Sunday, February 28, 2010

Le Pommier

I have to admit, I've been avoiding Le Pommier out of loyalty to Petit Decorer, the much smaller and humbler, yet surely just as delicious, patisserie at the end of my street. I pass them both every day on my way to and from work, the supermarket, the subway station - pretty much everywhere I go - so I always feel better choosing the shop that probably needs my support more. However, by now I've already tried pretty much everything Petit Decorer has to offer, and the admittedly much more colorful displays at Le Pommier were calling to me. So I gave it a try.

First up was the Yoyo aux Fraises above. This giant-sized strawberry macaron, standing on end with powdered-sugar-dusted strawberry quarters wedged into the rippled white buttercream piped around the circumference, is both a simple extension of the ever-popular macaron cookie and an apparently unique concept - I've never seen such a thing anywhere else. I wasn't sure how to eat it, with fork or fingers, and while both French and Japanese people would probably have chosen the fork, I ended up picking it apart. The buttercream was quite stiff and came off in pieces; the macaron crumbled when squeezed too hard, making it impossible to just pick it up and eat it like a sandwich. Inside was a wobbly strawberry panna cotta, cemented to the cookies with thinly spread buttercream. It was fancy and fun to eat, but the flavor wasn't outstanding - the fresh strawberries were probably the best part.
The second cake I tried really was amazing. It's called Piemont and consists of a dry, crumbly European-style hazelnut cake layer topped with three strata of chocolate and chocolate-hazelnut mousses. The sides are very thin plates of dark chocolate, and the top is glazed with ganache and decorated with milk chocolate rosebuds, caramelized hazelnuts, and a piece of paper that says "Le Pommier." This was so delicious I could have eaten a whole nother piece. It also kept me up till one in the morning. Maybe one of those layers of mousse was coffee flavored.

Le Pommier has a huge array of beautiful cakes and other Frenchy baked goods like croissants, madeleines, and breton sables. I'm sure I'll be back... stay tuned!

Azabu Juban 3-9-2
Minato-ku, Tokyo

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