Patisserie VIRON


For this week’s edition of 50 Shades of Tokyo Desserts I headed to the back streets of Shibuya to Patisserie VIRON, a renowned French bakery which opened its doors to Tokyoites a decade (or so) ago. I have read nothing but raves about their baked products and finally made it there to taste it myself. patisserie-viron-shibuya-tokyo-1

Viron is especially noted for its traditional preparation methods, nothing is precooked and frozen, everything sold is fresh-from-the-oven. The bulky Retrodor flour sacks stacked just inside the front door serve as testament to quality. The semi-open kitchen in the first floor patisserie supplies constant flow of freshly baked baguettes, croissants, kouign amann, fougasse and dizzying array of other pastries. patisserie-viron-shibuya-tokyo-8patisserie-viron-shibuya-tokyo-9I couldn’t resist getting classic as well as doux croissants and one pain au raisin which I devoured later in Yoyogi Park.
I have been spoilt with some really amazing pain aux raisans which has turned me into a bit of a snob. VIRON’s version was done well, but nothing beyond that. The dough seemed a bit flat and tad on a drier side. I’ve heard that VIRON’s croissants are baked using Echire butter, although I didn’t think they were as rich in flavor as those from Dominique Ansel, Joel Robuchon or Echire itself. patisserie-viron-shibuya-tokyo-14
You can also get a baguette sandwich to go including pate de campagne, rillettes, and jambon. On top of the pastries, you also have a wide selection of cakes and petits gâteaux to choose from. patisserie-viron-shibuya-tokyo-2patisserie-viron-shibuya-tokyo-3patisserie-viron-shibuya-tokyo-5patisserie-viron-shibuya-tokyo-6patisserie-viron-shibuya-tokyo-7I settled on strawberry financier and eclair. The former was moist and flavorful, while the latter was quite delectable, with chocolate custard filling. patisserie-viron-shibuya-tokyo-4
My initial intention was to have breakfast in the upstairs brasserie, although by the time I arrived (big SALE signs and subsequent shopping got in the way) they already put out the lunch menu. Thus instead of a light morning bite I somehow ended up with a generous portion of a refined mid-day meal of duck in a white wine and olive sauce accompanied with mashed potatoes, vegetables and freshly baked baguette, whose texture and flavor was on point. Note: you have to pay extra (450 yen) if you want butter — premium beurre d’Echire. patisserie-viron-shibuya-tokyo-13patisserie-viron-shibuya-tokyo-12The duck was beautifully cooked, with perfectly moist flesh, while the sauce provided necessary savoriness to the dish. Impeccable service and attention to detail made the meal even more enjoyable. I also enjoyed the interior which is done after a classic French bistro, with red leather banquettes, brass fittings, the high velvet curtains and menu chalked on the large board and presented in front of each table on a chisel. Although I felt a bit claustrophobic due to a lack of view and option to dine al fresco. However, neither of these are an issue at VIRON’s Marunochi branch. I would certainly come back here for fresh baguettes and some more of those cakes.

Viron Marunouchi: Chiyoda-ku, Marunouchi 2-7-3, TOKIA Bldg. 1st floor

Viron Shibuya: Shibuya-ku, Udagawacho 33-8, Tsukuda Bldg.

xoxo, nano

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  1. WOW! I had no idea how well Japan did cakes and pastries until I went – their attention to detail in decorating was just incredible!

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