One of the first phrases I learned in Japan was ‘shu cream’. It might sound like something for shining your shoes, but these shu’s were made for eating rather than walking. They’re pastry (choux) buns filled with patisserie cream, and you find them everywhere you go. The Japanese have embraced the art of French patisserie and become seriously good at it. And now you can get your fix of French/Japanese pastry in Ealing Broadway.
The light, minimal space in this new café is dominated by two gleaming counters packed with precise rows of all things baked. Spirals of airy, dark green matcha tea sponge filled with whipped cream, mini-mountains of cream; perfectly presented mini-pastry tarts; and sweet buns filled with red bean paste or custard. There are savoury offerings too, like soft bread rolls filled with seasoned chicken chunks, ham-and-cheese-topped breads or deep-fried savoury doughnuts filled with delicately spiced curry – they sound so wrong, but they’re so right! On a morning visit the handful of tables were filled with Japanese mums catching up over a cup of coffee, or a thick, sweet matcha green latte.
As for the choux à la crème, the trio we tried were a sweet slice of Japanese patisserie at its best. Light, crisp pastry, thick pastry cream laced with vanilla, black sesame or green tea. There should be a Wa Café on every corner.