An Intriguing Address on Zurich’s Sweet Scene
When I heard about a new sweet shop opening in Zürich, you can imagine how excited I got. Especially since the name of it had one of my favorite French words: Gourmandises. You can also imagine my surprise then when I learned that the pastry chefs behind Les Gourmandises de Miyuko were not French, nor Japanese, but Swiss German. This deserved some investigation…
I met Zürchers Sara Hochuli and Dominik Grenzler just a couple of months after they opened their pastry shop in Zürich’s Kreis 6 (next door to Drei Stuben, an excellent Swiss restaurant) in March. Sara is a graphic designer, hair dresser and pastry chef – and she considers all three of her hats very much the same. “It’s simply a question of using creativity in different ways.” After designing outrageous wigs, launching her own fashion label and opening her Plastikhaar accessory shop in Zürich in 2005, it was back to school in Germany for her, to learn all about pastry and sugar artistry. After mastering “simple” German cakes, she was attracted to French pastry, which she saw as more imaginative, colorful and luxurious. All along, Dominik dreamed of opening his own café, and with his marketing know-how, finally did just that. And so, they built their own concept store and café from scratch, Sara painting all of the walls and allowing her love for Manga, Japanese comic art, to shine.
When you walk into the shop, the Japanese influence is immediately felt, with Sara’s Ukiyo5 illustrations (Miyuko is her main character), pieces of her hair accessory line on display and the presence of Matcha tea in the muffins, macarons and soy lattes. But Swiss it still is. Japanese green tea aside, all products are sourced locally, from small Swiss companies and family businesses in the region. And there’s Birchermüesli on the breakfast menu, but of course. Vegan, gluten-free or lactose-free options are available too. (But I don’t recommend the raspberry soy meringues, sorry.)
Weekend brunch is three tiers of assorted cheeses, sweets and jams. The moist apple cinnamon cake (top photos) with perfectly soft fondant was superb and I loved its polka dots. (Shame I got the display cake when I asked for a second, not quite as moist !) Excellent croissant-like rolls and a plate of charcuterie came with it all. The apple shaped as a swan was pretty cool, but not quite what I had expected – or hoped – would be the selection of fresh fruit. Another month or so has passed since my last visit and I’m sure the kinks are being worked out. A larger kitchen has already been rented for production of Sara’s beautiful, creative cakes. There she is below right getting a customized 70th birthday cake ready for a customer pick-up.
I’m due for a return visit for a scoop or two of their new homemade ice creams. And perhaps to sample another chocolate – neither Japanese nor French, but 100% Swiss.
Has anyone already been ?
Les Gourmandises de Miyuko
Mon-Fri 8.00-18.00, Sat 9.00-1800, Sun 9.00-17.00