Grains de Vanille : The Kyoto Cake Shop Visited by Pierre Herme

Even Pierre Herme dropped by this shop twice, how could I have given this a miss?

Compared to Tokyo, Kyoto seemed to have fewer cake boutiques and dominated by more standalone cafes. But this doesn’t mean that there are no worthy ones around. Grains de Vanille has been on my list for the longest time because the cakes stood out amongst other competitors like Patisserie S and Grenier de Au.

The Japanese-French pastries here are less conservative than their counterparts in Kyoto but not too bold and wild to assume bright, neon coloring that most French pastries are donning these days. They are similar to those in Tokyo, such as Asterisque or Mont St Clair. It was a challenge to narrow my selection to only 4 items and luckily only 1 turned out to be a disaster. The seasonal item was menacingly sweet— a mental torture to consume.
However, I found the Cafe Escargot interesting because very few chefs would flavour the meringue and tone down the sweetness. This was a brilliant combination of the 3cs; coffee, caramel and chocolate. The pistachio mousse was tasty but I thought the black tea chocolate st honore stood out more with its intricate layerings of tea and Cacao.

I haven’t tried many patisseries in Kyoto but I think this shop can stand in line with Tatsuhito Satoi and beat Tendresse hands down.

営業時間:10:30~18:00 (dine in available after 1pm)