Treat Yourself to Decadent Delights
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By mid-morning on a recent week-day, there was already a bustling crowd at Patisserie La Palme D’Or. The small shop in Ala Moana Center filled up with customers ordering pastries, stopping in to pick up special orders and chatting with friends over tea and sandwiches.
Executive Chef Akiko Kimura and the staff remain unfazed by the crowd as they welcome each of the guests.
“It’s often busier than this,” Kimura says, smiling.
A few of the customers stare at the many decorative desserts for minutes before placing their order, seemingly unable to choose just one option from the bunch. Their dilemma is understandable; Patisserie La Palme D’Or offers a variety of desserts, and each is an artful design filled with an intricate blend of ingredients.
One of the most popular dishes is the signature strawberry shortcake, Gateau Au Fraise ($4.95 for a slice; $35 for a 6-inch cake), with layers of light and moist sponge cake with fresh whipped cream and sliced strawberries. Another customer favorite is Cheese D’Or ($4 for a slice, $24 for a 7-inch cake), which is a Japanese-style souffle cheesecake. Both are light and easy to eat.
Other tasty treats include La Macha ($4.45), which is chocolate cake topped with green tea mousse, and Chocolat ($4.30), a tantalizing treat that features layers of chocolate mousse, soft chocolate sponge and vanilla cream.
For even more tasty options, you’d better stop in soon. The fruity chocolate treat Raspberry Amor ($4.95) and Passion Delight ($4.95), which features layers of white chocolate and banana, are both part of a seasonal list that may be switched out for other items in the coming months.
Now through Easter Sunday, La Palme D’Or offers the Chick Cake ($36), a special treat for Easter that features a strawberry shortcake with layers of custard cream.
La Palme D’Or also offers House Made Croissant Sandwiches ($4.15), which include two options, Tuna or BLT.
“The croissants are hand made every day,” Kimura says, “and these are some of our most popular items in the morning.” Be warned, though, these are so popular that they often sell out by early afternoon.
With all of these decadent treats, you’ve got to have something to wash it all down. Luckily, La Palme D’Or offers some of the tastiest and most creative beverages around. Drinks include Plantation Tea Jelly ($4), which features pineapple juice jelly with sweetened black tea, and Lava Flow ($4), a creamy blend of condensed milk, milk and strawberry puree.
And perhaps the most interesting drinks that La Palme D’Or has are Coffee Jelly Au Lait and Tea Jelly Au Lait, which feature coffee or Earl Grey tea with a layer of sweet jelly. A Jelly Au Lait is $3.25 without milk, $4.55 with milk, $5.25 with soy milk and $5.55 for a mocha. Although a seemingly strange combination, the jelly perfectly complements a coffee or tea drink to create a sweet, refreshing treat.
On the Side
Patisserie La Palme D’Or offers a menagerie of tasty treats colorful, delicate creations that are so beautifully crafted you almost don’t want to eat them — almost being the key word. Once you’re done admiring the food, you’ll find that the taste of each dessert lives up to its appearance.
Dessert enthusiasts can thank the creative combination of Japanese and French influences for the cuisine at La Palme D’Or. The ingredients, too, hail from a range of places.
“We have many ingredients from Japan,” executive chef Akiko Kimura explains. “The chocolates are from Europe, and then we also have other local ingredients that we use.”
Kimura, who joined La Palme D’Or in 2009, got her start in Japan, where she worked for 12 years. She explains that in Japan, it is common to integrate the European style into pastries.
“I am constantly thinking about creating dishes, and sometimes I will have a little lightbulb that goes off,” Kimura says. “I am constantly thinking about what I can do to make everything better.”
In addition to its daily menu items, Patisserie La Palme D’Or also offers special order cakes. Kimura explains that customers often special order treats, which can feature customized images or words, for a variety of special occasions, including weddings and birthdays.
Patisserie La Palme D’or
- Ala Moana Center
- 1450 Ala Moana Boulevard
- Honolulu, HI 96814
- (808) 941-6161
- Monday – Saturday
- 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
- 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.