Pierre Herme is arguably the most famous pastry chef in the world right now. Vogue magazine called him “The Picasso of Pastry” and the New York times declared him to be “A Kitchen emperor.”
Tokyo is lucky to be the only place outside Paris where Pierre Herme has an operation, and in 2005 he opened his flagship store in the trendy district of Omotesando. The downstairs works as a boutique with a wide range of Pierre Herme products for sale while the chocolate bar upstairs is an elegant cafe that seats about 20 people. The service is impeccable, and on our visit there was a foreign waiter on staff that spoke French and English.
Pierre Herme is most famous for his macaroons, a light almond cookie used to sandwich a cream filling. We tried a chocolate macaroon filled with a chocolate/yuzu ganache, a lemon macaroon and Magador, a passion fruit macaroon with a chocolate ganache filling. The cookies were excellent; they are perfectly moist inside but dry to the touch, and the flavour combinations are thrilling.
For cakes we settled for a 2000 meulle fille, which was layers of puff pastry with raspberry jam, pastry cream, whipped cream and rose essence, and a fig mousse filled with fig compote and cinnamon. The cakes were both superb, though the fig one could have used an extra flavour to cut through the richness of the compote.
The cakes change with the seasons, so the best idea is to have a look at what is on offer at the downstairs boutique before heading to the cafe. The cafe also offers sampling menus that include three miniature cakes with coffee, or a selection of macaroons with coffee. For a slice of cake and coffee, budget around 1500 yen. Macaroons are 230 yen each.
Pierre Herme operates boutiques in other locations as well. There is one in the basement floor of the Isetan department store in Shinjuku, at the Seibu department store in Shibuya, at the New Otani Tokyo Hotel and a tea room inside Ikspiari at Tokyo Disneyland.