Is it possible to find authentic Japanese desserts, pastries, cakes and even chocolates in Barcelona?. The answer is: Sí! and by the hand of the well-known Pastry Chef: Takashi Ochiai. He is the only Japanese pastry chef that has his own patisserie in Spain.
Chef Takashi Ochiai opened his first patisserie in 1983 and since then, you will find him every day in his “obrador” (pastry kitchen), working with so much passion and creating a wide repertorie of delicious Japanese pastries and treats. As Chef Ochiai’s own words will state: “everything at my patisserie is made in Japan; from the chef to the chair you sit in my tea room”. This Chef fidelity to his country and culture makes “Ochiai Pastisseria” unique and exclusive in Barcelona.
Before coming to Barcelona, Chef Takashi Ochiai, was already working in the pastry industry in well-known patisseries and restaurants from the Michelin guide. There, he learnt all about artisanal chocolate work. Time passed by and chef Ochiai decided that it was time to go on a “gastronomic adventure” (sounds familiar…) that brought him to the top restaurants in England where he worked and learnt from French Chefs all about “avant-garde” culinary and pastry creations. Once in England, Chef Ochiai not only made peace with his inner ambition of learning more, but he also met his lovely wife: María Carmen, who happened to be from Barcelona. And we all known what that meant: destiny was calling again to Chef Ochiai, and a new door was opening up before his eyes!. This young couple moved and settled down in Barcelona where they opened their first patisserie.
In the beginning, chef Ochiai only offered pastries to the taste of the “Catalan palate”, you know, “brazo gitano con nata” (swiss roll with Chantilly), “ensaimadas” (traditional flat pastry with pastry cream), and more. But destiny was going to knock his door again and this time by the hand of a Japanese business man who found very strange to see a Japanese pastry chef making “Catalan” pastries. That was a time of reflexion for Takashi Ochiai who understood that he needed to come back to his roots, to his culture and the flavors of the beautiful Japan.
Nowadays, at “Ochiai Pastisseria” we can taste the authentic flavors of Japan in each bite. From “dorayaki” (biscuit filled with soybean confit that is famous because it is the delight of the kid’s cartoon character named Doraemon), “green tea mochi” (a best seller), “kurimanju” (paté brisé dough filled with chestnut confit), “kimishigure” (made with white soybean paste and egg yolk soybean paste), “kastera” (a very moist sponge cake that was brought to the city of Nagasaki in 1543), to traditional cakes, tarts (like yuzu mousse tart), chocolate truffles, and much more!
and “kurimanju” after
unwrapping the goodness of this “Kastera” super moist sponge cake with delicate flavors
“Matcha- passion fruit” and chocolate truffles ready to go in a nice packaging imported from Japan
chocolate-mint mousse, Opera cake, Mont blanc, yuzu mousse, Matcha and raspberry mousse, yogurt and mango mousse, are many of the individual tarts and cakes you can find at the patisserie
Isn’t it cute?… it is the “Erizo” cake! … sponge cake, heart of chocolate mousse, chocolate ganache and toasted pine nuts. A delicious cake for a child or for an adult with a child’s heart… your choice.
These Asian soybeans named “Azuki” are the stars of most of the Japanese desserts and pastries
The “Azuki” soybeans are simmered in a pot with water and sugar for 12 hours to obtain the soybean confit that will be incorporated in some of Chef Ochiai’s creations
“Azuki” Soybean confit that is used in many traditional Japanese pastries like: “Daifuku”, “Fumanju” and “Dorayaki”
Chef Ochiai makes “kimishigure” by first flattening the soybean-egg yolk paste with red food coloring
Then, he adds the white soybean paste in the center being careful to keep the same consistency in both pastes. That will help us to obtain a “kimishigure” that will not break during the steam cooking process
Prepare those hands because it is time to be shaped into a round nice “kimishigure”
After cooking in a Japanese bamboo covered steamer for ten minutes our “Kimishigure” are almost ready to be tasted!
Oh, you are looking so good “kimishigure”!… ok, I will let you cool off at room temperature for a while, but after that, you are all mine!
The Master and the masterpiece!
So, now you know, if you ever come to Barcelona and your cravings call for authentic Japanese pastries and dessert: “Ochiai Pastisseria” is the place to go. You can either enjoy the Chef’s creations at his tea room or bring some home, like this nice box of assortment pastries packed exclusive “pour moi”. Arigato Chef Ochiai!