Thursday, December 3, 2015

Dominique Ansel Tokyo Part 1: Smores Craze and Petit Park Menu



Unexpectedly, I think I have tried at least 60% of the menu this time round.

I was all too excited when I heard that Dominique Ansel Bakery was entering Tokyo in early 2015. This famous NY bakery shot to fame with its hybrid invention "Cronuts", rated one of the top 25 world's best inventions by TIMES in 2013. 
The original inventions of Chef-owner Dominique Ansel including the Magic Souffle or Milk and Cookie are so popular that they have earned him names such as "Willy Wonka of NYC" and "culinary Van Gogh". Of all places, DAB (short form for Dominique Ansel Bakery) invaded the chic and classy Omotesando, which is the home to several international brands such as Clinton Bakery, Bills, Max Brenner, Sunny Hills Pineapple, Taiwan's Ice Monster and 春水堂. 
Queues are predictable but I guessed the hype has subsided by the time of my recent visit. It was not very crowded on a weekday afternoon, though a line still form around 3pm when the cookie shot is scheduled to be out from the kitchen. The cookie cylinder is poured with cold milk and has to be consumed shortly after. 

The sturdy cookie wall was fudgy, chewy, with subtle spiced cinnamon notes that reminded me a little of christmas. The taste was good but nothing spectacular, just like having a giant cookie + cold milk. I enjoyed how the milk started to "corrode" the sturdy inner walls, making the dough slightly wet and sticky.
This is part of the "Made-to-Order" menu section which includes the Frozen Smores (¥750). Upon ordered, you proceed to the station where a staff will blow-torch a white block which is marshmallow filled with Tahitian vanilla ice cream enrobed in crunchy chocolate feuilletine flakes. 

Surprisingly, it isn't just a monotone layer of sweetness on the outside. There is a deliberate play on the texture contrast, which made me lap up this happily like a little kid. 
There are two floors at DAB Tokyo outlet; the 1F is a self-service eat-in area where you can sit wherever you like after buying the food. The 2F floor named "Petit Park" opens an hour later at 10am and offers the full menu which includes brunches, eggs and desserts. 
Perhaps the food shots on its website were too perfectly taken, it was rather upsetting when I realized that the portions in reality, did not match up to the looks and price. For instance, the Brooklyn (¥1200/SGD 13.90), two egg benedicts on rye dough buried beneath a canopy of sautéed kale and fried shallots, left me and my partner rather appalled initially but thankfully the taste made up for it. 
Likewise, the Lobster Roll (¥1200/SGD13.90) was rather petite but I'll be forgiving since the meat was sweet, chunky and tender, held together by a toasted buttered roll. 

The Caesar Salad (¥1200/SGD13.90) was theatrically presented yet no less scrumptious as the crouton base. The only trouble was to eat it without spilling all over the table. Perhaps this could be served with another big salad bowl to dissect the "potted plant" and mixed everything together. 

There is also a dessert section whose items are different from the sweets displayed at 1F. We had the New York (¥1000), an upgraded version of the classic French dessert with praline Creme patisserie and hazelnut feuilletine. It was pleasantly nutty but the portion was small for the price. After doing some math, I figured that one should just stick to the 1F sweets selection for tastier sweets that are worth the yen.  

Coming up next, the sweets of Dominique Ansel Tokyo......


Dominique Ansel Tokyo ドミニクアンセルベーカリー
5 Chome-7-14 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan
Tel: +81 3-3486-1329
Daily: 8am-7pm (9am for 2F Petit Park Menu)
http://dominiqueanseljapan.com/

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