May 16, 2010

Sadaharu Aoki: the first nibble

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I have two missions during this trip to Taipei, both involving French cuisine, and both destinations are within the same building - Bellavita.  I managed to hit the first place tonight.

Pâtisserie Sadaharu Aoki Paris (パティスリー・サダハル・アオキ・パリ) opened a boutique in Taipei at the end of last year.  Somehow I totally forgot about its existence and only remembered a day or two before my trip.  It's not everyday that Hong Kong gets bypassed in favor of Taipei when it comes to haute cuisine (does a pâtisserie count?), so I figured I owe it to myself to check it out.

My friend and I ordered two little gâteaux to share after doing a quick dinner nearby, and I had my iced Earl Grey tea as the weather is pretty hot these days.

I chose bamboo, which is actually an opéra made with green tea.  To be honest I have had some not-so-great experiences with fusion products involving green tea, such as green tea cappuccino.  This is probably going to be relegated to the same category.  Somehow the combination of milk and macha (抹茶) just doesn't do it for me, and I always find the combination too...milky and can't stand the taste.  I don't think there's anything wrong with the execution, just not up my alley.  The layers of chocolate didn't seem to help...

The cassiser was equally weird for me.  For some reason I found the acidity of the cassis out of balance with the creamy top layer.  Thankfully there was chocolate and hazelnuts.

I have to say that it was pretty disappointing first experience.  Maybe my expectations were too high; maybe it was just an off day for me; maybe the local climate meant that things spoil quickly and everything must be consumed immediately after they've been made; or maybe the Japanese pâtissier who made everything locally with imported ingredients isn't really that good...  I don't know, but I will give it another go sometime and hope for better results.

1 comment:

Linda said...

Hi, I came across your blog while I was searching for photos of Sadaharu Aoki's desserts.

I'm sorry to learn that you did not have a good experience with the 2 desserts you picked.
Sadaharu Aoki is one of my favorite pastry chefs, he is also one of the world's most famous and acclaimed pastry chefs. But it is true that some of his works are not particularly that great...and I'm sorry to say that his Cassis Chocolat and Bamboo are not some of his best works.

But Sadaharu Aoki-san has many other fantastic works which I definitely recommend...some of his best works include his famous Sesame eclair, the Valencia, Citron Praliné, Chocolat Pralin, Cheese Cake Citronné, Sudachi, Tarte Caramel Salé, and the Tarte aux Fruits Rouges, to name a few.

So if you do plan on going to Sadaharu Aoki's store again, I would recommend you pick up either those pastries I named above.

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