Weekend Tasting: Speciality Shops
In France you get your baguette at a boulangerie, your cheese at a crèmerie, your fish at the poissonnerie etcetera etcetera. Now there are also shops specialized in one type of pastry. This week we tried eclairs from L’Éclair de Genie, chocolates from Le Chocolat, choux from Odette, angel cakes/chiffon cakes from Ciel and merveilleux from Aux Merveilleux.
Our weekend tasting started early this week: friday afternoon at Christoph Adam’s L’Éclair de Genie. Here we bought the pistache orange, praliné noisette, passion-framboise and rouge framboise / chocolate raspberry. These eclairs were yummy! They were all not too sweet. The passion framboise was my favorite of the four. The eclairs cost €5 ~ €5,50 a piece.
After L’Éclair de Genie we made our way to Lenôtre and the macaron lover classmate got these two macarons. Chocolat Poire and Jasmin. The Jasmin was uber sweet. I do not recommend. Get the one from Pierre Hermé instead! That one is good. The chocolat poire was okay.
So after Lenôtre we got some chocolats at La Manufacture de Chocolat by Alain Ducasse. We only got 4 (everyone picked just 1) because these chocolates are expensive! They are €2 a piece, but since we wanted to know how good they really are we bought some to test. Verdict: Really good chocolate. I had the Café chocolate and it had a really intense coffee flavor. Normally coffee chocolate tastes like chocolate with sugary coffee.. This one tasted like chocolate and espresso. Yummm. The others were happy with their chocolate too. One of them got Thé et Citron (tea and lemon) but the citron wasn’t really noticeable she said.
The next day we met in Chinatown, ate a bahn mi from a Vietnamese bookshop/sandwich shop Khai Tri. I’m no bahn mi expert but I enjoyed the sandwich. The bread was fresh, the filling tasted good. No complaints. Cost: €3,20. Before going I looked up the best places to get the sandwiches and it was either this one or Thieng Heng. Next time I’ll try that one! It had a line outside and I believe it is cheaper too.
After the sandwich we went to MyuMyu, a pastry shop in the 13th arrondisement. It’s a fusion of Chinese and French pastry. I tried a grilled/steamed bun filled with beef (€1,50). Was good and cheap. I did not try pastry. One of the girls bought a pastry and another one bought a box of dumplings. She tried them and they were good. After MyuMyu we did some asian grocery shopping at Tang Frères and after that we went to Île Saint-Louis to try Berthillon ice cream. I had noisette and caramel beurre sale. Lately I’ve been very into hazelnut flavor and the ice cream did not disappoint me. It was superb. The hazelnut ice cream had chunks of (and whole) hazelnuts in it and the caramel was not too sweet and very creamy. Will go back to try the other flavors! *One of us had pistache and I sampled… It was the best pistache ice cream I have ever tasted! Normally I do not like pistache ice cream… just tastes weird to me. But this one just tastes like the pistache nut. It also had chunks of pistache in it.
We just walked around with our ice cream and then we decided to take a look at Ciel. But along the way we stopped at Aux Merveilleux. The big windows which showed a lot of people buying these interesting looking thingies… So we wanted too try too. Bought the caramel, coffee, chocolate and nuts merveilleux. This pastry consists of meringue, flavoured cream and is dipped in something like nuts, chocolate etc. The texture is like eating sweet air. Yes, that’s the most accurate description I can give you. The coffee flavor was the overall favorite because that one was the least sweet one. Because they are so airy they are easy to finish. The shop sells different sizes (we got the smallest ones for €1,50 a piece).
So Ciel is across the street of Aux Merveilleux.. This is a Japanese pastry shop that is specialized in angel cakes. Soft and airy cakes. They have a bunch of different flavors which you can buy to take home or eat there at one of the maybe 10 available seats. The flavors we could choose from were yuzu, sakura, matcha, raspberry, fleur d’orange, chocolat and vanilla.
So I’m writing this post chronologically.. and before going home with my pretty cake from Ciel we had to stop at Odette. This shop only sells petit choux. If you only sell choux, it better be good. We tried the pistache(green), coffee(the one with the coffee bean, obviously) and some berry(purple). The choux itself was good, the crackle was still crispy (unlike the Paris-Brest from La Pâtisserie des Rêves last time). The fondant on top was just sweet… and the filling was okay. The pistache flavor tasted like pistache extract/concentrate. I do not know which fruit the purple one was and the coffee one was okay. I do not know the price. Verdict: If you are craving choux, come here as they have a lot of flavors. They are not bad, but it’s not a must-eat place to me if you only have a couple of days in Paris for example.
So after eating already 10000 kcal I had one more cake to eat. Maybe I bought it for the packaging… Super cool origami box.
In the origami box was my chocolat cake from Ciel. It is an chocolate angel cake with chocolate cream in the center. The chocolate flavor was subtle and the cake texture was cloudy. I did not expect the cake to be very chocolatey, as rich chocolate does not go with airy cake. So it was fine for me. If you want intense chocolate cake, go buy it elsewhere. The chocolate cake was €4. Some flavors are more expensive.
L’Éclair de Genie – 14 Rue Pavée, 75004 Paris
Lenôtre – 10 Rue Saint-Antoine, 75004 Paris
La Manufacture de chocolat by Alain Ducasse – 40 rue de la Roquette, 75011 Paris
Khai Tri – 93 Avenue d’Ivry, 750013 Paris
MyuMyu – 17 Rue Philibert Lucot, 75013 Paris
Tang Frères – 48 Avenue d’Ivry, 75013 Paris
Berthillon – The original is located at 31 Rue Saint-Louis en l’Île, 75004 Paris but there are various shops that sell the ice cream
Aux Merveilleux – 2 rue Monge, 75005 Paris
Ciel – 3 Rue Monge, 75005 Paris
Odette – 77 Rue Galande, 75005 Paris