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Le Pain Quotidien’s lemon tart: Solving the sweetness equation

by

Special To The Japan Times

International bakery Le Pain Quotidien opened up its third shop in Tokyo recently, right near the main entrance to Tokyo Midtown. The hook with this latest location is that it’s the first to serve dinner, offering a variety of hearty meat-centered dishes pushing the ¥10,000 barrier. It’s also one of the only cafe spots near Midtown open at 7 a.m., making it a boon for early risers.

All nice points, but we are here to talk dessert. Le Pain Quotidien offers both sit-down dining and a bakery corner selling items for take-out, including a wide variety of tempting sweets. The star is the global chain’s lemon tart, and the opening of a new spot in Tokyo seemed like a perfect excuse to eat the confection (¥550 by itself, ¥900 for a set that comes with a drink).

One difficulty in writing about desserts stems from being met with a rush of sweetness — there are only so many ways to describe something that’s loaded up with too much sugar. Thankfully, Le Pain Quotidien’s lemon tart achieves a subtle rush of the sweet stuff thanks to the use of white chocolate, which blends in nicely with the lemon and sour cream mix that makes up the bulk of this creation. It’s pleasantly zesty without being too sour, and a good choice for a summer day on the town — or an afternoon in the office.