Malebranche Kyoto Kitayama makes and sells one of the most famous Kyoto souvenirs: the (strong green tea) okoicha-flavored langue de chat called 'Cha-no-Ka.'
Here they also have the limited Mont Blanc dessert that is offered exclusively at the main store salon. This dessert is so popular that it forms a line. Here we will share about Malebranche and its other stores, such as the chocolate specialty store Cacao 365.
- Table of Contents
- Malebranche: A Kyoto Gift Standard
- Look for the Brick Exterior Malebranche Kyoto Kitayama
- Premium Mont Blanc: Available only at Malebranche Kyoto Kitayama
- Can’t Miss Out on the Seasonal Malebranche Mont Blanc
- Why Malebranche Focuses on Mont Blanc
- For a Quick Visit Stop by the Café near Kyoto Station
- Chocolate Specialty Store Cacao 365 Gion Store
Malebranche: A Kyoto Gift Standard
Malebranche was established in 1951 in Kyoto Sanjo as a café. Since then it has grown into the main western confectionery of Kyoto, which is the holy land for Japanese confectionery.
The current new standard gift from Kyoto is the okoicha langue de chat biscuit Cha-no-Ka, which is made with high quality matcha that is used as koicha in tea ceremonies.
Other than the Kyoto Kitayama Main Store, Malebranche Kyoto has café shops and other stores in Kyoto.
Look for the Brick Exterior Malebranche Kyoto Kitayama
This popular store attracts locals and tourist. The store has an adjoining tea salon.
Many customers come here to enjoy the Mont Blanc menu that is only offered in the tea salon. According to Hitomi Nishioka, responsible for PR, the store has two types of Mont Blanc, the Mont Blanc haute couture which is available throughout the year and the seasonal Mont Blanc dessert. We decided to order the dessert right away.
Premium Mont Blanc: Available only at Malebranche Kyoto Kitayama
The Mont Blanc haute couture was served first. However when we looked at the plate, it only had a white object on it. Ms. Nishioka explained to us that “the white object is called mousse glacée, a frozen mousse with vanilla. The final touch of the dish will be done here.”
The completion of Mont Blanc haute couture with the decoration of Mont Blanc cream can be enjoyed at the table.
Also for the chestnut with the inner skin that is decorated around the mousse glacée will be flavored with rum. You can choose from among three rum brands, each of which is a top-quality one found on the menu at first-class restaurants. Each chestnut is flavored to your liking.
The staff will quickly mix the rum and crushed chestnut with inner skin and place it around the mousse glacée.
Freshly made chestnut cream is paced on in all directions. It is quite an experience seeing the staff skillfully make Mont Blanc in front of us.
Sprinkle a little sugar and complete. It’s not often you get to have a custom Mont Blanc for yourself. Enjoy the dessert paired with the tea salon’s original fruit tea.
It has the perfect softness where the fork goes right though. With one bite the flavor of chestnut spreads in your mouth, and the rich and deep flavor goes down smoothly. Also you can taste the chestnut through the chestnut cream.
Then will come the refreshing sweetness of the mousse glacée and crushed chestnut with rich rum flavor. It is heavenly good.
The Mont Blanc haute couture uses 1.5 – 2 times the amount of chestnut cream compared to the Mont Blanc sold at the store. Also since the cream isn’t chilled, you can taste the freshly made cream.
Can’t Miss Out on the Seasonal Malebranche Mont Blanc
Hot sweets are placed in a picnic style basket. Apples, chestnut and cheese are wrapped with paquet de pâte filo, a thin crust made with flour. They are wrapped in a so it looks like wrapped candy.
The paquet de pâte filo is baked when the order is made, so it has a very crisp texture and it matches the ingredients perfectly. It is good plain, but dipping it in the cream on the side adds more to the flavor. You can also add the Mont Blanc cream to the hot milk and make Mont Blanc au lait.
