Mr. Choi Patisserie
Address: Rm F05, 1/F 618 XuJiaHui Rd, near RuiJin 2 Rd 徐家汇路618号日月光中心广场1楼F05室
Price: [Sets] 40~138RMB, [Cakes] ~35RMB, [Coffee/Tea] 35~40RMB
Mr. Choi is a tiny patisserie hidden inside the ASE Center, a new retail/restaurant complex next to Tianzifang. While the name is Korean, the patisserie is actually led by a Japanese pastry chef, who churns out cute little tidbits that have girls in Shanghai going head over heels. When we arrived on a Saturday afternoon, the small space was already packed. We were lucky to even snatch a seat on the outdoor patio, and felt even luckier when offered thick blankets to shield ourselves against the chilly February weather.
Mr. Choi outdoor patio
Since it was my first time at Mr. Choi, I naturally opted for the 8-piece mini cake collection to try as many varieties as possible. I was disappointed to find out that most items, despite their deceivingly cute appearances, were barely passable. The only one that I enjoyed was the caramel pudding, which was creamy and runny (in a good way), and the blueberry cheese tart was also quite agreeable. Everything else was mediocre.
Mini cake collection (8 pieces), 138 RMB (includes coffee/tea)
Layer 1: cupcake, green tea roll cake, quiche, black forest chocolate cake
Layer two: cupcake, caramel pudding, apple cake, blueberry cheese tart
Fortunately, the TWG Creme Caramel tea I ordered as a part of the set, was lovely. A delicate red tea from South Africa with a blend of sweet French spices, the Creme Caramel was a dessert in itself.
TWG Creme Caramel
As it was getting chilly, we requested to be moved inside to the tiny space as soon as a table cleared out. The tables are spaced very closely to each other, leaving no room for a private tête-à-tête.
After the unsatisfactory mini cake collection, I wasn’t keen on trying any more desserts from Mr. Choi, until I saw these adorable little things being brought to the neighboring table. Of course I had to order them as well.
Hazelnut Angels, 68 RMB (includes coffee/tea)
The hazelnut angels are a variation on dacquoise, a French dessert cake made with layers of almond and hazelnut meringue and whipped cream or buttercream. Not too shabby.
Hazelnut Angel close-up
With the hazelnut angels came another pot of tea – Earl Grey D’amour, a light and aromatic blend of black tea that has been infused with delicate bergamot, wild flowers and luscious white tea blossoms.
TWG Earl Grey D’amour
The reason why the mini cake collection was disappointing might be that it doesn’t include two of the items I most wanted to try – the durian cake (I’m so curious about the flavor) and the cheese fondue (a soft-centered cheese cake, not an actual fondue). So I might come back to give Mr. Choi another try, but not without pre-ordering the two signature desserts (call one day in advance).
Strawberry cream puffs