French-born pastry chef, Dominique Ansel is no doubt a well-known name for pastry fans.
He is the owner of Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City back in 2011 and started the cronut craze in 2013. So popular that people were paying $20-$40 for a cronut on the black market. Even scalpers were trying to sell a cronut for $100 and $5,000 for a 20-piece order.
So, popular is the bakery that lines are long, the bakery in New York has become a tourist attraction and more bakeries have opened around the world and a lot of people clamor for the hybrid croissant and doughnut pastry.
While the New York location makes only 350 per day and they always sell out, fortunately other locations give people a much better chance to get a cronut without the long wait in line.
Fortunately, aside from the Soho original bakery, they opened two in the West Village and in November 2017, opened two in Los Angeles (one is a Dominique Ansel Bakery and the 189 by Dominique Ansel at the Grove) and another in London’s quaint Victoria/Belgravia neighborhood.
And one of the easier locations to get a cronut in the world is in Omotesando, Shibuya area of Japan which was opened back in June 2017 (one of two locations, the other is in Ginza which opened in March 2017 at Mitsukoshi).
I visited the Omotesando location during the Christmas holiday season, so most of the photos feature a lot of Christmas-themed gifts and decor at Dominique Ansel Bakery.
The Omotesando location features a bakery in the first floor and a restaurant on the second floor.
It was quite interesting to observe this location. Customer service was fantastic, the place was very clean. But what I found interesting is seeing, what I believe were new hirees preparing food or learning how to make food and going up and down the elevator. Not sure if they were being tested but nevertheless, it shows dedication of the restaurant in training its employees and that was great to see.
I also liked how the place was friendly and inviting. Customer service is always important and the Omotesando location no doubt made the place feel inviting and made my time at the location even friendlier and enough for me to want to purchase and try other pastries.
Here is a video I shot inside the location:
I decided to try the cronut (Y600) and the DKA (Y550).
The cronut is a hybrid of a croissant and doughnut. Since I went during the Christmas season, the Christmas cronut was what was being sold and is rolled in sugar, typically filled with cream (Christmas version had strawberry jam and matcha ganache with green tea sugar) and topped with glaze.
If you have never tried a cronut before, I will say that it will make you forget doughnuts. It’s the most heavenly thing to eat but I know for American consumers who are on a budget, the cost of one cronut, you probably could get a dozen glazed doughnuts.
But don’t think of it that way. Think of it as experiencing one of the most heavenly pastries on the planet. Give it a try, may it be a one-time experience, it’s a delicious pastry.
The DKA is Dominique Ansel Bakery’s signature item which is short for “Dominique’s Kouign Amann”, a smaller version of the traditional Breton pastry and is similar to a caramelized croissant. Featuring a crunchy caramelized crust with butter and sugar and one of those moments in life, just for a day, where you bypass that calorie count and say, you’re going to experience a DKA for pastry bliss.
While the DKA is not on the level of Cronut’s viral fame, before the Cronut was made, the DKA was Dominique Ansel Bakery’s best selling pastry in New York City. Always selling out for the six months the original bakery was open.
Overall, I don’t even know if there is a bad pastry. Everything looks so delicious! The only thing I haven’t tried is their cafe serving lunch items (I’ll have to try it next time I’m in the area). But I primarily went to the bakery primarily for the pastries.
But overall, the experience at Dominique Ansel Bakery in Omotesando was fantastic and I’ll need to check out the other locations around the world.