Monday, February 15, 2010

Japonaise Bakery, Brookline

Yesterday, I stopped into Japonaise Bakery here in Brookline on my way to work for a bite to eat.  I wasn't counting on family meal at work being a terribly rewarding experience.  I knew the guys in the kitchen would be very busy putting out lunches and getting their mise en place ready for dinner service, it being Valentine's Day and all.  It's one of the busiest days of the year for us and requires a lot of work from every hand available in the back and front of the house to prepare for the plethora of guests, so there isn't much time to think about making a feast fit for a king to be served up between services and to be eaten only by employees.

I left my apartment with a good deal of excitement thinking about stopping at Japonaise.  I have been there many times and I knew that I would be able to get a quick and cheap meal that would satisfy my appetite and give me plenty of fuel for the busy night ahead.  They have terrific sandwiches, pastries, and cakes.  I usually get a loaf of their shoku pan, a traditional Japanese yeast bread enriched with heavy cream to take home.  It's as delicious as it sounds and it has a really nice texture that makes me think of the "snap" of al dente pasta or a natural sausage casing.

Today, I opted for a sandwich combo of egg salad and ham.  Their sandwiches are served on the signature shoku pan and are fantastic.  The egg salad comes with a little sliced tomato and the ham is served with mayo and lettuce.  It's really convenient if you're in a hurry because they are packed in a plastic container and ready to go.  I've eaten them on the T on my to work before. I also picked out a curry donut, somewhat of a house specialty.  The donut is filled with Japanese beef curry cooked with potatoes and carrots and then deep fried!  I love the play of savory and sweet together and they are a bargain.  Two easily makes a meal combined  with a pastry after and a bubble tea.

Feeling in the Valentine's Day spirit, I also bought a little chocolate cake to surprise my coworkers.  They call it the "African Queen," and it was absolutely fantastic.  The cake was moist, and we figured it must be soaked in rum or kirsch.  There was also a chocolate mousse filling and the icing was a genache type saturated with delicious dark chocolate flavor.  Though super intense in the chocolate department, the cake didn't seem heavy at all.  I think any of us could have easily eaten the entire thing without batting an eyelash!

I was thrilled to have discovered this place years ago, but I am still working my way through their extensive offerings.  I try something new with each visit and I'm consistently impressed.  Their sandwiches make a great lunch, and now I'm pretty excited about the cakes they offer too.  One coworker even commented that he would be ordering a birthday cake from them in the near future for a loved one.  I'm sure I'll be stopping in again sometime soon for a bite to eat, and if you're in the neighborhood, you should too.  If you see a nerdy looking food geek with glasses, please say hi!

1 comment:

  1. I also adore this place and don't get there often enough! The An Doughnut is my favorite and I just today tried the egg salad and turkey sandwich package. Heavy cream shoku pan for me.