Henri Charpentier started way back in 1969, as a café initially, in Japan’s Hyogo prefecture. Hence, despite its name sounds French, Henri Charpentier is in fact a Japanese patisserie. I have been attempting to visit Henri Charpentier on many occasions and lost counts of my attempts, because it’s so difficult to grab a table, notably ever since their Guoco Tower (then Tanjong Pagar Center) outlet closed. And just last weekend, when me and my dining partner were still hungry after finishing our ramen, we wanted to find some Japanese dessert, and there we found Henri Charpentier with empty table!
As we quite encountered it by chance, we didn’t do any homework, so we asked the cashier for recommendation. She suggested we should try their short cake, cheese cake, as well as their Financier, and these were what we ordered.
Firstly, their Short Cake. Not sure why they truncate away ‘strawberry’, but anyway, this is their signature cake with fresh cream and strawberries between a soft sponge. If you go onto their website, you will find three full strawberries on top, resembling the candle flame in their logo. But don’t ask me why it ‘kiu chwee’ here in Singapore, or at least from that outlet we patronised. Nevertheless, the texture of the cake is soft, with strawberries obviously coated in thin layer of sugar syrup.
The cheesecake we ordered is Double Cheese Cake, the one without lemon. They actually have two types of Double Cheese Cakes, but we would like to try the conventional one first. Our Double Cheese Cake are made with 2 layers of Mascarpone and cream cheese, and covered with Sablé crumbs on the outside. I am a massive cheese lover, I find both the sweetness and richness of the cheese cake moderate, not excessively thick, quite to my liking.
Last but not least, The Financier, which means financial professional in French. It was said that the origin of financiers is that a pâtissier who was running a pastry shop by the street near the stock exchange in Paris devised this form of small pastries so people can quickly eat without having to worry about soiling their suits. These Financiers are made using well-blended gourmet almonds such as Marcona and Fritz, along with cultured butter from Hokkaido. The texture is a little crisp, and one bite, the texture and the aroma of the gourmet almonds will be captivating. This is one that I will recommend over and above the two cakes I mentioned earlier.
Well, that summarise my first visit to Henri Charpentier. But I’m certain I will return for more.