Sugared & Spiced

paris, pâtissière in training

[PARIS] Sadaharu Aoki (3)

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Sadaharu Aoki

Add:  35 Rue de Vaugirard, 75006 Paris*
Tel: +33 1 45 44 48 90
Hours: [Tue-Sat] 11am~7pm [Sun] 10am~6pm (closed on Mon)
Website: www.sadaharuaoki.com
Price: €5~6/patisserie
Tasted on: Dec 2014

Sadaharu Aoki, famed for combining Japanese ingredients in French pastries, now has three shops in Paris – the newest one being in the recently renovated Lafayette Gourmet. It was a year and a half ago when I last had an Aoki pastry (see here and here), and I haven’t gone back in so long because I wasn’t too convinced by what I tasted last time. This Saturday morning, however, I was in a green tea state of mind, and decided to pay the shop a visit. Get ready for lots of green.

*Additional locations available, check website for detail.

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Tarte Caramel Matcha (€5.30), a recently launched variation on Aoki’s Tarte Caramel Salé, is an eye-catcher and no less intense in taste. The perfectly piped green spiral of matcha mousse has a strong taste (in comparison to the more subtle flavors in Aoki’s other matcha pastries), and underneath it is a salted caramel that’s both very sweet and salty. I quite liked it, but only in small doses – 1/4 of the tart at a time is perfect.

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December 21st, 2014 at 12:26 pm

[PARIS] Acide Macaron

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Acide Macaron

Add: 10 Rue du Bac, Paris 75007
Tel: 01 42 61 60 61
Hours: [Tue-Sun] 11am~8pm
Website: acidemacaron.com
Price: [patisserie] €6~6.50 [macaron] €1.40
Visited on: Nov 2014

I visited Acide Salon de Thé a few months back, and while I enjoyed the pastries and the pretty teaware, it’s too far across town for frequent revisits. Needless to say, I was happy to discover that Jonathan Blot (chef/owner of Acide Macaron, ex-Plaza Athénée and Jules Vernes) opened a boutique on rue du Bac, right near my neighborhood.

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Inside the boutique, it’s a burst of colors. Just look at these rows of macarons…I can’t say I’m a fan of neon-colored food, but they definitely caught my attention.

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December 15th, 2014 at 11:06 pm

[PARIS] Pierre Sang Boyer (2)

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Pierre Sang Boyer

Add: 55 rue Oberkampf, 75011 Paris
Tel: N/A
Hours: 12~2:30pm, 7~10:30pm (open daily)
Website: pierresangboyer.com
Price: [lunch] €20 [dinner] €39, wine pairing +€30
Visited on: Dec 2014

Almost two years later, I’m back at Pierre Sang Boyer. A few changes since my last visit: the restaurant is now open daily, added an online booking system, and the portions seem to have gotten bigger. What hasn’t changed is Pierre Sang’s creative cooking driven by market-fresh ingredients, sprinkled with bits of Asian (mainly Korean) touches. What I enjoyed about dining here, other than the fun and delicious food, is that everyone – from the chefs to the waitresses to the diners – seems to be having a good time. It’s a lovely, convivial experience.

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Oyster with wilted spinach, crushed wasabi peas, and pomegranates.

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Raw marinated scallops with ???. Oops.

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December 14th, 2014 at 9:51 am

[PARIS] Restaurant A.T

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Restaurant A.T by Atsushi Tanaka

Add: 4 Rue Cardinal Lemoine, Paris 75005
Tel: 01 56 81 94 08
Hours: [Tue-Sat] 12:15~2pm, 8~9:30pm
Website: www.atsushitanaka.com
Price: [lunch] €45, €75 with wine pairing [dinner] €85, €150 with wine pairing
Visited on: Nov 2014

I have already visited many establishments ran by Japanese chefs here in Paris (e.g. Passage 53, Kei, Sola, Le Clos Y), and while I’ve always loved the clean, precise style of Japanese French food, the idea of “yet another one of these” doesn’t excite me so much anymore. But when I saw the photos on Restaurant A.T’s website – and I’ve seen many pretty plates prior to this already – I was still wowed. Created by Atsushi Tanaka (trained under Pierre Gagnaire), the dishes look sharp, modern, and ultra artistic. Then, a quick search on the internet sent back very positive feedbacks. Ok, I will give this a try.

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The 5-course lunch menu (€45) started with Charcoal Chips - and we were to find out later that the chef really likes his charcoal – with colors matching the grey-toned dining room.

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December 1st, 2014 at 11:34 am

[PARIS] Matamata Coffee Bar

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Matamata Coffee Bar

Add: 58 Rue d’Argout, 75002 Paris
Tel: 01 71 39 44 58
Hours: 8am~6pm
Website: www.facebook.com/matamatacoffee
Price: [drinks] €2.50~4.50 [pastries] €1~4
Visited on: Nov 2014

Yet another place to get good coffee in Paris. Cozy decor, with a basement area that can fit bigger groups. Matamata (I just like the sound of it).

