Friday, August 20, 2010

Aux Bacchanales Patisserie-Boulangerie

Though I've written before about the Aux Bacchanales restaurant, I haven't mentioned the adjoining bakery, which has some of the best French breads and pastries I've yet found in Tokyo. It sells a variety of baked goods, from sandwiches and quiches to buns and baguettes, as well as sweets like danishes and pie. What I always get, and in my opinion the best thing they have, is the pain au chocolat - more on that below. I do try new things occasionally, however, and last time this fresh-cheese-filled brioche caught my eye. The filling was thick but tart, almost like yogurt, and the brioche was sweet and chewy. Delicious, but a little heavy - I'd do better to stick with pain au chocolat.
As you can see from the photo below, the pain au chocolat goes light on the chocolate - the two slender veins are just an accent gilding the lily. The main event here is the flaky, buttery pastry itself. The top layer, shiny and baked to the very edge of burnt, so that it has an almost caramelized flavor, flakes off on your tongue and melts there. Each subsequent layer is a slightly paler shade, down to the soft white interior swathing those channels of chocolate. It's full of air pockets, so it tastes light as a cloud in spite of the flavor of pure, sweet butter - a truly divine creation.
Aux Bacchanales
Ark Mori Bdg., 2nd Floor
Minato-ku, Akasaka 1-12-32

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