Patisserie Tendresse パティスリー タンドレス  : No.1 Cake Shop in Kyoto

The quest for the best cake shops in Kyoto brought me to Tendresse, the highest ranked patisserie on tabelog. But a visit to this place isn't as easy as it seems. First, it only opens 3 days a week (Sat/Sun/Mon). Secondly, it is not located in any major train stations so one has to transfer a few times before reaching Ichijoji station. Thirdly, the shop believes in producing cakes in small batches so be prepared for everything to be sold out (or maybe left with 1 choice) even if you reach within 2 hours after the opening hours. 

Perhaps when things are harder to get, the stronger the desire to get it. This place has been on my list since N years ago and I finally could make a solo trip down. The pastries are rooted in traditional French style and thus the flavors can be rather assertive at times. For instance, the use of fig confiture in Charlotte Figs was slightly too cloying and sweet to my liking, even though the mousse was excellent. I would love a gentler approach to this romantic autumn fruit.

The Mango Basil was an impactful cake because it was alarmingly bright and tangy. My favourite was the Singapour, not because it sounded just like Singapore, but because the flavors were well-orchestrated like a beautiful symphony. The smooth red tea Bavaroise was paired with milk chocolate mousse with a kick of whisky at the back. The texture of the mousse was velvety but still a notch below Hidemi or Yuji Ajiki. I would also prefer a soft moist genoise sponge to a biscuit sponge which tends to dry out easily. 

Beyond the cakes, what left me with the deepest impression was the warm hospitality of the old lady who helmed the front line with a few younger ladies. She never fails to make her customers feel at home and even apologize profusely for the lack of cakes for those who had travelled all the way to the shop. Despite such good business, none of the staff put up any airs and such friendliness was rare to come by, not even at top names like Hidemi Sugino or M.Koide. 

If I ever drop by the district, I'll probably make a detour to the shop, say hi to the old lady and have a piece of cake. 

Patisserie Tendresseパ ティスリー タンドレス 
Nearest Station : 一乗寺 Ichijoji
Takeout :11.30-18:00
Eat In :13:00-19:00