Thursday, February 07, 2013

Taiwan 2012: Sadaharu Aoki

I've previously proclaimed my love for Sadaharu Aoki desserts. And lucky me have actually managed to sample a few of his macarons (and chocarons) through friends and family who help me to bring back boxes of his stuff.

Sadaharu Aoki

Last year, when I managed to visit Taipei, I knew for one thing that I could not leave the place without visiting Sadaharu Aoki. In fact, I managed to visit both outlets while I was there! *cue fan girl squeal moment*

boutique Bellavita
Tarte Caramel Salé

The cousin and I were sightseeing around the Xinyi area (we popped by the Eslite bookstore and I managed to grab a few books! Hoho), and I had penciled in a tea break at Sadaharu for the day's itinerary. The place was quite full when we reached there, but we managed to snag seats cos it was just a table for two. I reckon it'll be a longer wait if we had a bigger group. I was so excited about finally getting to taste Sadaharu's works that I couldn't decide what to get. In the end, we settled on the Tarte Caramel Salé, Valencia and Cafe Noix.


The salted caramel tart was really good - albeit a lil too sweet. But I mean, it's caramel, so it's forgiveable. The pastry had a perfect crunch, the chocolate cream piped atop was really smooth and light, and the caramel chocolate filling was just a lil tad too sweet, but full of caramel-y tones.

The orange chocolate cake was also another thumbs up. I've never been inclined to pair orange and chocolate (though I've paired lemon and chocolate together before), and the combo has never excited me. But this is a really popular Aoki piece, and after my first taste of it, I wonder why did I never liked the combo. Citrus and chocolate really go hand in hand as the sweet sour acid tones of the citrus complements sweet chocolate. What I didn't like about the piece was the candied orange shards sitting atop the cake. The shards was really thick and opague (I thought it should have been a really thin piece to showcase the orangle slices but it was not done properly at all imho).

The last choice, a coffee flavoured cake was sadly a disappointment and the flavours were actually quite forgettable actually. We didn't actually finish this cake if I didn't remember wrongly.


The cousin is more of a savoury person than a sweets one, so she ordered a croissant and the mouthful that I tried was really buttery and flaky. Superbly done.

Not much photos taken of the boutique Bellavita as when I tried to snap photos of the desserts selections, the staff told me no photography was allowed.
boutique Formosa Regent

On my last day in Taipei, I was determined to buy some goodies to bring back home with me. So we scheduled a stopover at the boutique Formosa Regent so that I can grab some treats. The taxi driver was a bit lost on where the place was, so I popped outta the cab and tried asking for directions (to no avail). But then I found the place by luck! And then got lost while navigating through the space to find the shop. I had to speed walk a long way from the entrance of the place to reach the shop and by the time I finally reached the shop, I was mad tired. 

While I was slowly perusing the cake shelves, I was debating between macarons and cakes or both. In the end I decided on just cakes since I've already sampled his macarons previously. On hindsight, I should have just gotten both!

Oh, and I managed to snap more photos in this boutique as I was not stopped by the staff even when I was photographing the place right in front of them.

They managed to survive the plane ride home! *phew. Utmost thanks to the Sadaharu staff, who paid much details to the packing of the cakes. I must say I was honestly impressed with how carefully they packed the cakes to make sure that it will not move around too much in the cake box. They also provided ice packs around the outside of the box to keep it slightly cool. My final three selections were the Bamboo, the Vanilla Mille Feuille and the staff recommended limited  piece - Sensuelle.

Pardon the really lousy quality photos though - it was raining when I was shooting these, and I really didn't want to keep them any longer in the fridge before consuming them cos the cakes should be eaten asap. Duh.

The Sensuelle comprise of layers of chocolate cream, chocolate sponge, raspberry gelee studded with hazelnuts, a layer of crispy choco feuillitine (nice!), thin dacqoiuse and a raspberry macaron as decor. I couldn't really taste the raspberry flavour (probably cos it has been sitting a few days) but I liked how the filling wasn't overtly sweet - as usual of Sadaharu Aoki's works. This piece was pretty decent.

