seem to believe, his cakes really are pure French in style. There's nothing really special about them, except the quality of execution is quite high.

Tons of macarons have been purchased, as well. To follow-up on my caramel macaron taste test last spring, I've tested last year's winner with some other untried ones, and my usual caramel. The contenders are Chez Cima (last year's winner), Henri Charpentier (my go-to caramel macaron), Laduree, Sebatian Bouillet, and Joel Robuchon.

None were necessarily bad, but if I had to choose an order of preference, it would be:

Henri Charpentier

Chez Cima

Sebastian Bouillet

Robuchon

Laduree

Henri Charpentier has excellent filling:shell ratio, but it's got a very pronounced caramel flavour, leaning more towards burnt caramel. I like that, but if you don't, you won't like these. The filling is caramel, not buttercream.

Chez Cima has a pronounced salt flavour to its salted caramel macaron. If you like chewy caramels, these are a good choice, as the shell is thicker than most. Buttercream filling in these, I think

Sebastian Bouillet has a very buttery flavour to it. it's not very chewy at all. It's got a caramel filling.

Robuchon has a good salted caramel flavour (buttercream filling). It's a wee bit chewy, and it has a bit of an odd aftertaste. It's not quite an artificial flavour, but I can't pin it down. I liked the saltiness of the filling.

Laduree was the least caramelly of the bunch. It's mostly just sweet, and the almond flavour is more pronounced than the caramel flavour. That's why these are in last place.

I still have some other Laduree macaron to try (mango, praline, and citron), and a couple of Robuchon left (praline and citron).

Today went to Le Chocolat de H just to look. Really, it's true! But I ended up buying some little things--madeleines, florentines (can you tell I have a thing for madeleines and florentines?), some kind of chocolate covered cake thing that looks like it comes in a lipstick box, some caramels, and another caramel macaron!!

The caramel macaron was a bit of a disappointment. I think I should just stop buying macaron from chocolate shops. I have the same complaints about the LCdH one as I did about last year's Jean-Paul Hevin macaron--they taste almost nothing of caramel but almost entirely of chocolate.

I tried to go to Toshi Yoroizuka, but the line up was quite long (just for take-out, too!) and after yesterday's long wait at Hidemi Sugino's, I just wasn't up to it. I might try again tomorrow--I've got a long day before the night bus leaves!

On my way back to my hotel I stopped by Isetan, my favourite depachika in the world! I stocked up on Henri LeRoux CBS tarts and caramels. I also picked up some omiyage from a place called Yokohama Francais Patisserie. They sell chocolate covered millefeuille-like bars. And I got some leaf pies from Confectionary West for my mother.

I also got another kouign aman from BE-Japon (boulangepicier--a branch of Alain Ducasse's bakery/cafe). It's my second favourite, and has a good amount of caramelized sugar.

I think that's all I bought today. Of pastries, that is. . . (National Azabu has a sale on Thai and Filipino mangos, so I couldn't resist! Now to get them back to Kansai without too much bruising. . . )

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Hey Prasantrin,

Have you been to Sadaharu Aoko Patisserie in Roppogni Hills? The matcha opera cake is outstanding! On my last day, I was intending to drop by and pick up an entire cake to bring back with me to Canada. In the event customs prevented me from bringing it over, I would have happily sat down in the airport and attempted to eat the whole thing there. Alas, I didn't have the time.

Also, I sampled a variety of wonderful macarons, but my favorites were the ones I picked up at Pierre Hermes in Shibuya. They did a seasonal trio - foie gras, black truffle, and white truffle - that I would highly recommend.


www.josephmallozzi.wordpress.com

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Hey Prasantrin,

Have you been to Sadaharu Aoko Patisserie in Roppogni Hills?  The matcha opera cake is outstanding!  On my last day, I was intending to drop by and pick up an entire cake to bring back with me to Canada.  In the event customs prevented me from bringing it over, I would have happily sat down in the airport and attempted to eat the whole thing there.  Alas, I didn't have the time.

Also, I sampled a variety of wonderful macarons, but my favorites were the ones I picked up at Pierre Hermes in Shibuya.  They did a seasonal trio - foie gras, black truffle, and white truffle - that I would highly recommend.

I've had Sadaharu Aoki stuff, but not from the Roppongi Hills shop. I've only gotten take out from his store at Isetan in Shinjinku (take-out only). I wasn't really impressed with what I had (macarons and eclair), but I'm always willing to try more sweets!

Did you try any of the Japanese-brand macarons? I found the Japanese makers of macaron did a better job (or at least one more suited to my tastebuds) than the French makers--I placed both Chez Cima and Henri Charpentier (they don't sound like it, but they're Japanese companies) above JP Hevin, Pierre Herme, Lauduree, etc.

Did you make the short trek from Roppongi Hills to Tokyo Midtown to try Toshi Yoroizuka? I wanted to try his stuff, but the day I went (a national holiday), the line up just to enter the place was way too long. It was worse (I thought) than at Hidemi Sugino!

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If you read Japanese, the current issue of Cafe Sweets has interviews with high-fliers including patissiers. It would be a good starting point for anybody planning a pilgrimage.

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Hey Prasantrin,

Have you been to Sadaharu Aoko Patisserie in Roppogni Hills?  The matcha opera cake is outstanding!  On my last day, I was intending to drop by and pick up an entire cake to bring back with me to Canada.  In the event customs prevented me from bringing it over, I would have happily sat down in the airport and attempted to eat the whole thing there.  Alas, I didn't have the time.

Also, I sampled a variety of wonderful macarons, but my favorites were the ones I picked up at Pierre Hermes in Shibuya.  They did a seasonal trio - foie gras, black truffle, and white truffle - that I would highly recommend.

I've had Sadaharu Aoki stuff, but not from the Roppongi Hills shop. I've only gotten take out from his store at Isetan in Shinjinku (take-out only). I wasn't really impressed with what I had (macarons and eclair), but I'm always willing to try more sweets!

Did you try any of the Japanese-brand macarons? I found the Japanese makers of macaron did a better job (or at least one more suited to my tastebuds) than the French makers--I placed both Chez Cima and Henri Charpentier (they don't sound like it, but they're Japanese companies) above JP Hevin, Pierre Herme, Lauduree, etc.

Did you make the short trek from Roppongi Hills to Tokyo Midtown to try Toshi Yoroizuka? I wanted to try his stuff, but the day I went (a national holiday), the line up just to enter the place was way too long. It was worse (I thought) than at Hidemi Sugino!

I highly recommend that matcha opera cake. I went back twice during my stay.

I didn't try either Chez Cima or Henri Charpentier, but will definitely check them out when I head back later this year. Better than Pierre Herme you say?

Didn't get to Toshi Yoroizuka either and, for the life of me, I dont' remember why. May well have been a line-up as I can't think of any other reason I wouldn't have checked it out. And, no, not being hungry would never stop me - especially when it comes to dessert.


www.josephmallozzi.wordpress.com

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