Regardless of the season, you are bound to find a new flavor that is satisfying. For example, in spring they have spring colored Mont Blanc with a cherry-flavored sauce and meringue. For summer they have the Yuki-no-Ha Mont Blanc Shaved Ice that uses natural ice from Shogetsu Himura in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture.
Why Malebranche Focuses on Mont Blanc
There is a reason why Malebranche Kyoto focuses on Month Blanc. When the store opened in the 1980s, the mainstream Mont Blanc was made in the Japanese style of using slightly-sweetened boiled chestnuts.
When in Paris, one of the central hubs for western confectionery, the owner of Malebranche came across a real chestnut-colored Mont Blanc with rich flavor. The owner was shocked at how different it looked and tasted.
“To share the genuine Mont Blanc,” the owner made the French-style Mont Blanc with rum. However the owner improved it to match the people of Kyoto by adding delicate flavor, aroma and seasonal accents which evolved it to a Malebranche original Mont Blanc.
Also the store has wonderful cakes other than Mont Blanc. A popular cake here is the Strawberry Short Cake (605 yen), it uses a moist sponge with honey in it. A rich short cake with layered rich whipped cream and strawberries.
Malebranche Kyoto Kitayma Main Storeマールブランシュ 京都北山本店
- Address Kyoto Botanical Garden Kitayama Door Front, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-ku
- Phone Number 075-722-3399
Hours: Salon 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM (L.O. 7:30 PM), Shop 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
For a Quick Visit Stop by the Café near Kyoto Station
Malebranche also has a café near Kyoto Station. If you want to stop by for a quick visit on your way home, we recommend the JR Kyoto Isetan 6F salon store. The department store JR Kyoto Isetan is directly connected to JR Kyoto Station.
At the salon store they have items that are limited here, such as the Mont Blanc Pancake (1,188 yen).
Malebranche JR Kyoto Isetan 6F salon storeマールブランシュ ジェイアール京都伊勢丹6Fサロン店
- Address JR Kyoto Isetan 6F, 901 Higashishiokoji-cho, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu
- Phone Number 075-343-2727
Hours: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM (L.O 7:30 PM)
Closed: When JR Isetan Closes
Also right under Kintetsu Kyoto Station is the Malebranche Café in Kintetsu Meitengai Miyakomichi. This location has the limited Okoicha Fondant Chocolat Nama Cha-no-Ka (960 yen), the popular Box of Tea (1,060 yen), and tea made with their original Nambu ironware.
- Address Inside Kyoto Station Kinetetsu Meitengai Miyakomichi, 31-1 Higashiokuoji kamadono-cho, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu
- Phone Number 075-661-3808
Hours: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM (L.O. 8:30 PM)
Chocolate Specialty Store Cacao 365 Gion Store
Chocolate specialty store Cacao 365 opened in 2014 in Kyoto’s geisha district of Gion. In September 2017 they renewed the store and in addition to their main chocolate product Cacao 365, they added the bonbon chocolat Kyo-no-Sora series.
Kyo-no-Sora is a bonbon chocolat that is named after famous spots in Kyoto such as Kinkaku-ji Temple. The chocolatier arranged the flavor of each bonbon to match the locations’ image.
For example Kiyomizu-dera Temple (350 yen) has a refreshing taste made with bitter chocolate mixed with orange flavor and hazelnuts. Also the Nijo Castle has a perfect blend of pleasant kinako flavor with a deep rich milk. Even after the chocolate melts away in your mouth, you can enjoy the after taste.
Special chocolate that can only be bought in Kyoto. It also makes a perfect Valentines gift.
Malebranche Cacao 365 Gion Storeマールブランシュ加加阿365祇園店
- Address 570-150 Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu
- Phone Number 075-551-6060
Hours: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
One could say that Malebranche Kyoto was born and raised by Kyoto and has a deep connection with the city. We hope you experience the amazing Mont Blanc and matcha sweets on your visit to Kyoto.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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