French are known to be good at making pastries and so I made it a point to hunt down a really good place this time. Jacques Genin only has one shop and is located in a rather hard to find area in the 3rd arrondisement. The shop was big and spacious and looked more like a boutique than a tea salon. They had a few dine in tables and I was lucky that there was a table suitable for 3 when I walked in on a Friday afternoon.
The menu was not extensive and they did not even put the pastries on display – a practice I’ve never seen before in any pastry shop. They must be really too famous that they do not need to rely on clueless walk in customers attracted to the pastry display or perhaps they want to establish their place to be a chocolate shop rather than a pastry shop (chocolate and candies were on display). Fortunately I was one of the lucky ones who did my homework and knew about the secret pastries but unfortunately I did not really remember all the items that were highly recommended, other than the mille-feuille , which was famously good that the staff recommended it too.
I ended up ordering the lime basil tart (which looks like lemon tart) and chocolate degustation together with the famous millefeuille which they only had in vanilla flavour that day. (It slipped my mind to order the chocolate eclair and hot chocolate for the record.)
I had some tea to go along and here we had the bleu-vert (€7.00) which i think is something like oolong.
Chocolate Degustation – €7.00
The staff asked for our preference and I said mostly dark but some milk is fine. The chocolates were good but not the star of the meal. Chocolate was the Chef’s original products and passion I suppose but somehow his other pastries ended up to be too good.
Tarte au Citron – €8.00
This was probably the best lemon/lime/citrus tart I’ve ever tried. The custard was very delicate and wobbly and the crispy tart pastry had the perfect contrast to the filling. The filling was very unique because it was almost liquid but will not flow out. They captured the perfect point to set the custard from liquid to semi solid.
Vanilla Mille-feuille – €8.70
This was known to the the best of it’s kind in the city and I was happy finally try it. Only one flavour is available a day so it’s up to your luck. I wanted the caramel actually but vanilla is fine too. I always loved vanilla anyway. The texture was unbelievably flaky and delicate. It was assembled upon order and ala minute so the flakiness maintained well and it was not a single bit soggy. This is a practice that’s lacking big time in all other mille-feuilles I’ve tried in Singapore.
If you only had one chance to have pastries in Paris, this is the place.