An Oversized Cream Puff at Tous Les Jours
Is it an oversized cream puff? A strawberry cream tart? What's that crumb topping doing there?
You have questions at Tous Les Jours, and understandably so—the French-Asian fusion baking here invites them. Another: why is this K-Town bakery and cafe packed at 8:30 p.m. on a Tuesday?
Give the questions pause and dig into the Strawberry Soboro ($2.75), a giant clamshell cream puff filled with ripe strawberries* a mild but buttery pastry cream. This is some surprisingly well-made pastry: crisp, slightly eggy pate a choux that holds up even hours after being filled. The custard is firmer than your average pastry cream—and it needs to be to hold up the weight of those berry hunks—though it's not rigid the way so many Asian bakery "creams" can be.
*Even out of season, this year's crop of strawberries seem pretty darn good. Get them while you still can.
If you have preconceptions about Asian bakeries selling nothing but cheap, low-quality cakes and buns, Tous Les Jours is there to change your mind. Though not all their pastries succeed (see a blandly sweet lemon poundcake that's just missing an Entenmann's box), most do, and in the case of this one, it could have come from the display case of any French patisserie.