I first spotted Le Petit Mec, a charming little French-style bakery/café, about eight years ago in passing by car but since there is no parking for the place, I never got to stop although I passed it many times (by car, though) after that. Since seeing Le Petit Mec in one of my café books in the last few years, I’ve wanted to go but even when I made it to the 今出川Imadegawa area, I didn’t have time or I would forget. Last summer when she dropped by there before meeting me at Miisuk, Maki told me that there was another Le Petit Mec around 御池Oike (I found out later that it opened in 2007) but she couldn’t tell me where it was because she’s quite a houkou-onchi herself.☺
In late January this year, I was reading a book on Kyoto cafes at while having lunch at huku cafe before work when I came across a little article on Le Petit Mec around Oike; it was actually the next street over on 衣棚通Koromonodana Street; of course I went after lunch to check it out.
chic at the bottom of an apartment complex…if you don’t keep a watch out for it, you may pass it.
The only eat-in space is outside (the one at Imadegawa has tables inside).
the display of sweets near the door
and more bread (namely pre-made sandwiches) as well as deli items…the shop is just as chic inside.
Although I wanted to try everything, I made do with 塩漬け豚のフガースshio-dzuke butano fugahsu (fougasse au petit salé, or salted pork fougasse), ￥220 and りんごのタルトフィヌringo no taruto finu (tarte fine de pommes, or thin apple tart), ￥315, this time.
The fougasse blew me away…maybe it was even better than the one I had when I studied in France, with a crispy exterior and chewy inside; the size was pretty substantial, too, but I was still sad when it came to an end. The tart was easy to eat and delicious, from the apple and compote to the thin crust perfect for people who don’t like pie crusts much like me.
So satisfied was I that I went back again the next day.☺ This time I got the えびとクリームチーズ、アボカドebi to kuriimu chiizu, abokado (crevettes au fromage et avocat, or shrimp, cream cheese & avocado sandwich), ￥420, ハムとチーズフガースhamu to chiizu fugahasu (fougasse au jambon et fromage, or ham & cheese fougasse), ￥230, and クロックムッシュcroque monsieur, ￥262.
The sandwich, made with ciabatta, was just heaven, no surprise considering the ingredients. The texture of the fougasse was just as good as the one I’d had before but I like ham & cheese better than salted pork. The croque monsieur was simple and good but it didn’t strike me as being more special than others that I’ve had.
A week later, Maki and I thought it was a good place to take Dominique, her former flatmate in England when they studied there who was visiting from Taiwan, since we were in the area and she had asked about a good bakery two nights before.
my buys this time: パン・オ・クールpain au cœur (heart bread), ￥210, サーモンとアボカドのタルタルサンドsahmon to abokado no tarutaru sando (saumon fume et carottes et avocat, or smoked salmon, carrot & avocado sandwich), ￥420, and オリーブのフガースoriibu no fugahsu (fougasse aux olives, or olive fougasse), ￥210
I wanted to buy the shrimp sandwich I got before but due to some problems on the side of the provider of shrimp for the shop, the sandwich was unavailable, so I got the smoked salmon one thinking it would be similar…it was tasty and I didn’t regret buying it but I still prefer the shrimp one. The olive fougasse didn’t disappoint either with the appealing darker color. However, the heart bread, a chocolate bread filled with bits of chocolate and fig for the Valentine season, wasn’t really my cup of tea despite its charming appearance (I found the texture to be a bit dry).
From the three times that I’ve gone in a short span of time, I’ve realized that it’s a very popular bakery (egged on by how infamous the main bakery at Imadegawa is), always filled with customers as well as people waiting outside to get in. Although I prefer more friendly people waiting on me, there is no doubt that the cool and calm staff (well, so far they’ve been that way) are polite which I guess suits the stylish image of the shop best. I’m officially hooked on the fougasse and that yummy shrimp, cream cheese & avocado sandwich, I can’t wait to go and try more bread!
Update: Over a month later, I stopped by Le Petit Mec Oike to see what deliciousness was available. Of course I got the ham & cheese fougasse, and for something sweet I got the 紅茶のボストックbostock de thé (tea-flavored bostock), ￥210.
This was my first encounter with bostock, the French toast of the brioche world. Not much a fan of brioche, I confess that the finely chopped bits of tea leaves in the almond paste was the biggest reason for choosing it; that’s why I was surprised by how yummy I found it. Although I wish there had been more crispy caramelized parts to it, I’ll just chalk it down as my bad luck and try it again another time.☺
Update: Half a year after my last visit, I dropped by Le Petit Mec after dinner at huku cafe before heading home. There was only half of what is usually available but that was good enough for me because I could still find goodies to take home
the ham & cheese fougasse that I’ve had several times before and a ミルクフランスmiruku Furansu, or “milk France” or a small baguette with milk-flavored cream, ￥190
I had a fantastic miruku Furansu earlier in the week, so you could say that I was on a miruku-Furansu kick…Le Petit Mec’s didn’t disappoint at all with the hard and chewy bread spread with a subtly sweet cream and of course the fougasse was as chewy and savory as I remembered it. I may be going soon again.☺