Green tea fans will need to keep reading because a new bakery, Pan de Vie has opened in Covent Garden. You will find matcha (green tea) bread, matcha cakes and matcha cookies.
The bakery is spread over two floors with some bar seats upstairs that looks out to the narrow street of New Row. Downstairs is a small seating area for you to indulge in one of Pan de Vie beautiful cake.
It is green tea madness at Pan de Vie. There are a variety of green tea choices that you will be spoilt for choice. I found it difficult to choose one, especially for some one like me who wanted to have a bite of every thing on the counter.
The Matcha & Lychee Mousse cake was the one that attracted me the most at my first visit. It brings two popular Asian flavours, green tea and lychee together. The cake has different layers consisting of green tea mousse, green tea sponge and lychee jelly. The layering reminded me of Kueh Lapis (of course it is not exactly the same!) which is a type of layer cake found in Singapore and Indonesia.
For those with a sweet tooth, the Matcha tart has a sticky and sweet centre. Out of all the green tea pastry we tried this was the sweetest. I didn’t find it sweet with the first bite but after a few more bites the sweetness become more obvious.
I was impress with the Matcha muffin, as you can taste the flavour of green tea and that is what I call a proper green tea muffin! The muffin was soft and the sweetness was just right.
Matcha is usually considered with Japanese cuisines but Pan de Vie is opened by Hong Kong entrepreneurs, which bring Asian influenced. As well as matcha being a theme at the bakery, black sesame seem to be another theme flavour at Pan de Vie.
The Black sesame mousse cake was a dessert heaven which was soft, light and fluffy. It was not sweet at all and has a light subtle flavour of black sesame. Don’t let all the green tea take the limelight from this black sesame mousse cake. It has definitely won me over by that first bite.
The Matcha & Sesame Mousse Cake has a mixture of texture to it. A soft matcha mousse dome top, with a hard and crispy black sesame cracker base.
Although there is various matcha flavour cakes, Pan de Vie has a selection of other flavours if you have not yet warm to the flavour of green tea. I have not yet had the opportunity to try the other cakes, but they all look attractive.
I would not consider the cakes at Pan de Vie to be cheap to eat, as takeaway will cost £4.20 and eat in £5. But then Yauatcha’s cakes are just expensive for takeaway.
Pan de Vie also has a small selection flavour of macarons which look nicely baked. But I have not yet had the opportunity to try out the texture and flavour. However, with all the flavour available, I did not see green tea or black sesame.
Japanese cheesecake are also available and are served in mini size as well in 5inch. They come in original or green tea flavour.
I tried the original flavour Japanese cheesecake and although they were nice, the texture does not compare with many of the popular Japanese brands found in Asia.
In Hong Kong, there is a current high wave with Japanese cheesecake and Japanese cream cheese pie. I wonder if we might be able to see them available in London soon. Although London’s palette has widen, will there be a market for it the UK?
Being a bakery there has to be breads and Pan de Vie offer a range of different bread. Some green tea and a large variety of non-green tea. The different flavour of bread reminded me of the modern Hong Kong bakery which take influence from Japan.
Pan de Vie also serves cold and hot drinks including Matcha latte and my favourite Yuza tea. If you want the full green tea package then you can enjoy a Matcha cake with a Matcha latte. You will be feeling green by the end of it.
(This was not sponsored. Menu and prices are correct at the time of dining)
Pan de Vie
5 New Row,