I’m not going to Tokyo to eat non-Japanese food! – I said firmly to Hubby, when we were planning our trip and I discovered there are many Italian restaurants in Tokyo with great reviews. – I will eat miso, rice, ramen, udon, tempura, onigiri… Everything Japanese. I’m not touching any other kind food.
Fast forward couple of weeks, to our third day in Tokyo. We’re getting the hang of which exit leads where at the Shinjuku station. We have all day of sightseeing behind us, we’re a bit tired and all we need to make the afternoon better is a cup of coffee. Not much choice around, so I’m guiding us to Starbucks and then we pass THEM. The most beautiful looking croissants and loaves of bread, sitting in the window and looking all alluring and delightful. We take a few steps back. We stop and look at the golden beauties with our jaws dropped. Suddenly the idea of going to Starbucks is not so appealing anymore. WE MUST TRY THE CROISSANTS.
– Maybe they just look good, you know like the fake food in Kappabashi? But the smell, the wonderful freshly-out-of-the-oven kind of smell can’t lie. I feel like we hit a jackpot. I’m salivating while we pick a few pastries and put them on our tray. I can’t wait to take that first bite, but I have to be patient as the line to cashiers is quite long. We order coffee, pay, pick up the coffee on the other side of the room, go upstairs, look for any available tables (it does get crowded) and finally! Finally! It’s the moment of truth. Bite. OH. MY. GOODNESS.
Thin, crisp layers of buttery goodness. Soft and light inside, melting in my mouth. I eat at least half of my croissant before I look at my husband – he’s half way through his pastries and looks like he’s floating on that happy cloud in heaven with me.
Coffee is not bad, but wouldn’t hurt if it was done better. But who cares about coffee, when you’re having the best croissant of your life, right?
Now I’m trying to remember if I have ever had better pastries and croissants, even in France – nope, can’t remember. I have a feeling it’s not my last visit to that place.
We’re back the next day. And the next one. And the day after that. Even right before jumping on an airport bus we went to stock up, unfortunately there’s not much to choose from 10 minutes after opening. On the other hand, I don’t need much more than those croissants, so I’m happy regardless. We have a few pastries to enjoy on our trip back home, a little moment of pleasure during the 10 hour flight. I’m going to miss you Gontran Cherrier.
– What about not having any non-Japanese food, huh? – Just eat your pastries Honey, just eat your pastries.
[Update: since mid-2017 Gontran Cherrier shops in Japan have been replaced by Boul’Ange. The pastries, croissants and breads look almost the same and are very similar, if not exactly the same, taste-wise.]
Gontran Cherrier Shinjuku
2-2-1 Yoyogi | 1F・2F Shinjuku Southern Terrace
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 10:00pm /daily