Pâtisserie Sadaharu Aoki Paris vs. Taipei
Wednesday, July 11, 2012

If you’re a regular reader and still reading this, I owe you some pie for taking another hiatus. I spent a fun-filled month in Taiwan getting my carpal tunnel surgery, resting, and catching up with family. Now I’m back in Vancouver for the remainder of the summer. I’ll be crossing my fingers that my 1-year working holiday visa gets granted so I can head back to Paris in September. In the meantime, I will do lots of baking and *note to self* blogging.

And if you thought I was kidding about the pie offer earlier, I’m serious! Today, I’ll be serving slices of my caramelized banana and coconut pie. Offer good until supplies last.

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Are you going to say no? Really? But it’s a flaky, buttery crust serving as a vehicle for a filling of caramelized bananas, coconut custard, fresh coconut, and a light whipped cream. Is that a yes?

This will also be the last of my backdated Paris posts. Following this, I’m going to blog about all the deliciousness I ate in Taiwan and show you what I’m baking in my kitchen. Today’s post will be about a re-visit to my favourite Japanese-influenced pastry shop, Pâtisserie Sadaharu Aoki while I was in Taiwan. If you haven’t read yet, here’s my last post about it.

Mr. Sadaharu Aoki is a man who spent nearly a decade in Paris making pastries before opening his own boutique. I should emphasize the fact that he opened his first shop in Paris. I can’t think of any other foreign pastry chef daring enough to open a pâtisserie in the heart of the pastry world. And now he runs 9 shops in 3 countries! While I was in Taipei, I visited his boutiques located in level B2 of hotel Regent Taipei. Luckily, I snapped lots of pictures before the saleslady told me pictures are not allowed.

A very wide selection of his pastries are offered at this location. Here are some of his cakes.

And some viennoiseries. Too bad they didn’t have my favourite, the green tea croissant.

The boutique inside Hotel Regent Taipei also happens to have a dining-in area where you can order tea, coffee with your pastries. I should probably warn you that it is not cheap, almost comparable to Paris.

Here’s another view from the dining-in area of the boutique.

I also noticed a rather visible kitchen connected to the boutique. It didn’t look like all the pastries were made at this location, maybe just some final touches and assembling.

I ordered a matcha-tea latte. I think I would’ve preferred pairing my pastries with something lighter like a tea or a coffee to cut the sweetness.

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I also purchased a box of 6 macarons to take back to Kaohsiung for my grandparents to try. It turns out my grandpa like macarons! Like most asians, he doesn’t eat much sweets so that was a surprise.

Clockwise from top left: black sesame, yuzu, hojicha (roasted japanese green tea), earl grey, vanilla, matcha (japanese green tea).

His macarons were very uniform and flawless. Almost all his fillings are a ganache-base which I tend to find slightly sweeter and richer. They were all very good however, I prefer my macarons with a buttercream filling.

The pastry I selected to dine-in.

It’s a chocolate praline cake. From the bottom: hazelnut genoise, praline feuilletine, praline mousse, chocolate genoise, praline mousse, and mini chocolate macaron.

Vanilla mille-feuille. Not the best but still good. I found the mille-feuille pastry too dense. Trying to stick a fork through it meant pastry cream oozing out of all sides. But, in terms of flavour, the vanilla cream was delicious and the pastry very well caramelized.

Caramel tart and black sesame eclaire. I actually tasted these in Paris back in May. My impression from both these pastries was that they were slightly too sweet. Overall, I do find Aoki’s pastries to be quite rich. Just a few bites will satisfy my sweet tooth.

 

 

Well? Let me know what you think. Write me a comment below!