If anyone sells a parfait for 2500 yen ($31) in Singapore, I bet nobody will buy it.
But here at Patisserie Asako Iwayanagi, almost every customer is willing to splurge on a 2500-yen parfait.
Barely opened for a year or so since Nov winter 2015, Patisserie Asako Iwayanagi is a stylish cake boutique that has attracted many cake fans for its gorgeous parfaits and modern French pastries. The design of the shop is almost like a chic fashion store--minimalist black with an open kitchen. I've always wanted to visit this shop as it is helmed by a female owner-chef, Asako Iwayanagi-san; a rare occurrence in the male-dominated patisserie scene here.
In fact, this isn't her first foot into the business as she has opened the popular Patisserie De Bon Coeur way back in 2005 and it has already expanded to 6 outlets in Tokyo till date. No wonder I got a sense of deja vu when I saw the Mont Blanc in this shop. Patisserie De Bon Coeur has now been passed on successfully to the next generation and she decided to open a patisserie that is named after herself in the quiet neighbourhood of Todoroki, a few stations from Jiyugaoka.
Despite the popularity of the parfaits, we decided to play safe by sticking to the cakes since it was our first visit. And the good news is, NONE of the cakes disappointed us. The seasonal Sakura Mont Blanc (550 yen) was not overpoweringly sweet and well-balanced on the intensity of Sakura flavour, with some sour accents from the rhubard compote to cut through the cream. My friend, Miss K, even gave this a big thumbs up even though she did not fancy sakura. The Crème a la pistache (580 yen) distinguished itself from the usual pistachio-cherry combination by sandwiching black cherries-figs compote in between the fragrant black tea dacquoise. Some would prefer the pistachio nut base to be crunchier but I enjoyed the slight chewiness of the nuts.
But the cake that triggered the WOW reaction was the Tarte aux framboises avec sa crème the japonais (550 yen) In short, Houjicha-raspberry tart. The houjicha flavour was intense and reminded me of Matchaya's Houjicha soft serve. We were surprised that raspberry coexisted so well with houjicha and we couldn't agree more that the choice of pate brisee was a non-conventional but smart one here to complement the sweetness.
The most expensive item we had was the Chocolat au lait et aux pistaches avec 3typs noix aka Milk Chocolate Mousse with trio of nuts (almonds, pecans and hazelnuts). Despite being on the sweet side, the milk chocolate cream was satisfying and you could imagine me and Miss K. dwelling in chocolate fantasy for some moments.
Last but not least, Terrine au the vert (450 yen), a half baked chocolate terrine cake that took us some time to digest its unique fudgy yet slightly cakey texture, somewhat akin to a brownie but much more moist and sticky. There's the sweetness of a flan that coincided with the bitterness of matcha. I gleaned in delight when my fork finally reached to the top layer of dark matcha glaze; so robust and delicious.
A sense of awe and pride swelled within me as I finished the cakes. It could be partially because of the rarity for a female patissier to helm her own shop and deliver excellence on the cakes at the same time. Each pastry has been carefully conceptualized in all aspects.
A stands for Asako, and A for her creations