Super Strict Score [understand my S3]: 6
Negresco returns: 5
In 1 word:
Incredibly, in a city with probably not many fewer pastry shops than Paris itself these days, it requires inordinate amounts of effort paired with a lifetime’s luck to cross paths with a classic chocolate cake that even only gets wattwurmnashi pass marks. Imagine my bottomless surprise & delight when I encounter:
Chocolate cake, cocoa sablé, hazelnut chocolate glaze
A good smell of drunken oranges is followed up by a strong but not overpowering taste of said liquor in the chocolate pound cake. The cake itself is a bit low in the moisture department, but together with the thick hazelnut chocolate glaze strikes a perfect balance. The chocolate coated cocoa sablé completes this cake by adding a crispy note.
- Negresco returns
Milk chocolate mousse, hazelnut praliné feuillantine, génoise
The milk chocolate mousse, which is obviously a main component of this cake, sort of mars the eating experience because the chocolate used is of inferior quality. Another slight problem, L’automne’s génoises are on the dry side & they don’t seem to imbibe them for most of their cakes & in this cake it shows.
Pistachio bavarois, hazelnut praliné feuillantine, cocoa génoise, génoise, chocolate glaçage
praliné gets totally lost in pistachio, only for texture
A very tastefully presented cake, Sicily mostly consists of a very good, rich pistachio crème bavaroise but lacks somewhat in terms of, let’s say interestingness. I was curious to see how the pistachio + praliné feuillantine combination was going to work out because I hadn’t had a convincing one as of yet but this one is another fail. The very flavorful pistachio bavarois pretty much subdues any taste of the praliné. Trying the praliné by itself, it’s not the best I’ve ever had but undeniably hazelnutty, but eaten together you just can’t tell. On top of that, the chocolate glazing is very sweet, something with a bit more character to add more dimension to this cake would be much preferable. I wish pâtissier Koutatsu Kanda would go & do something really awesome with that fabulous pistachio bavarois because the foundations are in place, they just gotta play around more.
2 cakes + beverage [without restriction] for ¥1000 = dead cheap. On top, the cappuccino is big & actually tasty.
The plating is a bit more elaborate &, unlike at some other fancy plating places, actually rather edible. The vanilla cream’s very mild but without being smotheringly sweet. The plate itself isn’t really ideal though.
While the store itself is quite spacious, seating is very limited but tastefully decorated, which extends to their silverware & china. When you’re craving for a truly good chocolate cake, &/or are looking to eat true French feel cakes [don’t be thrown off by the quirky English names] in a laid-back atmosphere, L’automne must be one of Tokyo’s best pastry shops.