Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sadaharu Aoki - (Taipei)

 Sadaharu Aoki might have a Japanese name but it first started in Paris.   My review of my last visits can be found here: Sadaharu Aoki,  Paris.   Surprisingly Taipei also has a few branches – and the to-visit shop is definitely the Regent Hotel outlet as there are some 'Regent Hotel’ specials here.   The pastries and viennoseries are made locally in Taiwan,  whilst the macarons and chocolates are imported from Paris directly. 



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The Regent Hotel shop -
Has some Taipei only ‘Regent Hotel’ Signatures…   it also changes every year.  
At any time you can order the past 3 years of the Regent signatures.




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Other Pastry Cakes -




Unlike the Paris shop,  you can also order a Sampler platter -
If you want to try out a few flavours all at once.  




2013 Regent Hotel x AOKI Signature Cake -  IVROGNE
Made with Black Currant.  This looks a little like the Cassis one I ate in Paris before.  Quite nice with the berry fruitiness and jellies.  ~  7.5/10




Choux Crème -
Choux pastries are famous in the original Paris Sadaharu Aoki,  especially their unbeatable eclairs.  This choux crème was equally impressive even in the Taipei shop,  very crisp on the outside and the crème patissier was very custardy and full of aroma and vanilla essence.   (I bought some back to HK to share with friends,  but the crème lost it’s fragrance by a factor of around 300%.  The choux obviously got much softer.  It doesn’t travel well…)  ~   10/10




A visit to AOKI -  Always order their Apple Tea
It has caramel in it as well.  The same teas I drank in Paris was better than this however,  this lost a lot of it’s dried apple and tea aroma intensity.  A bit disappointed as the one in Paris is amazing.  ~  6.5/10




Almond Croissant -
The Taipei Aoki cakes visually and by taste, are definitely slightly off Paris’s standards but not by a large margin.   But the viennoseries items here are definitely way worse…   They are not even close in standards.   If Paris items are 9/10 quality,  here it wouldn’t even get a 4/10 from me in comparison.



Matcha,  Earl Grey,  Peach Cinnamon, Salted Macaron -
During 1 trip to Paris,  I actually thought AOKI made the best macaron gerbets.  A later revisit and the shells were a little too hard and too sweet again.   These macarons surprisingly tasted 90% similar to the best of conditions AOKI macarons in Paris.  Seems like they survived the flight!   Yummy.  ~  8/10



Yuzu,  Earl Grey and Genmaicha Macarons (Back to Hong Kong) -
After going from Paris to Taipei and then Hong Kong,  these macarons finally started losing some flavours and the shell hardened up to be crispy.   Sweetness level also increased as flavours begin to evaporate.  But these were still pretty decent,  considering they travelled all around the world.  ~  7/10



Lemon Tart -
The lemon curd was very good and tangy,  it could do with a bit of lime flavour as well though.  The pastry shell was too hard however.   Liked this except for the short crust pastry.    ~  7.5/10




Caramel and Matcha Cake -
The texture of this was good but AOKI’s tray cakes are getting a little tired for me personally.  The matcha flavour was there but could still be stronger to offset the caramel.   ~  7/10



Caramel & Pear Tart (Front) -
I love pears in cakes,  this seems to be a version I haven’t seen on Paris side.  Pretty tasty and the fruit cooked just right.   ~  8/10




Salted Caramel Tart -
One of the AOKI Signatures.  This was quite salty and the caramel was just right and not bitter,  but somehow reminded me more of butterscotch.   The tart pastry was better than the lemon tart above too.   ~  8.5/10




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Fraise Éclair -
The macarons here due to flying in from Paris will suffer slightly but I was still surprised they were nearly as good as the original,  though carrying them back to HK they definitely started to deteriorate.   Certain items here are definitely not as good as the Paris stores – this éclair looked quite dry and crackly in comparison.  The croissants and breads were quite a way off the original.  But having said that,  I was generally happy with the sweets section!




Price:   TWD $500
Food:   ♕♕♕♕ to ♕♕♕♕♕
Ease of Access:  4/5

Opening Hours:
Mon to Sun  11:00am to 21:00pm

Address:  台北晶華酒店, 台北市中山區中山北路二段41號B2
Ph: 2511-5000

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