After we grabbed a quick but wonderful lunch at Cuisine de Bar, Maya and I headed over to Patisserie Sakaharu Aoki for another round of dessert. I am not over-exaggerating when I say that this Japan-born and trained pastry chef, who now runs an extremely successful pastry business in France with numerous store locations in Paris, as well as in major department store like Galleries Lafayette, is the reason why I now am obsessed with sweets. I have not had the honor of trying his famous pastries until this trip but it’s the concept of incorporating wonderful Japanese ingredients like matcha green tea, yuzu (Japanese citrus that is slightly more bitter than orange), and goma (sesame) into French classics that inspired me to do the same in my little kitchen.
The moment Maya and I reached the store on Rue de Vaugirard, a 10-minute walk from Cuisine de Bar, I almost kneeled down and cry. Okay, that’s a little melodramatic, but I felt a powerful energy rush through my body, like I have finally arrived to my culinary mecca.
The shop was everything that I had imagine – a very simple, white and black / silver interior, with rainbow-colored macarons and chocolate- and green tea-inspired cakes filling the showcases. There were many kinds of confectioneries, like candied orange and other heavenly morsels lined up against the wall.
I had to fight the urge to buy up the entire store, and settled on the following: Bamboo, a green tea opera cake; Fuwafuwa Fraise, a soft and airy sponge cake with whipped cream and strawberries (“fuwa fuwa” is the term Japanese use to describe something airy, like a cloud); Citrus Tarte; Green Tea Eclaire, and five different kinds of macarons. I tried matcha, hojicha, jasmine, chocolate, and wasabi. I know that wasabi-flavored macaron can sound a bit strange for some, but it was one of the greatest sweets I’ve ever had – along with all his other creations.
Because there was no indoor seating, Maya and I “smuggled” our purchases to a nearby café, where we sat and enjoyed hot beverages with our cakes. It started to rain but we got the best seats inside a tent, under a warm lamp, overlooking the beautiful St. Sulpice church. The waiter didn’t mind that we brought in our own desserts. In fact, he looked more curious as to what we were about to indulge! And if any of you are wondering, yes, we ate all the dessert in one sitting!
I am so glad that I had the chance to experience the wonder that is Sadaharu Aoki. He made me fall in love all over again with pastries and Paris, the birthplace of all things wonderful.
Patisserie Sadaharu AOKI Paris
35 Rue de Vaugirard and other locations
Metro: St Sulpice or Renne