La Maison du Chou of Chef Manuel Martinez
No doubt that Parisian food addicts already know about this The Cabbage House. Opened a few weeks ago in the middle of the Place de Furstenberg in the very chic Saint-Germain-des-Près, this new store follows the trend -a bit boring, you will agree- of mono-product. The Chef with two stars Manuel Martinez who runs the restaurant Relais Louis XIII y offers a variation of small cream puffs inspired by the recipes of his grandmother.
On paper, I’m interested in all this but not enough to make me cross Paris as soon as it opens to queue up in the rain. It is thus on the occasion of a passage in the district that I decided to point the end of my camera there.
The Boutique :
Arrived on the place de Furstenberg, one cannot miss this House of Cabbage so much the queue encroaches on the outside. There is no doubt that the sign is very beautiful. Sober, it evokes authenticity and inspires confidence.
The display case is minimalist, with large glass bowls filled with cabbages and placed on a white marble work surface. All this would certainly deserve a little more attention and greediness..
Inside, a multi-tasking “cabbage stuffer” is busy working to keep up with the infernal pace. Armed with his three cream guns, one for each flavor, he was able minute stuffing of small choux just out of the oven. It’s overflowing, we put a little everywhere but it follows. One would almost be pleased to see that gloves are worn here before noticing that they are used to handle cabbage as well as coins..
Nature, Chocolate or Coffee, by 3, by 6 or by 10, you make your choice in a hurry. Convenient, there is no minimum credit card. A 1.70 € the cabbage, the bank charges… it’s a gift ! Box of 6, 4 Natures, 2 with chocolate, 10 € all round, 15 seconds top chrono, here I am already out.
Fortunately, I had a few seconds to see the 3 tables set up at the back to taste the little cabbages on the spot with a Hot chocolate, tea or coffee cleverly selected by the Chef himself. The box is pretty. Transparent, very simple, we appreciate to find the logo of the brand.
For my part, I went to the Salon de Thé Fu De Cha not far from there to go to the tasting. For sure, we will be much more comfortable there.
The Tasting :
Well installed, I open my little box to discover choux well cracked on the top and rather appetizing. Unlike the ones at Popelini, those of the House of Cabbage are in the sobriety and almost in the voluntary imperfection. With the cream spilling out from underneath, I find the presentation overall messy.
It’s hard to imagine making a gift for someone who is completely alien to the feeling of blissful contemplation that these falsely trendy addresses can arouse.
The concept announced lightness and well we are served. The cabbage is very thin, almost too much, lacking consistency in the mouth. We are very far from the cabbage with custard… The cream, of an indisputable lightness and finally closer to a mousse, is distinguished by a recipe based on farm milk and cottage cheese. We like this choice to use fresh and quality products. The subtle acidity brought by the milk is pleasant but may disconcert some.
The chocolate one is in the same register. The base of the mousse is identical and the taste of the chocolate just perceptible. As I like to say, not bad but it doesn’t break a leg..
Should we go there ? Don’t count on me to rave about these cream puffs. Yes it’s good, yes the concept is in the air of time but no need to shout about culinary genius. I think that a small visit will be appreciated if only for the originality of the recipe of the mousse.
Go back there ? I would never go specifically to buy them, but since there are plenty of other products that I love that bring me to the neighborhood, I might still get tricked into satisfying a little summer craving.
The clientele ? Very Saint-Germain..
It is expensive ? A little bit all the same. 1.70 € the cabbage and 10 € the box of 6. I know some deserving bakers who would love to afford such margins.