Blondir, pâtisserie & café, Saitama

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Printanier, Équilibre, Architecture, Délice pistache

Super Strict Score [understand my S3]: 7.5
Printanier: 9.5
Amandine: 8.5
Délice pistache: 7.5
Tarte pralines rouges: 6.5
Équilibre: 6
Pont neuf: 5.5
Conversation: 5
Architecture: 4
Carrés alsaciens: 8
Nougats: plain, pink, cocoa: 9/9/9
In 1 word: bigger is better
Assortment: ~30

Blondir official homepage [Japanese only]

First impression: very favorable – with its wooden fittings, gold antiqued letters & setup Blondir has an air of a proper French traditional pâtisserie about it. However, upon entering, the wattwurmnashi alarm bells go off immediately – the cakes look too big. From first hand experiences in 100s of establishments, I can state with aplomb that big cakes usually carry negative connotations with them.

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Further, I’m completely ignored even though there’s just 1 other customer. I don’t mind not being pestered with recommendations I neither want to hear nor need, but not even bothering to greet a customer is a bad attitude to have in a business.

I myself choosing to ignore these 2 disconcerting facts in turn order:

Printanier, Équilibre

Printanier, Équilibre

  • Printanier [S3 = 9.5]
    Strawberry mousse, pistachio mousse, balsamico, freeze dried whole strawberries, almond dacquoise base [?] The strawberry mousse has some sourness but is more the very creamy, sweet type. It works together with the pistachio mousse & hint of balsamico extremely well. Although usually an advocate of pairing pistachio + raspberry, the flavors in this are spot on. The freeze dried whole strawberries are somewhat of a nice touch, adding a bit in the texture and taste departments, but as they are supposed to be pickled in red wine which however I can’t tell they’re a bit off target.
  • Équilibre [S3 = 6]
    Hazelnut mousse, milk chocolate mousse with passion fruit, passion fruit gelée, feuillantine, chocolate + hazelnut glazing The hazelnut mousse is nice & nutty, although not made from roasted nuts. The passion fruit in the chocolate mousse is also only subtle but detectable. Eaten together however, the passion fruit taste from the gelée, like ever so often, overwhelms everything else though. Except for the passion fruit, all in all, the flavors are rather mellow. The chocolate from the chocolate mousse is basically not perceptible & its color is also very light. To cut it, this cake needs to be balanced a lot better, & maybe something else entirely in the center instead of the passion fruit gelée would be better altogether.
Délice pistache

Délice pistache

  • Délice pistache [S3 = 7.5]
    Pistachio mousse, raspberry gelée, chocolate génoise The pistachio mousse, like the one in the Printanier, is made from house made pistachio paste, a rarity in this ready-made loving country & tastes like it additionally contains white chocolate but, unlike most white chocolate perusing cakes, is not too sweet. Unfortunately, the raspberry gelée contains raspberry seeds but I haven’t marked it down too strictly for that because other people don’t seem to be as bothered by the presence of seeds. The chocolate génoise contains lots of finely chopped nuts, probably almonds, is very generously imbibed [more like drenched], & there’s quite a thick layer of it. A very pleasant cake, but barring the special something to make it a standout.
Architecture

Architecture

  • Architecture [S3 = 4]
    Chocolate shards, chocolate meringues, lime sugar lumps, custard, dark chocolate bavarois, milk chocolate mousse, alcohol soaked Amarena cherries, pistachio génoise Some very good, deep, dark chocolate flavor from the chocolate shards but when not having the benefit of one such, the cake is very sweet. Very nice textural contrast from the chocolate meringues. The pistachio génoise lends the cake a subtle, nutty aftertaste. The milk chocolate mousse, in the context of everything taken together, seems like fill material but nothing much else as its taste is much too weak to cut through the mumbo jumbo of all the other components. The same goes for the custard – I’m guessing the milk chocolate mousse & custard might have been intended to counter the Amarena cherries. But there really aren’t all that many. The candied lime cubes, while intriguing & delicious, don’t really go with anything in this cake except for the dark chocolate leaves & the custard. Thus, unfortunately, this cake doesn’t come together at all. It has way too much going on & is too sweet. There are very good, promising elements [meringues, pistachio génoise, …] that could be followed up on & expanded, but in a more focused fashion. More isn’t always better.

The baked pastries in the window showcase speak of owner pâtissier Kazuhiko Fujiwara’s stint at Lorrainian pâtisserie Au Palet D’Or & also really appeal to me. It should be mentioned the guy I order those from [sous pastry chef?] scores much higher on the customer service front than the previous person.

front-back: Tarte pralines rouges, Pont neuf, Conversation, Mirliton, Amandine, carrés alsaciens

front-back: Tarte pralines rouges, Pont neuf, Conversation, Mirliton, Amandine, carrés alsaciens

More or less full review of above picture pastries here

I also had an espresso that however was mos def nothing to write home about. Their drink selection is extremely limited. As for the most important part though, I am glad to concede that Blondir seem to be a rare case of cake size unrelated to cake quality because usually, big cakes feature more in the range of a S3 of <4. If the shortcrust, while not bad per se, saw some more fine-tuning to make it into a real standout, I’m sure this place would attract customers solely on that basis as Blondir’s tart & pastry assortment is very rare. Interested parties be furthermore advised that Blondir only have terrace seats so you might not want to go in winter, although they do offer eat in-out all year round & provide blankets in cold weather.

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Lire en français | 日本語で読む

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9 responses to “Blondir, pâtisserie & café, Saitama

    • I gotta say after eating these I wasn’t as sickeningly stuffed as I thought I would be so I’m guessing they practiced some restraint on the sugar, although I can’t say they tasted remarkably unsweet.
      Exception proves the rule, huh

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