Multiple locations throughout Japan
Part of my research into Japan eats involved Googling things like “Best [insert food] in Tokyo.” Cross referencing enough of the results whittled down the list of “bests” to a manageable selection of eats. Very scientific right? My method has yet to steer me wrong when it came to eating the best sweets. I found Henri Charpentier, a famous patisserie in Japan, this way. Unlike Gontran Cherrier, it is not an originally French chain even though the name would lead you to believe it hails from the high tootin’ falootin’ halls of Paris. We were not able to visit the main location in Ginza, but came across one of their many locations in the depachika of a department store. I was stuffed from lunch, but I just had to try something from this place.
Their selection of fresh pastries was very strawberry focused given the season. I will admit their strawberries are very beautiful and fragrant. For as perfect as they looked, they weren’t as sweet as I expected.
They have a selection of boxed sweets as gifts. There was a lot of that going on throughout the depachika which piqued my interest. I was too uncertain of how exactly any of these things tasted so I didn’t buy it.
We made 2 selections. The Japanese are really meticulous when it comes to almost everything. They could have just plopped our tarts into a generic box, but they took an extra 10 minutes or so to somewhat customize the box to hold and secure the pastries. I was totally in awe to the level of detail applied to something so simple.
They even included a mini ice pack to keep the goods fresh! I mean that is just unbelievable.
Blissfully simple and delicious. The Japanese palate really aims to keep sweet things not too sweet, which is really the best thing I could ever ask for in a baked good, pastry, or ice cream. It’s already heavy enough to eat something full of butter and cream, but to add sugar to boot can be a flavor overload. The crust was just buttery and crumbly enough. The pastry cream was not too sweet and the strawberries were fresh and tart. Really hard to fault this for any reason.
Naturally I would have opted for another strawberry option, but for variety’s sake I chose the layered cake. It was light and delicate. The layers of matcha cream were not overwhelming. Strawberries will always have a place in my heart though.
I may not have had the full experience visiting just a mini Henri Charpentier. The selection was limited and nothing was particularly original or unique. I still enjoyed the pastries quite a bit and can only imagine what a visit to the flagship store could have been like. Not my usual afternoon snack, but I ain’t gonna complain.
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