Friday, November 25, 2016

Patisserie Rakkansha 洛甘舎 @ Kyoto: Excellent Shoyu Cake & 和風 Japanese Sweets


While most people usually head to Shijou district for Nishiki market, I prefer to wander and get myself lost in the back alleys outside the market. There are plenty of hidden gems such as new-age designer boutiques, bakeries, cafes and even artisanal craft shops that are waiting to be discovered.

As I was exploring the area by foot, I chanced upon a few patisseries that were not on my list or even featured anywhere before. One of them is Rakkansha, a young patisserie that opened in Aug 2015 and sells western cakes with a Japanese twist.
While similar concepts have been adopted elsewhere in shops like Jouvencelle or Kissho Karyo, the gateaus here exhibited a higher level of aesthetic finesse and technical sophistication. I decided to give it a try and boy, these cakes were mind-blowingly impressive. I was instantly attracted to their chouxs because they were displayed right at the entrance.

洛甘シュー (人気の洛甘シューがリニューアルしました。外の皮はさくさく、中のクリームはとろっと・・・)

Of the Black sesame, kinako, custard and matcha, I stuck to the old-fashioned matcha (250 yen) which tasted like matcha fondue when I reheated it using a hotel microwave according to the staff's advice. The choux pastry was soft but the interior was crazily delicious; warm, smooth and creamy. I did a similar thing once with beard papa's cream puff but the oil and cream split badly. It didn't happen this time round, luckily.

和心 (柚子ムースにガナッシュにと小豆を加え、日本酒でアクセントをつけたショコラタルト)
The prettiest item to me was Yuzu Chocolat Tart (500 yen) with its dainty floral adornment on the glossy yuzu mousse. If they could do away with the sugary candied azuki beans around the chocolate rim or replace the beans with some bitter cacao nibs, this would be a perfect tart that would meet the eye. The Japanese sake hidden in the chocolate ganache also contributed to a punchy aroma which I liked a lot.

洛甘ロール
もち粉を使用したモチモチの生地で白あんを巻いた、しっとりとしたロールケーキです。
The signature Rakkan roll cake (280 yen) had a plushy mouthfeel because it was made with mochi flour. Unless you are used to those sweet bean paste often found in Wagashi, the sweetness of the core (not the cream) might scare the soul out of you.

雅 (上質な抹茶で仕上げたムースの中に、求肥と餡をしのばせています。)
The Miyabi (500 yen) boasted a smooth and distinct taste of green tea both in the mousse and sponge but they could really do a lighter hand with the sweetened red beans.
My favourite was the Komachi (古町) 480yen, a shoyu Chocolate Chestnut Mousse simply because the chefs had cleverly hedged on the umami taste of the shoyu chocolate ganache to counterbalance the chestnut mousse. Savoury yet sweet at the same time. This cake also resonated with its name, which means an old town, because the taste of shoyu evoked nostalgic sentiments of the early times when life was much simpler.

This place is not as famous as Patisserie Tendresse but the style and taste of the entremets suit my palates more. With so many creative combinations yet to be explored here, I'll be right back.

Patisserie Rakkansha パティスリー洛甘舎
227-1 Sanmonjicho (Higashinotoindori), Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 604-8135
〒604-8135京都市中京区三文字町227-1藤六ビル1F(東洞院六角西北角)
Weekdays & Sundays 11am-8pm, 
Fri & Sat 11am-8.30pm
Closed on Wed
Access: 3-min walk from Karasuma Oike station Exit 5
*Eat in space available*

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