The famed Sadaharu Aoki, who makes French pastries with a distinctly Japanese flavor profile. His signature piece is the Bamboo, an Opera Cake made with alternating layers of joconde biscuit (an almond sponge cake), matcha, matcha cream, and chocolate ganache. In addition to his entremets, he also sells macarons, éclairs, and choux puffs.
I knew that I wanted his famed Matcha Croissant since 2015, but I have never been able to find it. In lieu of that, I ordered the Bamboo, a Matcha Éclair, and a Wasabi Macaron. For immediate consumption, I also bought the Baked Macaron (Tokyo Macaron Yaki), a whole chocolate macaron baked in a thick, matcha batter. Much like a traditional imagawayaki. The result was a rich, melty chocolate cake-like sweet. The macaron barely had any semblance of its former life, as all the crunch had been taken away from it. But it was delicious and not too sweet.
Bamboo: The signature piece turned out to be quite confusing. Certainly, it was complex, and probably took a long time to create (all those layers!), but my brain could not reconcil how it was a Japanese-French cake. The chocolate layers…I could taste the chocolate, but it was somehow clashing with every other piece. I kept expecting anko or azuki or something distinctly Asian to round out the flavors. The matcha wasn’t nearly enough. It was tasty, but just….confusing. Or just too sophisticated.
Matcha Éclair: Extremely plain. The cream and icing on top are white chocolate based, making it extra creamy and quite delicious, but it just didn’t have the amazing flavor punch I was looking for.
Wasabi Macaron: Lately, I’ve been really getting into the wasabi craze. I love wasabi Kitkats, and I’ve been looking for wasabi ice cream without much success. And in comes the wasabi macaron. It really has an afterburn to it! And tastes like radish. Good shell, but lighter in texture and taste than Pierre Herme, which has a nicer shell.