珠寶盒法式點心坊 Patisserie Boîte de Bijou @ Taipei
Whenever we visit Taiwan, apart from going back to some of favorite eating places to relive the gastronomic experience, we also love to try out new joints which we’d not been to before. Truth be told, it’s not our first visit to 珠寶盒法式點心坊 Patisserie Boîte de Bijou. As one of the pastry shops with better quality creations around, Bijou has been constantly “upgrading” themselves, not only with their breads and cakes, but also their shop front to give folks that sense of novelty and “freshness” whenever they pay Bijou a visit.
During our last visit, they’d upgraded their shopfront again, expanding to occupy the unit next door as well and co-joining the two together as one. The left concentrated on pastry while the right on breads. From what we understand, they’d revamped again, looking more industrial chic this time, catering to the hipster crowd. This neighbourhood has a rather young demographic profile, with the Taiwan National Normal University just next door. So it makes perfect sense to woo the students nearby to come here to enjoy some cakes, breads or just to have a cuppa. So don’t be surprised if the pastry shop doesn’t look like what is shown in the photo above anymore!
Bijou is one of the more “all rounded” pastry shops around, with both a patisserie as well as a boulangerie. Very few joints we have visited in Taiwan has such capacity in fact. This is a view of their cakes chiller..
And more cakes… a rather impressive spread of 16 different creations on display when we visited. The selection is again something which one would hardly see elsewhere in Taiwan, and even in Japan. Their entremet creations provide a wide range of choices to suit everyone’s palate, be it for more traditional combinations of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, or classics like Mont Blancs, to their own unique pieces which make use of local produce like Taiwan pineapple, tea leaves etc. In short, there is bound to have something for everyone here. Unless you don’t like cake that is, but how can anyone don’t like cake!?
Apart from cakes and breads, they also have their own line of chocolates, bon bons and pralines…
And a very impressive display of pate de fruits, i.e. chewy fruity gum… though I’m not entirely sure how popular are these exactly here in Taiwan…
Their own line of confitures, marmalades and jams which are all locally produced, as well as some imported honeys…
They even have very zakka like crockery… apart from all these in the above photos, they also have macarons, and other petit pour secs like madelines, financiers, cookies, sables etc…
Having tried quite a number of their creations previously, we’d chosen a seasonal special this time round, a slice of their buche de noel since Christmas is around the corner… The flavours are that of passion fruit and chocolate, a very “Mogador” combination which can hardly go wrong for most. Very good mousse making, not quite Sugino calibre but very good already by any standards. Good expansion of dimension with a layer of praline feuilletine, which make seem a bit cliche to some folks, but we love it…
We tried some classics too, like their fondant chocolat, i.e. chocolate lava cake. Again very well executed, with a good control of time and temperature to ensure that the core is really runny while the sides taken up shape considerably to hold the runny core within… The choice of chocolate was decent too, around 70% couverture which is appropriately dark but not overwhelming bitter.
We move on to their choux pastry, a Choux creme de pistache et framboise. A rather interesting combination but it is tried and tasted as well. “Montebello” as I’d known this combination as. Truth be told, it is quite an acquired taste, as some may feel that the sour hues from the raspberry may hinder those subtle nutty notes from the pistachio paste from coming through properly. But overall, the piece is very well made, very very pleasing to the eye as one can see, and that in many cases is already half the battle won. One only needs to convince oneself that it would taste as good as it looks.
We couldn’t resist trying their canele as well. I love to try caneles whenever I see decently made ones available so this is no exception. Bijou’s canele are very standard to say the least. We came at the right time when the crust of these morsels are still crisp with a good amount of caramelisation on the surface. The crispness stands out with good contrast against the flan-like interior which was still warm, moist and perfumed our oral and nasal cavities with the aroma of rum with every bite. One thing short, is the dimension of vanilla which I was also looking out for. It wasn’t as prominent as I would have liked. That said the piece is exemplary of quite fine pastry making already. Provided you come at the right time of course, i.e. within 1-2 hours after the caneles are fresh out from the oven.
So if you plan to make a trip down to the Yongkang street area, be it for DTF, or Mango shaved ice, or beef noodles, do consider paying 珠寶盒法式點心坊 Patisserie Boîte de Bijou a visit for some fresh pastries or mousse cakes for dessert. For dessert afficionadoes like me, this is a good place to visit to sample some of the finest Taipei has to share…
珠寶盒法式點心坊 Patisserie Boîte de Bijou @ Taipei
Yongkang Main Store
19-1, Lane 33, Li Shui Street, Taipei (nearest MRT is either Dongmen or Taipower Stations)
Rest day on the last Monday of every month or otherwise
An He outlet
10-1, Lane 209, An He Road Section 2 (nearest MRT is Luizhangli Station)