Gâteaux de la Mère Souriante, pâtisserie & café, Nagoya

Super Strict Score [understand my S3]: 6.5
Thé vert [GREEN TEA CAKE]: 8
Coco caramel: 7
Café chocolat: 7
Cardinal: 7
Mascarpone: 7
Dome chocolat: 6.5
Caramel banane: 6
Millefeuille: 5.5
Rouge: 5.5
Sicilie: 3.5
In 1 word: taste over presentation, or priorities sunny side up
Assortment: cakes & desserts [~20] | macarons | dacquoises | teacakes | chocolates | cookies

Gâteaux de la Mère Souriante official website [Japanese only]

As you might have noticed, it was Petite Pâtissière’s birthday on Oct 23.

BBFF [best blogging friend forever] that I am, I had made the green tea lover in her a promise to have a green tea cake in her honor on her birthday. So wattwurmnashi dug extra deep into her pastry research & came up with this:

Green tea cake at Petit Fraise [don't blame me for the wrong French]

Green tea cake at Petit Fraise [don’t blame me for the wrong French]

Only for them not to have the green tea cake on that particular day [WTF ARE WEBSITES FOR!?!].

Now wattwurmnashi was quite literally in the deep shit that a Wattwurm produces, so what to do? After all, thanks to the location of that place, I was somewhat out of the way, thanks [thanks isn’t quite the word, actually] to several errands I had had to run before that took longer than expected [don’t they ever] I was running late in pastry land & out of the best pastry shops in Nagoya, not that many constantly have green tea cakes on their menu. I finally settled for Gâteaux de la Mère Souriante who kindly reserved a slice of their green tea cake for me/Petite Pâtissière, fittingly betitled thé vert [for those of who you can’t figure out what that is supposed to mean, there’s always Google Translator]:

Thé vert, café chocolat, coco caramel

Thé vert, café chocolat, coco caramel

  • Thé vert
    Matcha crémeux, green tea génoise, sesame dacquoise, beans, black sesame paste, whipped cream, green tea macaron
    Thé vert surprises me with an irrestibly good taste. This cake is not in your face matcha but more subdued & complex. It somehow possesses a pronounced chocolatey note. The matcha does not taste cheap & flat like at some other establishments wattwurmnashi has erred into dangerous green t[s?]ea waters. The sesame adds a pleasant nutty undertone but is just a teeny tad obtrusive. The macaron is the right mix of crispy outer & chewy inner. Unimaginably, thé vert almost has wattwurmnashi a matcha convert.

The friendly & capable sales lady kindly obliged to my rather unusual request of a surrogate birthday plating. I can say from countless adverse experiences at other establishments that that is something you canNOT expect from every sales staff in Japan but the previously positively noted competent assistants at Gâteaux de la Mère Souriante were one decisive criterium to go with this place.

Not stingy in the 1st place, wattwurmnashi sure won’t skimp on a friend’s birthday, so I chose 2 more Petite Pâtissière suitable cakes, a coconut + caramel pairing [she likes caramel] & a coffee-chocolate cake, chocolate producing machine that she is.

  • Coco caramel
    Caramel cream, coconut mousse, coconut dacquoise, caramel crémeux
    Coco caramel smells pronouncedly of roasted coconut but opens sweetish in the mouth with coconut, then bitter caramel kicks in together with the toasted coconut from the dacquoise. What makes this cake truly shine in my opinion is that caramel is only the supporting actor here & not the main star.
  • Café chocolat
    Chocolate coffee mousse, walnut brownie
    Chocolate and coffee hold a precariously perfect truce. The brownie is deliciously dense & moist. The usually much despised walnuts actually work very nicely here as they help expose the coffee.

An extra upgrade added the orange jelly + mango sorbet verrine, a flavor combination which should have met with Petite Pâtissière’s approval as well [alas, rather crudely realized, especially the former] & a very pleasant ladyfinger that melted in the mouth.

Tea[m] everything up with a caramel tea & wattwurmnashi got as close to having a Petite Pâtissière meal as possible – & what a meal at that!

As for the future, Petite Pâtissière, please have a look at the cake counter & tell me what you would’ve chosen so I can do a better job on your next birthday.

