With two dozen restaurants, bars and cafes over three floors, Marunouchi Brick Square was a hit right from its opening last October. But the biggest buzz and the longest lines have been at one of the smallest shops in the complex: Echire Maison de Beurre, the first specialist butter boutique in the city.
Set up by France’s best-known (internationally, at least) premium butter company, this little outlet has been drawing the kind of queues usually associated with high-end chocolatiers in the runup to Valentine’s Day.
It’s not the butter itself that is in such demand; it’s the baked goods they produce each morning — especially the croissants.
There are three varieties, all baked a beautiful golden brown and a delicate, light-as-air texture. First to sell out are the “traditional” croissants, but it’s the other two kinds that are truly exceptional. Containing 50-percent Echire butter (either salted or unsalted), they are so rich you could almost spread them on toast.
Despite a limit of six croissants per customer, they’re usually all snapped up within 90 minutes of the shop opening. But we prefer to arrive around noon, after the crowds have gone, to pick up a bag of the fragrant madeleines and financiers. If there are any better examples of these dainty cakes in the city, we haven’t found them yet.
Echire Maison du Beurre, Marunouchi Brick Square 1F, 2-6-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku; (03) 6269-9840; www.echire-shop.jp Open daily 10 a.m.-8 p.m.