Sadaharu Aoki is famed for his incorporation of Japanese flavours into classical French desserts. He first opened his store in Paris but now has stores in Japan and Taiwan. It’s been a pretty poor effort on my part but the last time I was in Japan I didn’t visit after being tempted by Pierre Herme and Laduree. When I did try to go in Paris it was closed. Finally on this trip I got a taste at his boutique store in Shinjuku Isetan.
Positives first I guess? The sesame macaron had a lovely roasted sesame flavour and you could see the black pieces of sesame in the shell. However, the whole macaron was very dry and crumby which was weird. Luckily the cassis macaron was not dry but had a lovely punch of tangy blackcurrants.
Sesame and Cassis Macaron (¥292 each)
Look at the vibrant green interior of this matcha croissant! It had a sweet caramelised top with a fluffy interior but it tasted like a normal croissant to me. There wasn’t a hint of matcha in it but I didn’t mind this (my first taste of a matcha croissant at Gontran Cherrier did not leave me converted). This wasn’t a fresh croissant but I think it would have tasted a lot better if it were.
Matcha Croissant (¥399)
The bamboo was a stunning looking cake with it’s paper thin multi layers – simple and stylish, I like. It had alternating layers of matcha joconde biscuit, chocolate ganache, and matcha buttercream. Despite all these layers it tasted like a normal sponge cake to me where there was no hint of matcha or chocolate. The whole thing was quite mushy and left a pastey feel in the mouth. I’m not sure if it’s been left out for a while too long?
Did Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki knock my socks off? Nope but it could be just a blip in quality as this was purchased at a boutique. I have had quality variations in Pierre Herme’s Japan stores; absolutely hated the macarons at Laduree in Japan but loved them in Laduree Paris so I would be willing to give Aoki a second go. Only in Paris though ;)
3 Chome-14-1 Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0022, Japan