Mandarin Oriental Tokyo Gourmet Shop : Fly me to Kumo

Most people don’t really bother about the pastries from hotels but I think it would be a pity to overlook those from hotels in Japan. Not every single hotel I mean because some are worse than convenience stores.
So far the most unpalatable ones I had were from Hilton. The pastries from Shangri-la and Mariott group are average.

But those from the Hyatt Group (Hyatt Regency, Grand Hyatt and Andaz) are excellent. No I’m not paid to write this and neither am I affiliated to any staff who work there.

Mandarin Oriental? I would rank it 2nd, below Hyatt Group and above Shangri-la. This is because this 5-Star hotel does invest efforts to ramp up its pastry boutique. It not only revamped the space but also hire new executive chef stephan to helm the kitchen. The pastries are visually attractive but the flavours were not sharp enough to create a lasting impression. Take for example I thought the Bonsai, one of the botanical inspirations, would revolve around matcha but matcha was only limited to the surface and the entire composition was predominantly vanilla mousse.

I had high expectations for the Kumo, the signature “cloud” cake launched last September and changes flavour every season. It was chestnut last Autumn and Pistachio-Raspberry this spring. The cake was massive, such that it was placed separately in a cake box that could fit a regular 8-in strawberry shortcake. Perhaps it’s a flavour issue as the pistachio-raspberry mousse was quite sweet and tasted just like an average mousse cake. My favourite part was the sturdy chocolate shell.

The Sakura Pannacotta was the tastiest of all with its silky wobbly texture and the presence of sake in the jelly.