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November 30th, 2014 at 7:29 pm

[PARIS] Sandwich Lunch at Abri

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Abri

Add: 92 rue du Faubourg-Poissonnière, 75010 Paris
Tel:  01 83 97 00 00
Hours: [Mon & Sat sandwich days] 12~3pm [Tue-Fri] 12:30~2pm, 7:30~10pm
Price: [lunch] €13~22/menu [dinner] €38.50/menu
Visited on: Nov 2014

Katsuaki Okiyama, previously at Robuchon, Taillevent and l’Agapé, runs this intimate neo bistro in the 10th. I last visited Abri over half a year ago for a friend’s birthday dinner, which turned out to be pleasant but not especially memorable. What lured me back this time is its tonkatsu sandwich lunch, available on Saturdays and Mondays only. This sandwich has been a much-talked about item in town, and was recently listed on My Little Paris’ top 50 dishes. Let’s give it a try.

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What is a tonkatsu sandwich? Tonktasu is breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet, a very popular food in Japan whether served with rice or in a sandwich form. At Abri, the sandwich consists of chopped cabbage, homemade mayonnaise, vegetable omlette, coarse grain Dijon mustard, tonkatsu, sweet and sour pork sauce, Mimolette cheese, all sandwiched by two pieces of toasts. With a beverage (choice of wine, beer, juice, coffee, tea, infusions) plus dessert, this goes for €13. Take-out available for the same price.

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November 27th, 2014 at 12:04 pm

[PARIS] Afternoon Tea at The Peninsula

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The Lobby Restaurant at The Peninsula Paris

Add: 19 Avenue Kléber, 75016, Paris
Tel: 01 58 12 28 88
Hours: [afternoon tea] 3~6pm
Website: peninsula.com/paris
Price: [tea set] 45/person, 80/two people [a la carte] 18~22/dessert, 12~18/tea
Tasted on: Nov 2014

Please note that this was an arranged tasting.

My chef took the team out last week (merci chef!) for a dessert tasting at The Peninsula. I had already visited this beautiful hotel in July during its pre-opening media event, but of course it’s a completely different experience coming back here after it’s a few months into operation. What we came for on this particular afternoon were desserts by Julien Alvarez, champion du monde de pâtisserie (world champion in pastry) of 2011, now the head pastry chef at The Peninsula. Ready to feast?

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As typical at most hotels, The Peninsula offers an afternoon tea set (45/person, 80/two people) as well as a la carte options (18~22/dessert). Since my chef personally knows Julien Alvarez, all we had to do was order our tea, then wait for the desserts to appear on the table – needless to say that we fully trusted him to show us his best. For tea, I chose Shincha Kirishima (€18), an exceptional green tea from Kyushu, Japan, and later also tried Oolong Chataigne (€12), an interesting mix of Taiwanese oolong tea with chestnut flavor.

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Then came the desserts. The first – Chou (18) – is a vanilla and hazelnut cream puff with a melting praliné heart, served with gianduja chocolate sauce at the table.

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November 26th, 2014 at 11:24 am

[PARIS] Chambelland

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Chambelland

Add: 14 Rue Ternaux, 75011 Paris
Tel: 01 43 55 07 30
Hours: 9am~8pm
Website: www.chambelland.com
Price: 3.50~5/pastry and bread
Visited on: Nov 2014

I’m not gluten-free, but the photos from Chambelland look so tempting that I just had to pay a visit. This boulangerie opened up earlier this year, and I had actually first heard about it from a friend who was just visiting Paris. Having stayed at an apartment just around the corner from Chambelland, she came here frequently and raved about all the breads and pastries she’d had. The fact that she never mentioned, or perhaps she was unaware of, the fact that this place is gluten-free, was a good sign for me.

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Chambelland offers an assortment of breads, pastries, cookies (including the Browkie, an in-between of brownie and cookie), but no viennoiseries at the moment.

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Our picks for the afternoon: moelleux chocolat, cheesecake, and tarte aux myrtilles (3.50~4.50 each for dine in). All were simple and quite delicious, and taste surprisingly similar to regular pastries –  I doubt that I’d be able to tell that they are gluten-free if someone just offered them to me like this.

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November 25th, 2014 at 10:30 am

[TOKYO] Le Chocolat de H (2)

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Le Chocolat de H

Add: Shibuya Hikarie ShinQs B2F, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 2-21-1 / 東京都渋谷区渋谷 2-21-1 渋谷ヒカリエ ShinQs B2F
Tel: (03) 54683167
Hours: 10am~9pm
Website: www.lcdh.jp
Price: Coffret du Chocolat ¥2,700~10,368
Tasted on: Nov 2014

A friend recently came back from Tokyo and brought me a box of chocolates from Le Chocolat de H by Hironobu Tsujiguchi. You might have read my previous posts on this Japanese chocolatier (here and here) and already know that I’m a huge fan of his creations. Needless to say, I was grinning from ear to ear upon receiving this box…an assortment of 16 different chocolate bonbons!

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November 19th, 2014 at 10:27 am

Posted in paris eats

[NORMANDIE] Honfleur & Deauville

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Day 2 in Normandie started with a large coffee, toasted country bread, and homemade jams for breakfast. With sunlight spilling in from the windows, even better.

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Then, we drove over to Honfleur, a touristy port town that has managed to maintain some of the charms that once inspired artists like Monet, Courbet, and Boudin.

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November 16th, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Posted in ESCAPADES

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