Pâtisserie & Salon de Thé Coichi, Osaka
Our last day in Kansai and we were not about to waste it. Chanced upon a new book (then) on cafes and patisseries in Osaka just the night before at a local bookstore in Shinsaibashi. Perfect! We had a quick browse and shortlisted two seemingly promising places to visit on our last day. First off in the morning was to Pâtisserie & Salon de Thé Coichi located near Tamatsukuri Station 玉造駅 which is just a couple of stops away from where we stayed. They open really early for a patisserie, starting the day at 8 am instead of the usual 10 or 11 am, but we don’t mind at all! Just in time for some pastry breakfast! Or so we thought!
The shop is just a short 5 min walk away from the station and we chanced upon a 100 yen shop along the way! Must make it a point to drop by on the way back for some last minute shopping! Not difficult to locate given the hasty phone camera snapshots we took from the book while in the bookstore. Yes we didn’t buy it! shhhh….
Write up of the Chef Pâtissier-cum-owner 斎藤 耕一 Kōichi Saitō up on the shop window. The patisserie is named after him of course with a slight twist in spelling. He has been a instructor in a Japanese pastry school before setting up his own shop in Minami semba back in 2003 and finally moved to the current location in 2007.
like the clean interior of the shop, fashioned in white. Very quaint looking.
A selection of mignardises are already available on display but but but… the chiller display is barely half full!!!
The newly published foodie guide on a selection of cafes, patisseries and boulangeries in Osaka. There is a copy inside the store as well, where we finally could settle down for a good browse!
The page featuring Salon de Thé Coichi. Now you know why we selected this place to visit. The creations featured are pretty! Alas those were last season’s creations which had been rotated already! The information provided is also slightly inaccurate… They open at 10 am and not 8 am as stated! We were there just slightly after 10 and not all the creations for the day have been rolled out. I was advised to come after 12 actually to see the full range of cakes and desserts available that day but unfortunately, we do not have 2 hours to spare. Just have to make do with what was already out…
Chocolate and Banana Mousse – A simple-looking piece but no less stunning, owing to the lovely bruleeing work, encapsulated by a neutral glaze. I love the marbling effect which makes every piece unique aesthetically!
The composition of this piece is rather simple as well… a disc of biscuit joconde au chocolat as the base followed by layers of mousse au chocolat au lait and mousse au banane sandwiching morsels of caramelised bananas Prima facie, I thought that a dark chocolate mousse would probably work better to provide contrast with the banana mousse but milk chocolate actually worked remarkably well. A slight hint of bitterness was brought about by the burnt sugar on the glace which helped to tame the sweetness lent by the milk chocolate as well as the bananas within. The aroma of bananas was quite ethereal, thanks to the wonderful caramelisation. On the whole a very well balanced piece which was thoroughly enjoyable.
The other piece we tried was a slice of Mont Blanc Roll Cake. Simple and neat presentation. Only after slicing open the chocolate and banana mousse did we realise that the lower two component were exactly the same, i.e. chocolate joconde and milk chocolate mousse. Silly me as I should have enquired on the composition of the pieces prior to choosing. This is now a habit which I always have whenever I order cakes to sample. Instead of a banana mousse, there is chestnut cream for the Mont Blanc, hiding small bits of chopped chestnuts within. This is then covered with another layer of sponge followed by a very light chestnut cream, much lighter than the one within. The whole piece is lightly dust with cocoa powder and hen embellished with a piece of 栗の渋皮煮 Kurishibukawaniare, basically candied chestnuts with their skin membrane on. A Japanese alternative to the typical marron glacé.
Despite some overlaps in the components, we enjoyed the piece nonetheless. Mont Blanc is truly the “ichiban Okashi” in Japan. It is so popular that it is a must-have on the menu of most patisseries, each cracking their heads to come up with their own unique version. Some even have yearly revisions of this dessert. So naturally I figured that given the competition, one could hardly get it wrong. Also, most Japanese pastries we have tasted so far are rather delicate in texture and taste. It is not fanatically spectacular but at the same time, very soothing and thus very difficult to fault.
So yes, Pâtisserie & Salon de Thé Coichi definitely makes it onto the list of must-visit places again next time we are in Osaka. I like the fact that compositions of the two pieces we tried are kept clean and non-frivolous but no less delish! I’m curious about what his other creations would be like, especially those in the photos of the book which we can only drool upon. Better luck next time!
Japan Mar 2011 Day 8 – Esprit de Fouquet’s, Kobe
Japan Mar 2011 Day 8 – Le Cordon Bleu Kobe Macarons
Japan Mar 2011 Day 7 – Osaka Aquarium
Japan Mar 2011 Day 6 – Le Salon de Thé de Dalloyau
Japan Mar 2011 Day 6 – Nara Todaiji and A Tale of Two Ramens @ Dotonbori
Japan Mar 2011 Day 6 – Nara Koen and Katsuga Daisha
Japan Mar 2011 Day 5 – Pâtisserie Jouvencelle Oike Kyoto
Japan Mar 2011 Day 5 – Surviving Depachikas in Japan
Japan Mar 2011 Day 5 – 伏見稻荷大社 & JR Kyoto Station
Japan Mar 2011 Day 5 – 平野神社 北野天满宫
Japan Mar 2011 Day 5 – 金閣寺 の 日栄軒和菓子
Japan Mar 2011 Day 4 – Cannelé and Macarons from Pâtisserie Kanae
Japan Mar 2011 Day 4 – Pâtisserie Kanae Kyoto
Japan Mar 2011 Day 4 – Macarons @ Jean-Philippe Darcis Kyoto & Unagi don dinner
Japan Mar 2011 Day 4 – 知恩院 錦市場
Japan Mar 2011 Day 4 – 京都 清水寺 二年坂
Japan Mar 2011 Day 4 – 京都 洛東 清水寺
Japan Mar 2011 Day 4 – 京都 晨の雪
Japan Mar 2011 Day 3 – A Taste of Spring 岚山 竹路庵 和菓子
Japan Mar 2011 Day 3 – Pâtisserie Henri Charpentier
Japan Mar 2011 Day 3 – Pâtisserie Gion Sakai
Japan Mar 2011 Day 3 – Gion and Depachika Dinner
Japan Mar 2011 Day 3 – Arashiyama Lunch @ 平の家
Japan Mar 2011 Day 3 – Tenryuji and Sagano
Japan Mar 2011 Day 3 – 嵐山 愛宕念仏寺 Otagi Nenbutsu-Ji
Japan Mar 2011 Day 2 – Macarons from Patisserie Alcyon
Japan Mar 2011 Day 2 – Mont Blancs from Pâtisserie Factory Shin
Japan Mar 2011 Day 2 – Dinner @ 鹤桥风月大阪焼 Fugetsu Okonomiyaki
Japan Mar 2011 Day 2 – Pâtisserie Mont Plus @ Daimaru Umeda
Japan Mar 2011 Day 2 – Umeda & Lunch @ Daimaru
Japan Mar 2011 Day 2 – Osaka Castle
Japan Mar 2011 Day 1 – Dinner @ Shi Ten Noh Ramen, Dotonbori
Japan Mar 2011 Day 1 – Sights and Sounds of Shinsaibashi