Add: 16 rue Dupetit-Thouars
Hours: 9am~6pm (open daily)
Visited on: Nov 2013
Sunday afternoon with the ladies from Lost In Cheeseland and Paris In Four Month at Fondation Coffee, a newly-opened espresso bar by Australian barista Chris Nielsen (ex-Ten Belles, that lovely cafe near Canal St. Martin). Standing room included, the tiny space fits no more than 12 people, but there is a terrace if you are up for the Parisian wintry air. The interior, designed by Chris’ Swedish wife, is simple and cozy. And the coffee? One of the best in town, I hear!
Café crème (€4), I say it’s a cup of fluffy dreams.
On another note, I like flowers.
The last time I had chocolates from Japanese chocolatier Hironobu Tsujiguchi was almost a year and half ago, when a friend graciously hand-carried a box back for me from his one and only boutique, Le Chocolat de H, located in Tokyo. I had almost forgotten how divine his chocolates are, until I saw them again at Paris’ annual Salon du Chocolat last month. This was Mr. Tsujiguchi’s first time appearing at Paris’ Salon de Chocolat, and his chocolates were awarded “5 bars”, the highest recognition by the Club des Croqueurs des Chocolat (CCC). That sounds like a big deal.
On another note, I spotted Mr. Carl Marletti at buying Le Chocolat de H at Le Salon du Chocolat. He told me that he has been to the boutique in Tokyo several times, and is a huge fan. Great minds, you know.
I took home a box of 8 flavors (€2 each), and after tasting all of them in one single sitting, I immediately regretted not buying more of these…
Inside the packaging are detailed explanations on each chocolate, complete with diagrams and all. Very Japanese indeed.
Add: 72 rue Bonaparte 75006 Paris
Tel: +33 (0)1 43 54 47 77
Hours: 10am~7pm (7:30pm on Thu-Fri, 8pm on Sat)
Price: €4.50~7.30/individual dessert
Visited on: Nov 2013
On my first day in Paris, I religiously trekked over to Pierre Hermé’s boutique on rue Bonaparte to have a taste of his legendary creation – Ispahan. Conjured up by the famed chef during his days at Ladurée, Ispahan is two pieces of rose macaron biscuits sandwiching rose petal cream, whole raspberries, and litchis. If you like the sound of this, then you absolutely must visit his boutique RIGHT NOW, because ’tis the season of Fetish Ispahan, during which you can taste 21 different interpretations of this flavor combination, and it ends in just…one week!
Yes, 21 interpretations of Ispahan, including tart, choux, mille feuille, croissant, macaron, sablé, tea, jam, nougat, caramel, etc., and even a recipe book. The choices were tough to make, but these were what I came home with.
First of all, Choux Ispahan (€7). The choux pastry is baked with a layer of crumble, which provides a satisfying crunch at the bite. It’s filled with a light rose mascarpone cream, fresh raspberries, and litchis. Lovely.
Pain de Sucre
Add: 14 Rue Rambuteau, 75003 Paris
Tel: +33 1 45 74 68 92
Hours: [Thu~Mon] 10am~8pm (closed on Tue & Wed)
Tasted on: Nov 2013
Pain de Sucre is meant for the adventurous. The flavor combinations at this pastry boutique are daring to say the least, and the collection changes every two months to keep customers on their toes. It’s not one of my favorite patisseries in Paris – I’m all for experimentations, but some creations here are just not meant for my palate – though it’s always fun to swing by to get inspired by what goes on in the little kitchen.
Maison de Thé
Add: 12 Rue Notre-Dame des Champs, 75006 Paris
Tel: +33 1 53 63 05 43
Hours: [Mon] 12~7:30pm [Tue-Sat] 10:30am~7:30pm (closed on Sun)
Price: €5~16/pot of tea, €4.50~8.50/pastry
Tasted on: Oct 2013
Just steps from the busy intersection of Boulevard Raspail and Rue de Rennes sits Maison de Thé George Cannon, a dainty little tea house run by the Scala family. It’s rather curious how I had never stepped into this place given how close it is to Ferrandi, where I spent my first 5 months in Paris, but I’m glad I finally did. One of their staff members happens to be a reader of Sugared & Spiced, and graciously invited me over for tea on a sunny afternoon.
A brief history on George Cannon. The company, first established in 1898 by a British man (Mr. George Cannon himself), was bought by Raymond Scala, and the company remains a Scala family business till today.
Upon seating, customers are greeted with a complimentary cup of tea that is “in degustation”. On the day of my visit, the tea in degustation was “l’eau”, a blend of Dong Ding Oolong, Tie GuanYin, Darjeeling, and Long Jing.
