I would like to go back to Qu’il Fait Bon on Valentine’s Day, but I think humans would sooner live on Mars before I’d secure a table there on that occasion.

On a recent midweek visit, however, at two in the afternoon it was a 30-minute wait.

Apart from my male companion and I (my wife was working), there was only one other man at Qu’il Fait Bon— like so many other cake shops in Japan, it is patronized almost exclusively by the fairer sex. Pourquoi?

At the Kyoto cafe (there are 12 outlets spread around the country), you are greeted by a selection of cakes inside a museum-like glass vestibule. And like a star attraction, it draws crowds (mostly, of “cooing” girls).

You pick first, then order, then wait. Oh, but, the deciding is hard — the range includes white strawberries, sweet potato, kumquat, yuzu, blueberries, cream, chocolate, Italian meringue.

After much deliberation, we chose a trio of purple and sweet potato tart, Miyazaki kumquat tart and yuzu and chocolate cream tart. If I had to pick, the luminous and magnificent sweet potato tart was the winner.

The cake range is constantly changing and sells out fast. Women of Japan, if you want to treat your man on Valentine’s Day — and can brave the lines — bring him to Qu’il Fait Bon. It’s tres bon.

534-18, Ebisu-cho, Ebisubashi-kado, Sanjo Agaru, Kiyamachi-dori, Kyoto; 075-254-8580; quil-fait-bon.com; open 11 a.m.- 8 p.m.; nearest stations Shiyakusho-mae, Sanjo; cakes from ¥600 to ¥1,700; no smoking; Japanese and English menu; some English spoken

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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