Joël Robuchon has restaurants spread across the world, but only in Taipei and Hong Kong does he operate Salon de Thé de Joël Robuchon, a sleek tea salon where dainty bites and a proper afternoon tea service is on the menu. But if you're just craving a few desserts, pastries, and fresh baked breads to go, that's also an option. Here are the sweets you shouldn't miss.
Mont Blanc is the single best selling dessert at the Salon de Thé. At the center of the orb are whole roasted chestnuts surrounded by a soft chestnut cream and a thick, lush whipped cream. The best bite is when you capture everything together, including the seemingly endless ribbons of silky chestnut purée.
Roule à la Vanille
Standard rolls cakes are found at nearly all Asian bakeries, but Robuchon gives his version a twist by whipping vanilla beans into the light cream filling and scenting the sponge cake with a bit of lemon zest. Take note, they also offer this same roll in a Cappuccino version.
Millefeuille à la Fraise
In this classic, three layers of flaky, butter-rich puff pastry are separated by vanilla pastry cream, strawberry jam, and slices of fresh strawberries. It's simultaneously decadent, messy and wonderful. If you have room for more, the mille-feuille is also offered in Vanilla and Sesame-Praline.
Confiture de Myrtille
I like buying preserves when in Asia because they tend to be less sweet than their American counterparts. Robouchon's Confiture de Myrtille is a great example with potent, juicy blueberries in each spoonful. It's thick and jammy and oh so good smothered on one of the many breads (baguette! pain de campagne!) that are baked in-house.
Instead of the traditional ring shape, this Paris-Brest is piped to look like an éclair. The delicate choux pastry (topped in crushed, caramelized hazelnuts) is split and outfitted with whipped cream and a picture-perfect dollops of praline cream. Eat with a fork if you're dining in the salon, but I prefer to whisk it back to the hotel and devour it with both hands.
Salon de Thé de Joël Robuchon
About the author: Based in New York City and Honolulu, Kathy YL Chan blogs at Kathy YL Chan, where she chronicles her adventures in travel, sweets, and tea.