Review: Sadaharu Aoki Patisserie (Tokyo, Japan)

Boutique Marunouchi
Shinkokusai Building 1F
3-4-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo
Japan
+81 3 5293 2800
http://www.sadaharuaoki.jp/top.html

A short walk from Yurakucho Station led me to Sadaharu Aoki Patisserie, one of the best places to get macarons in Tokyo. There are currently four branches in Tokyo – I was at the Marunouchi branch – but the main boutique is in Paris, along with a few little sister branches there.

Created by Sadaharu Aoki, the eponymous patisserie franchise is famous for using traditional Japanese ingredients and flavours in French pastries, especially éclairs and macarons. I was due to leave Tokyo the next morning and needed to grab some more gifts for friends back home in Australia so I decided a few boxes of these specialty macarons would do the trick.

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This photo was taken just before the lady at the counter told me off for whipping out my phone to take shots. Grr. Apart from that though, the service was pretty tops.

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For example, they asked me how far I was from the hotel. I said that I was an MTR ride away from Shinjuku (which, from memory, required a change of trains at some point) – she said that it was too long a trip for me to be carrying boxes of macarons without ice. So she chucked some ice packs into the paper bag to keep my goodies cool. Although the macarons would then hop on a plane to Melbourne with me sans ice pack (thus rendering the packs useless), I really appreciated the gesture.

Matcha green tea éclair (¥460/AUD$4.40)
Matcha green tea éclair (¥460/AUD$4.40)

I ordered a matcha green tea éclair for myself to enjoy for afternoon tea. Unlike a lot of éclairs I’ve had in Melbourne, this one was soft rather than dense and doughy while the icing was perfectly balanced – it had the right balance of gentle sweetness and bitterness.

Macarons (four for ¥1100/AUD$10.80)
Macarons (four for ¥1100/AUD$10.80)

I bought a few boxes of macarons, all containing the same flavours: matcha, genmaicha (green tea combined with roasted brown rice), lemon and strawberry. I can’t remember how much they were individually but a box was just a smidgen under AUD$11, which doesn’t make them expensive at all given their quality. They were all perfect – crispy shells, creamy ganache centres and soft chewy biscuits. Best of all, they were overloaded with sugar like a lot of macarons you get in Australia. My favourite one was the genmaicha in all its glorious nuttiness, followed by the beautifully tangy lemon one.

My macaron boxes survived the flight from Tokyo to Melbourne – well, except for one box – I may or may not have eaten its contents during the flight. The remaining boxes were then presented to my recipients the next day, still in perfect form sans ice packs.

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