This New York bakery has opened two outlets in Tokyo; one in Shinagawa and Hiroo. While many foreign restaurants or bakeries have created a hype among the locals, things seem to be rather quiet, or peaceful at the City Bakery. The signature croissant pretzel-croissant made in pretzel form, which is said to have a cult following, was not armed with a satisfying crunch as expected. Being slightly chewy and bready, this might not suit the liking of those who prefer crunchy butter croissants like those from Gontran Cherrier. The chocolate croissant is approximates closer to the standard decent ones.
The selection of pastries is not as wide as Le Petit Mec or Gontran Cherrier, but there are still some notable picks like the Maple Bacon Biscuit and the Cinnamon Bake. Less rich and sweet than the usual cinnamon roll, the Cinnamon Bake has a mellowy earthy flavour with a surprise filling of crunchy pecan nuts. It is also very fun to dismantle this bread as the chunks of sugar coated cubes on top were inviting people to pluck them off, one at a time.
The Creme brûlée tart that sat alongside other tarts in the chiller had a rather sassy custard filling that would perk anyone awake with the sweetness. It's the only tart that seems worth trying as other tarts with non-black tart shell looked lifeless.
I must say that the hot chocolate topped with marshmallow (signature drink) was indeed rich and mildly sweet. The S size was quite expensive at ¥450 though. However, the winter special Lemon Hot Chocolate was surprisingly a new refreshing taste for me. I couldn't imagine how a citrus fruit could work in chocolate concoctions except for mousse cakes but this work perfectly well.
If there is anything I would remember from the City Bakery, it is none other than the awesome hot chocolate, and also the giant peanut butter chocolate cookie that I decided to grab before leaving for the train station.
Pear Almond Scone (left) Maple Bacon Biscuit (right)
Pretzel Croissant (Wholewheat version)
Lemon Hot Chocolate (front)
The City Bakery
Atre Shinagawa 2F
Minato Minami 2-18-1
Access: JR Shinagawa Station
Daily 8am-10pm (11am-12midnight for restaurant)
Other outlet: Hiroo
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