Bottom: baked cheesecake, chocolate cake, caramel banana, cardinal cake, strawberry shortcake, chestnut biscuit roll, NY cheesecake, chocolate dome, Mont Blanc, berry mousse, pistachio+white chocolate, pumpkin mousse, coffee+chocolate, baked lemon cheesecake, matcha, coconut caramel, cocoa+strawberry, millefeuille, top: [entremets,] pumpkin tart, pumpkin pudding

Bottom: baked cheesecake, chocolate cake, caramel banana, cardinal cake, strawberry shortcake, chestnut biscuit roll, NY cheesecake, chocolate dome, Mont Blanc, berry mousse, pistachio+white chocolate, pumpkin mousse, coffee+chocolate, baked lemon cheesecake, matcha, coconut caramel, cocoa+strawberry, millefeuille, top: [entremets,] pumpkin tart, pumpkin pudding

As for the past, on previous visits, I also had:

Sicilie, caramel banane, café chocolat, cardinal

Sicilie, caramel banane, café chocolat, cardinal

  • Cardinal
    Whipped cream, pastry cream, génoise, strawberries
    Contrary to my expectations/fears, this interpretation of the German classic Kardinalschnitte is not too sweet at all & turns out an upgrade to the original. The génoise veers more in the direction of a meringue & has a crispy exterior which together with the strawberries forms an accomplished counterpart to the largely creamy interior.
  • Caramel banane
    Cocoa ladyfingers, whipped cream, banana, caramel
    Although this cake packs less of a chocolate punch than I would normally like from my banana cakes & to boot boosts caramel which I am usually not a big fan of in combination with banana [why go for caramel when you can have the REAL C!?!], it turns out delicious. The caramel isn’t smotheringly over-abundant & somehow, everything just falls into place.
  • Sicilie
    Pistachio + white chocolate mousse, white chocolate crémeux, chocolate crunch, génoise
    While I think this is one of the best looking cakes in the shop, this cake is unfortunately far too white chocolate dominated to be anything near the name & color invoked image of a pistachio cake. Further, unlike at aube in Hiroshima, the white chocolate lends an overall greasy quality [can’t really call it that, but what is the opposite of a quality?] to the cake. To top things off, this cake somehow manages to have an undesired minty note.

For the record, the plating use extra dessert is orange jelly [suspicion arises that that’s the only thing ever on the menu] with an extremely crude, brimming with ice crystals peach sorbet.

Rouge, mascarpone, millefeuille, dome chocolat

Rouge, mascarpone, millefeuille, dome chocolat

  • Mascarpone
    Mascarpone cream, whipped cream, mango jelly, mango, biscuit
    The mascarpone cream is astonishingly & awesomely rich, adeptly accompanied by the whipped cream & the crunchy biscuit pieces. I don’t know what the mango stuff is doing on this dessert though, maybe it’s supposed to provide a light & fruity side but it doesn’t go with the rest.

  • Dome chocolat
    2 sorts of chocolate mousse, chocolate génoise, chocolate crunch
    The chocolate mousses are solid, if not mindblowingly amazing. The cake is elevated through the crunch at the bottom though.
  • Millefeuille
    Puff pastry, génoise, whipped cream, strawberries
    The generous génoise inserts are a somewhat puzzling change to the ever-popular winning millefeuille formula but one I can’t help but admire somewhat – the format makes this millefeuille far less of the usual millefeuille incurred mess to eat & even more so, actually eatable by hand which is always a positively noted thing. The puff pastry is a bit darker & ergo more burnt than average which in wattwurmnashi camp is highly welcome. Still, hardcore millefeuille lovers probably won’t take to this interpretation as it is less creamy [= messy].

  • Rouge
    Berry mousse, génoise, white chocolate custard, berries, chopped almonds
    The chopped almonds provide this cake with the little extra.

[By the time I left, it was dark.]

[By the time I left, it was dark.]

Close to a very popular shopping destination in Nagoya city center, Gâteaux de la Mère Souriante, owned & directed by Chef Kurimoto, dish up surprisingly good fare. Except for their set menu extra[s] but then, you don’t have to order that. & the teas are invariantly oversteeped although not as badly as at a lot of other places in Japan, they remain within the enjoyably drinkable range – just. But as for the most important thing, each time I have been the tempting tastes pleasantly surprised me all over again. In my learning resistant defense, the workmanship is not as refined as at other truly great places – coco caramel was leaning dangerously even before it wobbled its way onto my plate – so I can’t help but feel that the cakes end up looking less nice than they actually taste. That’s definitely the preferred way around in Wattwurmnashi World, & that way [around], I’m in for a pleasant surprise every time. Evidently, wattwurmnashi is too stupid to learn from experience but doesn’t that make things just so much more fun in this particular case?

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5 responses to “Gâteaux de la Mère Souriante, pâtisserie & café, Nagoya

    • OMG! How the hell did YOUR comment of all land in the spam folder!?! Epic WordPress fail!
      Most Japanese places go for fake French names [probably Google Translator or worse]. This one is actually grammatically correct but I don’t know how it came about as the pastry chef is a guy.
      & the dome was good enough, just not overly impressive.
      Thanks for reading & for complimenting my pictures! :)

  1. The Green tea cake looks awesome…. The color is appealing. But isn’t it too strong flavour in mouth?

    • No, not at all! I tried to convey that in the description but maybe I’m not being clear enough. The green tea has a subtle & very complex flavor, if anything, the sesame is too strong but not the matcha. I can hear you though, the color is very vibrant & I also totally expected it to taste much stronger

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