Sugared & Spiced

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[Paris] Pâtisserie Ciel

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Pâtisserie Ciel

Add: 3 rue Monge, 75005 Paris
Tel: 01 43 29 40 78
Hours: [Tue-Thu] 11am~8pm [Fri-Sat] 11am~10pm
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.

For dine-ins, a tea time set (€12) composed of a small angel cake and a choice of tea or juice is available.

The experience starts with one of these compressed hand towels, which puff up as water is poured onto them. (The same gimmick can be found at Sola and Kei.)

At the staff (who are all friendly and courteous in the Japanese manner)’s recommendation, I picked hojicha (roasted green tea) to go with my choice of yuzu angel cake. By the way, the Japanese tea at Ciel are all from Jugetsudo, a dainty little Japanese tea boutique in the 6th.

The tea set and utensils are just too cute.

On another note, Japanese whisky is also an option if you’d so choose. The shop is open until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays, maybe this could be your next late-night hangout?

After tea is served, the angel cakes are plated in a few calculated gestures of removing the lid, the plastic cover, and the bottom carton. I also like the choice of large round plates in a soothing grey color.

Among the few of us, we tried raspberry, cheesecake, black sesame, and yuzu. The formula is the same: a ring of fluffy airy angel cake filled with cream of a corresponding flavor.

The yuzu, in a cheerful yellow, is filled with yuzu flavored cream and yuzu confit.

For something slightly richer, try the cheesecake. It comes with cookie crumbs in the center, which adds a nice crunchy texture.

The to-go boxes are beautiful works of origami. I was tempted to get a cake to go just to have one of these…

And so I did. Even two!

I didn’t get a chance to taste the raspberry (€5) during the afternoon and decided to take one home. The flavor was very light, perhaps a bit too plain for my preference.

Mont blanc (€6), a new flavor that just came out this week, should please those who love chestnuts.

For those who are frequent visitors, don’t forget to ask for a fidelity card. For each small angel cake purchased you will get one stamp, and after collecting 15 of these you will receive 1 free angel cake.

Going to back to the comment about Ciel serving “ordinary sponge cakes at expensive prices”, well, it’s really not fair to compare prices like this given the differences in design (for the product, the packaging, and the shop interior) as well as location (in the 5th arrondissement of Paris!) I agree that these angel cakes are not the most extraordinary sweets you can find in the city, but I’d come back again for the experience of sitting in a pleasant space and being served by gracious staff. Another good reason to like Ciel is that the shop opens till late, so it’s a perfect place to get late-night sweets when all other pâtisseries are closed ;)

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Written by sugarednspiced

November 9th, 2013 at 3:32 am