Shop Review: Patisserie Ar (パティスリー・アール)

I live in Tsubata. You’ve probably driven through here on your way north out of Kanazawa and seen the green, pyramid-shaped roof of our pachinko parlor on the left side of the 8. The facts are these: Tsubata is a bed town, characterized by quiet streets and proximity to Kanazawa. A lot of the people who live here do all of their working and playing in the city. For those from out of town, it’s hardly worth getting off the highway for.

… Or is it?

Patisserie Ar

The shop windows glow invitingly in the evening.

 I’d like you introduce you to Patisserie Ar. I found this place when I got lost on the way to a preschool visit. Hidden away in a residential neighborhood just a minute by car from the highway, this take-home cake shop is definitely worth the short detour when you’re passing through. They have no seating, but they’ll package their delicious cakes with plenty of ice packs to keep them safe and cool until you make it home.

The shop itself is cute, with ornate wallpaper and an eclectic collection of decorative mirrors covering the walls. But of course, our eyes are immediately drawn to the glass case, and the enticing display of cakes and sweets of all colors and shapes. There are flavors for sweet lovers of all kinds, from that staple of Japanese cake shops, strawberry shortcake, to a simple, rich gateau chocolat (ガトーショコラ), to creamy green tea mousse (te ver – テ・ヴェール 抹茶ムース). Their blueberry tart is piled high with cream and fresh blueberries, and their chocolate raspberry cake is just the right combination of sweet and tart.

Blueberry Tart

The blueberry tart has a center of blueberry preserves and sweet vanilla custard, and is topped with fresh blueberries and whipped cream (370 yen).

I think I was most impressed by their chiffon cake. I always considered chiffon cake to be a pretty boring, no-comment kind of dessert, but Patisserie Ar has made me realize its potential. Theirs is extremely moist and complimented well by not-too-sweet whipped cream. The flavor varies seasonally – last time I went, each slice was flavored with yuzu zest, and the time before that with the subtle aroma of earl gray tea.

You can see a photos and prices for a few of the lovely confections on their webpage. Expect to spend between 250~400 yen per piece. You will not be disappointed. Birthday cakes are also available with a reservation.

Open 10:00~19:00 (closed Tuesdays)

Phone number: 076-216-7077

Access:

石川県河北郡津幡町太田は136-15

Ishikawa Prefecture, Kahoku-gun, Tsubata-machi, Oota Ha 136-15

By car

From the South (Kanazawa, Kaga, etc.): Head north on the 8, and after passing through Morimoto into Tsubata, take the Oota (太田) Exit . Make a left at the first intersection (Oota Nishi – 太田西) . Head straight through the next light. Patisserie Ar is located on the right side of the road, just where the road begins to turn left.

From the North (Kahoku, Noto, etc.): Head south on the 8, and after passing through Kahoku into Tsubata take the Minami Chujo (南中条) Exit. Head straight through the next two traffic lights. At the third light (Oota Nishi –太田西), turn right under the highway. Head straight on this road, through the next light. Patisserie Ar is located on the right side of the road, just where the road begins to turn left.

Chelsea Robinson is a first year CIR in Tsubata, a town that deserves culinary recognition for more than makomo.

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