I remember being underwhelmed by the Bamboo. Based on online reviews, it seems to be a bit of a hit and miss with different people. I'm a huge matcha lover, so while I thought it was good, it wasn't something that I was super impressed with or anything.

No zoom up of the Vanilla Mille Feuille cos the pastry was really disappointing. Primarily because of my fault I guess. It was a wrong decision to buy a mille feuille for takeaway cos it is made up of crispy puff pastry sheet layers, and of course, after a plane ride and all, the crisp factor has all but dwindled to...nothing. It was such a sad waste of a supposedly great pastry (great reviews of it online), so no, I do not recommend buying this as takeaway. And I'll be sure to order the matcha version of it to try it in its full glory when I'm next in any city that has a Sadaharu Aoki outlet.

Matcha croissants

My lovely cousin was in Japan some months back, and I had begged for some Sadaharu treats. This time round, I got myself matcha croissants! Unfortunately, just one of the above was mine - I had so nicely requested an additional piece for my Sis too - darn, I should have kept it for myself ha! ( she was initially sceptical that the croissants can survive the plane trip). Well, unlike mille feuille, you can actually toast the pastry again in the toaste to warm and crisp it up. It was fantastic! Great buttery flaky layers with a slight matcha flavour. The pretty green innards was also appreciated as I've not seen anything like it compared to regular plain croissants. And yes, the Sis totally agreed that the croissant was delish too (after a stint in the toaster of course!).

Shop: Sadaharu Aoki (boutique Bellavita)
Address: 台北市信義區松仁路28號B2樓 No 28 Song Ren Rd., Xinyi, Taipei 11073, Bellavita B2F
Phone: 00806 (0)2 8729 2867
Opening Hours: Sun to Thur 11:00 to 22:00, Fri to Sat 11:00 to 22:30

Shop: Sadaharu Aoki (boutique Formosa Regent)
Address: 台北市中山北路二段41號B2(晶華酒店) No.41 Chung Shan North Road, Section 2, Taipei 10450, Formosa Regent 1F/B2F
Phone: 00886 (0)2 2511 5000
Opening Hours: 10:30 to 21:30


  1. Oh girl, I'm such a huge fan of Aoki's matcha croissants, even your mention of them made me salivating. I've already tried to recreate them in my kitchen, 3 times, but with no significant effect. I wish I knew the secret. If you happen to be near Aoki's shop again, do try his wasabi bonbons - they are a total hit.

  2. I never had a better eclair than those from Sadaharu Aoki. Some of his macs are really inventive too- loved his wasabi macaron!

    Oh btw donq has matcha Dainagon now but it's a soft bread loaf instead of the european bread version. I had atheir chocolate bun and cream cheese bun fresh out of the oven. GOSH. I love that place (:

  3. i wish i knew the secret too! ive yet to make croissants from scratch at home and thats one thing i cant wait to do! i so wish aoki will open in my country so i can try all his goods like once a week or so. ;)

  4. i guess i now know what to try when i visit an Aoki shop again! Eclairs! wow, wasabi macaron sounds really adventurous...

    Really??? Matcha dainagon? hmmm. so it's almost like their chocolate boule? i thought it was a lil weird their choco boule is like a soft bun instead of the european bread version. i love that place too! my latest addiction is this choco european bread mini loaf shape with a leaf pattern (forgot its name but ive bought it several time alr - its the month's special!)

  5. Oh my goodness...everything looks so beautiful and delicious. I can`t stop staring. I need to remember this place when I actually go to Taipei!

  6. yes! i love this place so much and highly recommend it hee. try the matcha croissants!

  7. OMG this looks delicious! will try to make it a point to visit when I am going taipei in Sep. any idea hwich metro station it is near to? thanks!


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