Sunday, April 20, 2014

Patisserie Jun Ujita パティスリー ジュンウジタ: Coffee Rules

Patisserie Jun Ujita is run by Chef Jun Ujita whose philosophy is to create simple yet delicious cakes. Though he went to France and worked under Sadaharu Aoki, there is barely any influence from his Paris-based Japanese senior in his creations. After trying some of his delicious creations at the weekly rotating sweets corner at Isetan Shinjuku, I figured I should pay a trip to his shop to try more of his signature items that were available only at his main shop.

The shop is not too difficult to find but it requires at least 15 minutes of walk from the nearest station. I had to wait a while for the fresh batch of Tarte au Cafe Caramel (530 yen) because it had run out of stock. I never regretted the wait because there was excellence in every bite. Even before digging in, one could inhale the coffee scents that were obviously coming from the cake.

I managed to convince the assistant chef at the counter to let me takeout this cake despite the 30-min strict takeaway time limit for this tart. The combination of delicate grand cru coffee mousse, caramel glaze, walnuts, gooey salted caramel and thin crunchy tart shell was nothing short of unbridled deliciousness.

"Like in the wine industry, a “Grand Cru” stands out from a “mainstream” coffee by its uncompromising perfection pushed to the extreme at every stage of its development: selection of exclusive green coffee varieties, ideal soil, controlled growing conditions and thorough post harvest treatments, best in class farming practices, hand-picking and drastic sorting, discriminatory tasting and severe quality controls."

Quote from

The Fromage Blanc (490 yen) was a seasonal cheesecake creation made with unripened cheese. It was a letdown because the kumquat orange glaze was too sweet and cloying, even though the sable base was crunchy. Perhaps other ingredients could be utilized elevate the flavours of the cake instead of throwing some odd cubes of almond sponge in the middle.

Chocolat Pistachio 521 yen attracted me at first sight because it looked like a sleepy forest with lush green canopy. I thought it would be an old-fashion chocolate mousse cake but it turned out to be a "black forest cake". The wall of slightly dry chocolate sponge is filled with thick pistachio creme and wee bits of cherry groittines embedded near the base. Some pretty nice design work here but taste is underwhelming.

But the Vaneau (470 yen) was spot on. Few could unearth the potential of espresso like this gateau which allows the coffee to sing unabashedly in the upper mousse. Segmented by a thin chocolate sponge, the dark chocolate mousse at the base is mixed with golden caramelized Macademia nuts which ratchet the texture to the next level. I am pretty sure the coffee beans have been revived, for rarely can I detect the breath of cakes as strongly as this one.

The brown shop that resembles an antique shop also stocks up very delicious baked goods. Don't go for the madeleines or financiers but pick up a bag of the Sacristain (540 yen) --a super crunchy pie infused with rum. There are also homemade caramel milk jams in assorted flavours including earl grey and matcha.

There is a small area good for probably only 2-4 person to have their cakes in the shop. Though I would not be able to try everything, I am pretty confident to say that Chef Ujita does have a flair in playing with coffee and caramel.

Patisserie Jun Ujita パティスリー ジュンウジタ
Meguro-ku Himonya 4-6-6
Closed on Mon (on Tuesday if Mon is a holiday)

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