"I am not very fond of sugar and sweet things, and yet I became a pastry chef." The story of British pâtissière Rose Carrarini, whose quote adorns the wall in the growing number of cafe-bakeries that bear her name, is an eye-opener on many levels.

It's not just that the cofounder of Rose Bakery is now famous for a talent she never realized she had. Nor that she has progressed from a hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop in London to becoming a surprising hit in Paris, and now the figurehead of a growing chain of chic-casual eateries in the fashion centers of Europe and East Asia.

Carrarini's real accomplishment is that she is silencing the naysayers — and there are as many in Japan as in France — who still believe there's nothing worth eating north of the English Channel, especially when it comes to cakes and dessert. If you're still not convinced, drop into one of the three Tokyo branches of Rose Bakery.