In every city I visit I try to find a piece of Paris. The fun thing about patisseries in Tokyo? Their sweets are less sweet, so you can eat more and feel less guilty. This is not to take from their beauty of course. The desserts are made to perfection and look like a work of art. The downside is that not every place allows you take photos, and in some places we were told to stop after shooting a few pictures. They don’t allow it even if you buy something from them. Before heading to Tokyo I’ve tracked down some of the most exciting places to get my sweet fix. Plus you’re in for a nice surprise at the end of the post – one amazing foodies heaven! You can thank me later (preferably with a cake).
- Sadaharu Aoki @ Ginza, Tokyo
Sadaharu Aoki is a Japanese chef patisserie which is best known for blending French techniques with Japanese ingredients and traditional flavors. He currently has 4 boutiques located in Shibuya, Shinjuku, Marunouchi and Tokyo Midtown. I payed a visit to the Marunouchi boutique, for a light dessert before the 17 course meal I was headed for in Tapas Molecular Bar. Here you can either choose a dessert from the counter of sit at one of the small tables and order from a waiter. I sat in to order, not before I was welcomed with a complementary tasting of a macaroon. What a great start to our loving relationship.
I ordered the Dégustation (¥1760 / $14.5 / 56.5₪) – a platter of six mini cakes and a macaron (don’t confuse with macaroons). This was perfect for me since there was so much to choose from and all the cakes in the display window looked irresistible. My personal favorite was the Cheese-Cake Citron, which is composed of cream cheese, lemon zest, lemon cream and hazelnut biscuit and Saya – pistachio cream, hazelnut biscuit, almond sponge cake and strawberry cream.
I didn’t leave empty handed – upon paying the bill I was given a small bag with a Chocoron. This is a chocolate covered macaron. I got the Framboise macaron but they also have a few other flavors such as coffee and matcha.
I loved everything about this place and I think you’ll like it too.
Sadaharu Aoki Online:
2. Laduree @ Shijuku, Tokyo
Tucked in Lumine 2 Shopping center, a part of the Shinjuku station complex, this beautiful patisserie serves some of the most decadent and luxurious cakes and delicacies in Tokyo. They also have a few other branches and stands in Harajuku, Ginza and more (as well as a bunch around the world), but this one was the closest to our Airbnb apartment. Laduree is actually a French bakery that was established in 1862. Their specialty is macarons in all kinds of flavors, ranging from Coffee to Liquorice to Cherry Blossom and Violet Marshmallow. Note they do not allow to take photos of the display window.
There was no line when we visited Laduree so I was not in a rush to decide what to get. Unfortunately, It didn’t make the decision any easier. Eventually I chose one cake and three macarons.
The macorns depicted:
Strawberry Candy Incroyable – Two almond macaron shells filled with strawberry candy guimauve.
Marie Antoinette – Two light blue macaron shells filled with a smooth cream infused with Marie-Antoinette tea.
Salted Butter Caramel – Two almond macaron shells filled with salted caramel.
This unique strawberry shaped cake is called La Fraise. It’s comprised of layers of coconut dacquoise biscuit, strawberry preserve and strawberry mousseline cream.
3. Pierre Herme @ Foodies Heaven AKA Isetan, Shinjuku
Pirre Herme in Shinjuku is located inside the Isetan, which is one of the most amazing Depachika in Tokyo. What is Depachika you wonder? It can be best described as a DisneyLand of food, a roller coaster of deliciousness, a foodie’s dreamland. Depachika is basically the basement level of a department store. There are many Depachikas scattered across Tokyo, so wherever you are, make sure to pay a visit to at least on of those during your stay. What will you find there? An overwhelming amount of food counters, stocking pretty much everything from bentos to fresh produce, sweet to sushi, baking goods and every other food type you can imagine. The best thing – many counters offer tasting samples!
Isetan is one of the famous Depachikas in Tokyo and it’s pretty easy to access – located just a few minutes walk from Shinjuku station. They have an exceptionally large sweets section, so trying to locate Pierre Herme without being distracted by the other gorgeous counters was quite challenging.
Pierre Herme’s counter, not different from the other ones in Isetan, is simply extravagant. I chose the Tarte Infiniment Vanilla, described as “Pâte sablée, white chocolate ganache with vanilla, tender biscuit moistened with vanilla, vanilla-flavoured mascarpone cream”. The contrast in textures between the shortbread crust and the rich vanilla flavored ganache was so fun and the light vanilla sweetness was just on spot.
Are you adventurous enough to make this at home? You can try Bartisserie’s recipe. From her photos it looks simply heavenly.
I also tasted one of their macarons – Jardin dans les Pins, which is combination of Mountain Pine and Scots Pine, which tastes as bizarre as it sounds.
If you love visiting local supermarkets you’re bound to fall in love with Depachikas! This is like a supermarket on steroids, with tons of things to taste and stare at with admiration. On that note, I’ll leave you with some images to drool over.
Pierre Herme Online: