¡Que brillen los colores!
Cake lovers delight! Pierre Hermé's Bar Chocolat is a celebration of cake, pastries, and sweets.
Pierre Hermé is one of the world's most famous pastry chefs, and he brings his Paris confections to Tokyo at the Aoyama branch of Pierre Hermé Paris. This swanky boutique is located on Aoyama-dori, just a stone's throw from Omotesando station.
The posh address matches the shop. Downstairs, bright rows of macarons glow like delicious jewels: rose, caramel, noisette, citron, vanille. Boxes of delectables are displayed in gleaming glass cases with pride, waiting to be wrapped and up and taken home. In addition to old favorites, Hermé likes to play with unlikely combinations—this month's macaron flavor is mandarin olive oil and cucumber. June's "garden" macaron was flavored with pear, mint, and arugula. My personal favorites are pistachio and salted caramel. I've tried other brands of macarons in Tokyo, and most of them don't even come close to these.
A sleek staircase at the back of the shop leads upstairs to the gilt and glass chambers of Bar Chocolat, the patisserie's coffee salon. A mirrored dining area holds just three tables, with a row of bar stools looking down onto Aoyama-dori. This place is good for a date, or a solo treat. It's not a place for groups—the seating doesn't allow it.
Black besuited waiters staff the café, and the menu describes a mouthwatering array of sweets and beverages. Try the deux mille feuille, layered with hazelnut cream, slivered almonds, and caramel. The trio of mousses are flavored seasonally, so you might get raspberry, coffee, passionfruit, or Hermé's newest concoction. The chocolate shell with vanilla mascarpone cream, chocolate cookies, grilled hazelnuts and caramel sauce is not to be missed.
Beverages to accompany your choice include coffee, tea, and champagne. A few herbal teas are available, and the coffee comes with a nice rich crema and pretty condiments. A slice of cake and a beverage will set you back about ¥1600. Expensive, but this is not your average slice of cake. Give yourself time to savor and reflect—the cake is worth it and you are too.