Sunday, June 19, 2016

50 Hours in Tokyo: Breakfast at a Boulangerie

It's always an encouraging sign to see people waiting outside for the restaurant to open, and even more encouraging when that great smell of fresh bread coming out from an oven hit you as you walked in. I wonder if that was done intentionally to lure people in, but it definitely worked!

I began the full swing of activities on Sunday (and last day) in Tokyo with breakfast at Viron in Shibuya, a Boulangerie/Brasserie not far from that famously busy street junction outside Shibuya train station. The place was named after a well-known French flour mill so presumably they made use of their flour too. I was planning to visit the nearby Farmers Market, but with an hour to spare before that opens, I decided to sit down for a proper breakfast at the brasserie upstairs where they served an elaborate set completed with bread basket, pastries, jam, coffee (or tea) and juice.

This being another French-style bakery in Tokyo in a rather competitive field they spared no details to replicate the appearance of a genuine Parisian boulangerie at the shopping district in Shibuya, completed with the red facade with the Paris street number signs, dark wood interior furniture and the art nouveau theme in décor. Ground floor is the boulangerie where bread and pastries were sold, and upstairs is the sit-down brasserie with a full food and drink menu with different dishes served depending on the time of the day.

And it's definitely not one of those places good in appearance but got no substance. Everything was made in-house in the kitchen downstairs - that explained the great bakery smell on the ground floor as I walked in. My bread basket arrived soon after I sat down and ordered. Inside was thick slices of baguette and country bread. The baguette was the well-baked type, dark ruddy in color, crusty with a well-burnt ears, just the type I loved. It's served with jars of jam brought to the table (but no butter, mind you, unless you order for extra) While the jams weren’t made in-house, there were a six different flavors, plus a jar of the sweet praline and honey. I am usually more a baguette and butter person, but I was fine with the rustic bread taste mixed with a generous smears of sweet and fruity jam, or the slightly nutty praline.

Sweet pastries were also served with the breakfast set, brought to me to the table by the waiter so I could choose from the selection. All looked so attractive so it created quite a dilemma for me, but at the end I picked a sweet almond pastry and an apple tart, both of which turned out to be excellent.

Technically you could ask for a refill of baguettes (and coffee), but I couldn't even finish my first batch with the pastries. And they were very kind to pack the leftovers for me so I continue to enjoy those as snacks throughout the day.

This sure can rival hotel breakfasts anywhere and worth waking up early for.

Check out the rest of the travelogue series: 50 Hours in Tokyo!

Where? Boulangerie/Brasserie Viron, 1/F + 2/F, Tsukuda Bldg. 33-8 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan
東京都渋谷区宇田川町33-8 塚田ビル 1/F + 2/F
Web: (Tabelog)

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