Last week I paid a visit to Le Pommier. Even though I pass it twice every day on the way back and forth to work, I hardly ever buy anything there. The shop's bright orange packaging is so hard to conceal that I feel guilty promenading it right past the other patisserie I pass twice every day, which is smaller and whose two owner-workers always smile at me. I'm also intimidated by the real French pastry chef who sometimes is behind the counter on weekends (the shop has several other branches, which I assume are where he spends the rest of his days). In any case, despite the number of times I've glanced in the window at the jewel-colored rows of pastries behind the glass, this was only my second visit, and as it was almost closing time, the selection of cakes was limited. That was actually more a blessing than a curse, however, as it helped me narrow down my choices.
My mom was with me (she being my excuse for buying cake on a weeknight), and when I had read the names of each option, she promptly chose the one at the top: Glacier. It's a mint-chocolate combination, always her favorite, and even though she was a bit disgusted by the layer of mint-flavored mousse, the minty-clear jelly, and the jelly "ice" cube on top, the chocolate layers (dark and milk chocolate mousse and a thin layer of chocolate cake) did meet with approval. I picked the Mammamiya, a not terribly memorable fruit and cream combination. It had a layer of fig jelly and some raspberries and cream on the bottom, but didn't taste nearly as exotic as I was expecting.
The surprise winner of the night was the violet macaron. Mama had never had these Parisian favorites, and of course I couldn't let her leave Tokyo without trying them. She picked mint chocolate again, and since rose is one of my favorite flavors I decided on violet, without much confidence that it would be any good. We split them so we could each try both. While the mint was okay, it was a little too strong for me. The violet, however, was delicious - fruity and fragrant, almost peachy, distinct from rose without being clearly identifiable as anything I've ever tasted before. If that's what violets taste like, they deserve to become a much more popular flavor.
Azabu Juban 3-9-2