Sunday, November 15, 2015

Malebranche Kitayama マールブランシュ京都北山本店 : Kyoto Fusion Cakes

Finally, I have paid my visit to Malebranche's main outlet in Kitayama 

If you have been following my previous posts, you would have known that Malebranche is a renowned green tea purveyor whose okoicha langue de chats sells quicker than any latest iPhone, as written in my earlier post here. While one can get their hands on an average of 15 cakes at any takeaway outlets, there are some items which are exclusive to its Kitayama headquarter. 

Tanba Black Beans Kinako Cream Shortcake 
丹波産 ほっこり黒豆きなこのショートケーキ

For instance, the Black Beans Kinako Shortcake (¥500) was my favourite cake of the lot. The sponge was fluffy and the cream was nothing short of the toasty aroma of the often underrated black bean. It's a must-try just like the Red Tea Bavarois (¥411) a triple layered heaven of red tea bavarian cream, red tea pudding and fresh cream--all made with the ujicha from wazuka town. This fared better than the Uji Matcha Cake (¥496) which did not shine through the multi-textural layers of ganache, sponge, cream and a crispy base.
Uji Matcha Ensemble 宇治抹茶の奏
Red Tea Bavarois 和束産 宇治茶のお紅茶ババロア
Seasonal items made up at least half the selection at Kitayama. Since my visit coincided with the autumn season, there was the Autumn Dress, a purple sweet potato Mont Blanc (¥500) that looked stunning but felt slightly starchy and dense. Nonetheless, the Madame Marron (¥500) was excellent as the clever use of coffee in the cream counteracted the sugary chestnuts. The Sachertorte (¥440) was decent but nothing outstanding.
Autumn Dress オータムドレス [紫芋モンブラン]
Madame Marron
マダム マロン [栗とコーヒのサントノ―レ]
Sachertorte まろやかザッハトルテ金木犀
The pairing of ingredients marks a distinct departure from the conventional cakes. I never knew earl grey and persimmon are such a harmonious couple until I met the Autumn Melody 540 yen (an earl grey mousse cake with a persimmon jelly center), though the exterior meringue sponge was quite sweet. 
Autumn Melody 
秋色メロディ [柿とアールグレイのカルディナール]

In general, though the standards of the cakes are still a distance away from few of the top patisseries in Tokyo, I am satisfied for the price paid. With the intensive competition in the local pastry scene, there will always be new items every season and thus a good reason to draw consumers back for more. 
Malebranche Kitayama マールブランシュ京都北山本店
40 Kamigamo Iwagakakiuchicho, Kita Ward, Kyoto 603-8053, Japan
Access Map here
Retail shop 9am-8pm daily
    Salon 10am-8pm daily (L.O. 7.30pm)

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