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…

Les Gourmandises de Miyuko, Zürich, SwitzerlandLes Gourmandises de Miyuko, Zürich, SwitzerlandLes Gourmandises de Miyuko, Zürich, SwitzerlandLes Gourmandises de Miyuko, Zürich, Switzerland

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.

Les Gourmandises de Miyuko, Zürich, SwitzerlandLes Gourmandises de Miyuko, Zürich, SwitzerlandLes Gourmandises de Miyuko, Zürich, SwitzerlandLes Gourmandises de Miyuko, Zürich, Switzerland

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.

Les Gourmandises de Miyuko, Zürich, SwitzerlandLes Gourmandises de Miyuko, Zürich, SwitzerlandLes Gourmandises de Miyuko, Zürich, SwitzerlandLes Gourmandises de Miyuko, Zürich, Switzerland

Has anyone already been ?

Les Gourmandises de Miyuko
Beckenhofstrasse 7/9
8006 Zürich
Switzerland
+41.44.350.21.43
www.miyuko.ch
Mon-Fri 8.00-18.00, Sat 9.00-1800, Sun 9.00-17.00

18 Responses to “An Intriguing Address on Zurich’s Sweet Scene”

  1. Sam Sidney says:

    That looks delicious… I love the Japanese influence. And anything w/ Matcha in it.. sign me up! Yum yum! They are lucky to have you in town giving them some delicious business!

    xo.

  2. Julia @ Mélanger says:

    What a wonderfully original concept. Such a mix on offer that would keep you coming back time and time again.

    Is it unusual for Swiss Germans to shine in the pastry/restaurant world?

    I have a thing for Japanese creativity. I think it’s so quirky. I’d love to visit there one day. Alas, never been yet.

  3. my spatula says:

    Wow, such talent and creativity! I assume this will be on the agenda when I come visit?! 🙂 xo.

  4. Valentina says:

    Very inspiring to see someone with such diverse background as Sara following up a dream and combining all passions into one. Very interesting concept for a coffee shop. I love the latte in the photo with the matcha. Hope it tasted as exciting as it looks. Do let us know how the next visit goes.

  5. Kerrin says:

    Sam, didn’t know you were a matcha fan. Then you’d love this place even more than me !

    Julia, not unusual for Swiss Germans to shine in the pastry/restaurant world – I was just surprised seeing the name was a mix of French and Japanese. Hope you get to Japan one day… and Zürich too ! 🙂

    my spatula, oh don’t you worry g – I’ll have the sweetest of itineraries for you when you get here !! Hope one day soon…

    Valentina, disclosure: I didn’t drink the matcha latte in the photo above – a friend of mine had gotten that, but I love the look of it like you do ! 🙂

  6. Sarah Musi says:

    I love seeing the continuous blending of cultures throughout history. Japan was allied with the French during WW1 and both countries had a big influence on one another. When it comes to food, the Japanese have cared for the imparted French knowledge for the last century. Many of the famous Japanese bakeries were established during that era and, even now, there is no hint of commercialization in the quality and taste of the bread and pastries.

    Thanks for this wonderful post. The pink cake with the roses is stunning!

  7. Diana Ionescu says:

    Hi Kerrin,

    I love your advices!! and now I know where to take my 6 yrs old daughter when I shall visit Zurich in July – we are coming there on 12th!! I can hardly wait!!
    What else is to be seen in that wonderful city? I need your guidance please as I have never been to Zurich in my life!

    All my best!

    Cheers,
    Diana

  8. Matt @ ChefBlogDigest says:

    Some talents are acquired formally and this must be the case here. Wherever their talents came from, thumbs up! Very creative.

  9. Kerrin says:

    Sarah, you’re very welcome for the post – and thank YOU for that wonderful comment ! So very interesting indeed.

    Diana, how exciting that you’ll be visiting Zürich next month for the first time ! What else is to be seen ?? How about more sweets……. http://SweetZurich.ch 🙂 I give tours around the old town, and would love to have you and your daughter join one. Take a look at the site and feel free to email me if you are interested. Thanks for the comment here and hope to hear from you soon !

    Matt, well said, thanks.

  10. Urs says:

    regarding swiss people shining in the pastry/restaurant world you perhaps did not know that swiss pastry chefs for centuries opened famous restaurants all over Europe from Russia to Palermo, some still existing today….

  11. Kerrin says:

    Urs, absolutely ! And thanks for sharing. Swiss chefs and pastry chefs (chocolatiers too) have had a big influence in the food world, and as you said, that is still felt today. When traveling throughout Europe or the United States, I love discovering that the chef or pastry chef is Swiss, and especially if the establishment was originally opened by a Swiss.

    Again, as I told Julia above, not at all unusual for the Swiss to shine in the pastry/restaurant world. One might simply think that with a French/Japanese name, the café and/or its chef would be one of the two.

  12. Red Foodie says:

    It’s hard to change a culture when you are deeply rooted in it. It’s also the same with food preparation, there is an accompanying culture in it. That’s why being a Swiss German, creating Japanese or French food preparation or design requires a great skill from him.

  13. iain says:

    wow… sounds like a feast for the eyes and for the palate. but why aren’t there any cool places like that in Geneva? can MyKugelhopf do anything about that?

  14. Kerrin says:

    Red Foodie, well said, thank you so much for sharing.

    iain, no cool places like this in Geneva ? Really ? I may have to head west to check out the sweet scene there…

  15. Emma says:

    Everything here is sweet, not just the delightful pastries and inspired lattes. I especially love Sara’s take on a sleeve. I’d like to see it up close in more detail; it inspires me to new heights of tattoo-dom:)

    I’ve never seen fondant offset on a small cake like that before. Actually I’ve never seen fondant used outside of fancy occasions, since it never seems to be something people like aside from its formal look. But this must taste good, which again, is sweet!

  16. Lani says:

    I just love the asian influence on the swiss! What a great ambiance…and how talented they both are. Taste testing here I come! It is great to hear that someone can mix all that they love to have a successful business. Want some goodies!!!

  17. Meeta says:

    OK so this is what is sticking in my head: You asked for a second cake after eating that 3 tiered breakfast? LOL! Oh Kerrin we just need to stop talking about it and really plan visiting each other. I have a few places that I have put on my “When-Kerrin-Visits” list!

  18. Kerrin says:

    Emma, uh oh am I just discovering now that you’re a tattoo girl ? I’d rather have my arms covered in sugar. 😉 As for fondant, it’s true that most people consider it just as decoration and shy away from wedding cake, for example. But I loooove fondant, especially when it’s fresh and soft and not too sweet. Love wedding cake ! 🙂

    Meeta, HAHA ! Nice catch there. And oh so true. Also true that we need to plan our Weimar weekend adventure. Until the date finally comes, keep that list growing, bitte…

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