A dessert bar rendezvous into Japanese-French dessert artistry.
Long-time readers of this dessert blog will know that we always keep an eye out for the newest and most exciting dessert bars. And for a city as large as New York with millions of tastebuds – and diverse and fastidious tastebuds too – one or two dessert bars just wouldn’t meet such a demand. Since arriving in NYC, we have seen a dessert bar open for business every few months or so (and sadly, shutter too). An under-the-radar favourite patisserie of ours located a stone’s throw from the bustle of Union Square, Patisserie Fouet offers dessert tastings after 4pm daily, and we highly recommend it. We have also featured it in our round-up of some of the most Instagrammable trompe l’oeil desserts in NYC.
There are six desserts on Patisserie Fouet’s dessert bar menu, of which three are souffles. The dessert tasting commences with a little glass of pannacotta. A frozen grape sits inside, and textural contrast is provided by a black sesame crackle. The tasting ends with biscotti-like bites. The main course of the dessert tasting are the real showstoppers. Deserving a place of honour on any list of the most aesthetically beautiful (or most Instagrammable) dessert in New York, the “Yuzu Sugar Sugar” ($20) features a pearlescent pink shell mounted on a crystalline grey-green stoneware plate, like a treasure brought up from the depths of the mysterious sea. Once the outer shell is cracked, a garden bed of yuzu mousse, green tea sponge, yam and a quenelle of black sesame ice cream is revealed.
One dessert that we can never say “no” to, is creme brulee. Patisserie Fouet offers a “Hojicha Creme Brulee” ($16). Unlike many watery (or overly-eggy) versions at many French restaurants across NYC, however, Patisserie Fouet’s version did not disappoint. At Patisserie Fouet, the creme brulee was all-exquisite custardness, imparted with the lightly earthy tones of hojicha tea. The crackly sugar surface characteristic of a traditional creme brulee was a lid here, rather than glued to the dessert itself. It was probably our favourite of the plated desserts that we sampled at Patisserie Fouet.
The third dessert that we sampled was a souffle, of which there are 3-4 flavoured varieties at any given time at Patisserie Fouet. On our visit, the “Green Tea Souffle” ($16) was a cloud-like confection with fairly keen, green tea tones. It was accompanied by vanilla bean ice cream, which seemed somewhat superfluous. Raspberry sorbet, or something more citric, would perhaps, have been a more creative counterpoint.
And finally, the “Pear Compote” ($20) wouldn’t look out of place in a fine-dining French or Italian restaurant. Curiously, despite the fruit theme, this dessert had a distinctively sweeter profile than the other desserts at Patisserie Fouet. Here, a poached pear was surrounded by variations of chocolate – a celestial, chocolate crescent moon sculpture layered with chocolate mousse, dots of caramel and chocolate, all accompanied with salted caramel ice cream.
Through its dessert tastings, Patisserie Fouet has cemented to us why it has been, and remains, one of our favourite dessert adventures thus far in NYC. Whenever one walks in, an atmosphere of murmuring quiet enfolds you. It isn’t the quiet of a fine-dining institution, though, where the scrape of cutlery on fine porcelain is sometimes louder than the ultra-hushed conversations. Rather, it is a quiet that is casual yet alive, serene yet inspired. And it translates into its desserts. “Fusion desserts” don’t always work. Sometimes, it remains too segregated. Sometimes, it becomes just a little too…perplexing. At Patisserie Fouet, however, the desserts find a blended balance between minimalism and opulence. The quiet over-achiever, Patisserie Fouet is a wonder.
Dessert adventure checklist
- ☑ Dessert destination: Patisserie Fouet, 15 East, 13th Street, Union Square, Manhattan, New York.
- ☑ Budget: $$-$$$.
- ☑ Sweet irresistibles: Dessert Bar.
- ☑ Must-eat: Hard to say, but the “Hojicha Creme Brulee” was probably our favourite.
- ☑ The short and sweet story: A dessert bar rendezvous into French-Japanese dessert artistry.