From a wide array of single-origin tea and perfumed tea, I chose Assam (€12.50/pot or €15.50 with tea desserts) from India, which gives off woody notes of moka, malt, and tobacco. Do note that not all teas on the menu are this pricey – most are in the €5~8/pot range.
Add: 3 rue Monge, 75005 Paris
Tel: 01 43 29 40 78
Hours: [Tue-Thu] 10:30a~11pm [Fri-Sat] 10:30~2am [Sun] 10am~6pm
Price: [to go] €5~6/small cake, €18~21/medium cake, €28~32 large cake [dine in] €12/tea time set
Tasted on: Nov 2013
I wasn’t so sure if I’d like Pâtisserie Ciel. This Franco-Japanese angel cake shop, opened by the owner of Sola, has received wonderful reviews since its opening a few months back, but some Asian friends made comments along the lines of – “Seriously? This taste like ordinary sponge cakes we can find at any corner shop back home…except it’s 10 times more expensive here!” Well, I guess there’s no better way to judge than to actually try it, and I was lucky to have some sweet lovers with me for the tasting, including the ladies from Lost in Cheese Land and Jean Hwang Carrant Cookies.
The space is composed of not much more than a cake display and a L-shaped bar – small, simple, and lovely. It’s sleek and cozy at the same time, with crisp lines, a whole wall of floor-to-ceiling windows, light wooden tones, and warm lighting. Bar seats, by the way, means that this place is not ideal for groups of over 3 people – just something to keep in mind. Reservations accepted.
In the cake display, angel cakes are lined up neat columns: raspberry, vanilla caramel, black sesame, yuzu, matcha, cheesecake, rose praline, chocolate, and mont blanc – all are available in three sizes (€5~6/small, €18~21/medium, €28~32 large) and can be enjoyed sur place ou à emporter. During lunch and dinner hours, savory angel cakes are also served (think mustard and bacon), but these are for dine-in only.
The pastry chef in the kitchen is Aya Tamura, previously of Jules Verne, Mandarin Oriental Paris, and Saturne. It’s no wonder that the shop feels very Japanese and feminine.
Add*: 231 Rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris
Tel: +33 1 55 35 35 96
Visited on: Oct 2013
Another visit to Jean-Paul Hévin. Read my previous post for a brief intro on this world-famous chocolatier, otherwise, plunge right in!
*4 locations available in Paris, check website for detail.
Yuzu (€5.80), composed of tonka croustillant, dark chocolate ganache, cream of yuzu juice and a Venezuela dark chocolate mousse. Varying textures with an acidic note from yuzu. Lovely.
Add: 65 avenue de Breteuil 75007 Paris
Tel: +33 (0)1 47 34 29 74
Hours: [Tue-Sat] 9:30am~6:30pm [Sun] 9:30am~1:30pm
Tasted on: Sep 2013
Pastries in the park, two of my favorite things in Paris put together. And there’s no waiting! Got to seize these last few days of lingering warmth before the winter cold envelops this city.
So why not go to your favorite park with a few pretty things from your favorite patisserie? For this particular afternoon, a friend and I settled somewhere near the Invalids with a box of Mori Yoshida.
Figs is now in season, and all pastry shops are out with their own interpretations of this autumn fruit. Here’s Mori Yoshida’s Solliès (€4.80), macarons sandwiching caramel mousseline cream, fig confiture, and fresh figs. A lovely thing to look at, but the combination of caramel with figs is a bit too sweet for my personal taste.
Add: 33 rue de Turenne 75003 Paris
Tel: +33 (0)1 45 77 29 01
Hours: Tue-Sun 11am~7pm (8pm on Sat, closed on Mon)
Price: [desserts] €6.50~13 [drinks] €4.50~11.00
Tasted on: Sep 2013
I could hardly believe it myself. I had been living in Paris for over a year, yet I hadn’t tasted Jacques Genin’s famous Paris-Brest. It’s not that I don’t frequent his shop – I’d already been there 5 or 6 times – it’s just that ever since Genin has cut down his pastry production (details here), the offerings at his salon de thé have been elusive. You are likely to see mille feuille and tarte au citron (both are must-tries, by the way) on the menu, but items like Paris-Brest are not always there.
On my visit last week, however, I actually had a chance to try some of these rarer items – and not just one, but three! We managed to get Paris-Brest, cheesecake, and l’éphémère on the table, in the addition to the frequently-seen mille feuille and tarte citron.
Since I’ve already raved about the mille feuille and tarte au citron in a previous post, let’s go straight for the Paris-Brest (€8). What it is: a ring of choux pastry studded with crunchy hazelnuts, sandwiching swirls of gorgeous hazelnut praline cream. Holy, moly, heavenly – I was not disappointed despite to ultra high expectation. It’s not too sweet or overly rich, but the serving is generous so sharing is recommended.