Gontran Cherrier

Gontran Cherrier
Multiple locations throughout Tokyo
Due to my nemesis aka jet lag, I slept through two whole meals after arriving in Tokyo. Missing meals and waking up at 3am feeling hungry was definitely an unexpected setback for the food filled adventure I had planned. But no matter, I just hit up Google, Trip Advisor, and Yelp to find the closest thing next to my hotel that would open soonest. Luckily, Gontran Cherrier was just a stone’s throw from me and opening at 7:30am. Yay!

The Annoyer and I hit the road at 6:30am because we were itching to get out and explore, and basically had nothing else to do.  We found ourselves at Starbucks while waiting for the bakery to open. While Starbucks matcha lattes are nothing new to me, I would say the ones in Japan are better. It might be due to the fact their drinks are not overly sweet so the matcha flavor doesn’t drown in sugar. I also tried their hoji cha latte which was delicious but lacking enough sweet.  After a couple squeezes of simple syrup it was just right.
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And finally the bakery opened and we were literally the first 5 people entering the bakery. My pupils dilated, my salivary glands started pumping, and my senses heightened the moment I laid my eyes on all that butter, flour, eggs, and sugar. Excited is an understatement.

As you can see, the array of options was dizzying.  Narrowing down the selection to just a few items was pretty tough, but I did my best.
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Ham & Cheese Croissant
Smooth Obturator and I always loved ham and cheese croissants growing up. It’s kind of my go to French bakery item. I think I’m learning that the ham and cheese croissants I grew up eating might have been more Vietnamese-French rather than truly French in style. The ones I ate never had a bechamel sauce inside, unlike the one I had in Paris a few years ago and here. Overall it was great but I prefer my ham and cheese croissants sans extra creamy sauciness.
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Squid Ink Flatbread fresh and sundried tomatoes, mozzarella, basil
This was just a beautifully striking piece of edible art. The squid ink dyed doughy flatbread like palette was a stark contrast against the mix of bright red fresh and sundries tomatoes, leaves of wilting basil, and dots of fresh mozzarella. I was in love because tomatoes just have a special place in my heart, or rather my stomach. I wish I could have tried the other flatbread pizza looking things.

Croissant
The croissant was one of the best I’ve had in a long time. Granted I try to avoid eating croissants for obvious reasons but this was so flakey on the outside with soft pliant layers on the inside. It was just a tad sweet but a ton delicious. YUMS!

Quiche Lorraine
Flavor wise this was a spot on savory item. The ham and cheese were well balanced. The crust was more dense than flakey. But The Annoyer didn’t like the gaping hole in the middle and felt hipped.
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Custard Pinwheel
The Annoyer was a big fan of this. It was somewhere in between the texture of a cake and a croissant with sweet custard like spread in the swirls. I can’t quite explain why I didn’t like this as much as The Annoyer. It was something about the I custard, perhaps too eggy? Or maybe some almond essence in there? Good but definitely not my favorite.

Chocolate Kouign Aman
My favorite item was this chocolatey, buttery, sugary, flakey yet chewy swirl of heaven in my mouth. Not sure what defines a kouign aman because this looks and tastes nothing like the kouign amans I’ve had in the States. It rather reminded me of a palmier in texture but less crispy flakiness and more chewy sugary flakiness if that makes any sense. I loved the rich chocolate flavor to boot. I can’t fault this pastry for anything. Double YUMS!!
Suffice it say, I really LOVED Gontran Cherrier. It was a strong start to my foodie focused vacation. It certainly made me temporarily forget my FOMO blues. Everything about the pastries was really perfection and I can’t remember any bakery that tops this. I love how the Japanese are such Francophiles because that totally jives with my tastes. Maybe the Japanese do pastries better because they are really great about controlling the sweet factor.  That’s probably straight up blasphemy to the French but it might be the truth! I was bummed we couldn’t make a second or third visit. Even if you’re not staying close by, The Gontran Cherrier I visited is in the most covenient location, just outside the Shinjuku station. It is on the same side of the station as and south of the My Lord department store.

 

10 – You NEED to eat here
9 – Awesome 
8 – Very good
7 – Good
6 – OK
5 – Average
4 – Not bad
3 – Not good
2 – Terrible
1 – Do NOT eat here

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