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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

bakeries: i recommend JOHAN

at Shin Kong Mitsukoshi
A4: 19 Sung Kao Rd, B2
A8: 12 Sung Kao Rd, B2

website: in Japanese with some French


Kid friendliness: don't let the grabby kids wander here unless you are keeping an eye on them or are willing to take home a lot of doughnuts. everything is out in the open and at kid-eye level.

Visit reviewed: 4/27/2007 and 6/9/2007

All the random bake shops across town are great for picking up a quick snack, but not so great for avoiding carbs. Oh well, right? As long as the taste is worth it.

Johan is seemingly a Japanese owned French inspired/styled bakery... couldn't find much info about it online other than the Japanese website.

There are two shops I've been to in the different A4 and A5 basements of Shin Kong Mitsukoshi which both have various sweet and salty breads including doughnuts and deep fried breads with curry inside, featuring the top 5 (of the day? of all time?) in the center.

All the signs are in Chinese with no English in site, so you have to identify by guessing with your gut or trying to make out the Chinese. A few months ago I picked up two HUGE pieces of toast- one with coffee flavor and one with butter and sugar, as well as a roll of sesame bread with cheese.

As you can see close up, there was a thin coating of sugar which with the crust made a sweet and toasted crust for the soft inside. I thought I would like the butter and sugar one more, but I ended up inhaling the coffee toast. I tore off a bite and keep tearing off another bite until it was all gone... in like 1 minute. It was scary.

I went back yesterday to buy some more, but it was in the later end of the day and they were sold out. Plenty of butter and sugar toast left, but it was too much butter for me. The coffee toast is way better- it's as if someone has dipped the toast in coffee but it's not soggy!

I also prefer the regular cheese toast (Number 1 yesterday on the table) over the sesame cheese toast. The regular cheese roll is crusty and chewy with a skin of cheese over the cheese blocks inside, which the sesame and cheese flavors just don't mesh. It also tastes as good as the more expensive cheese roll from Maison Kayser.

Yesterday I also got a chocolate bread roll (NT$30), which is featured on their website.

It looks like mini white bread roll marblized with chocolate and looks very sweet, but the flavor is actually not overwhelming and addicting with the faint chocolate notes.

You might also spot a huge line during certain times of the day when their freshly baked french bread comes out- it's so huge it takes a couple people to carry it out, but then you can buy a slice to take home. I've never been patient enough to wait in the line, but maybe one of these days.

As with any freshly baked goods, you want to eat it within a day or so. The sugar on the butter toast got soft after that day and I lost interest in it. My cheese bread went soft the next day, which I didn't like, but was saved with the toaster. The chocolate bread was good for a few days as well. There's new bread everyday so it's better to just buy a little and go back for fresh refills!


Anonymous said...

OMG. Everything on your site looks soooo gooooooooood...

joanh said...

hi jozjozjoz: thanks for visiting again!!! i know, everything looks good when you can't have it! haha

Anonymous said...

Hi Joanh-

Just wanted to say--Love the blog! I'm in Taipei studying Chinese for 3 months, and your recommendations have really helped keep my inner foodie satisfied while I'm here! :)

joanh said...

jen: awesome! thanks for reading and hope you let me know which ones you've tried and liked... or not!

Unknown said...

it all looks soooo delicious!

Chubbypanda said...

I agree with you. Baked goods should preferably be bought in the morning and eaten within minutes of purchase. Refreshing them in a toaster oven just isn't the same.

Ron Wu said...

I bought some French bread at Maison & Kayser in Breeze Center, Taipei one evening. Thinking of having it for breakfast the next morning. I was so disappointed to find out that the crunchy crust turned into rubber due to the high humidity in the air.

joanh said...

chubbypanda and ron wu: yes, unfortunately i have had the same experience w/ any bakery... it's just not the same the next day.

Emily said...

The coffee toast is also one of my favorite things in Johan! I also really like their chocolate muffin-like cakes (I don't really know how to describe them, but if you go to the Johan in the Mitsukoshi they're always in a basket in the middle of the store.)

joanh said...

hi emily! unfortunately, the last few times I went to look for the coffee toast, they were sold out! only had the butter toast left. ah well. probably better for my waistline. haha