Pastry wizard Dominique Ansel is inching closer to opening the doors at his eagerly-awaited Tokyo outpost. There are some things that Ansel quickly revealed, including the fact that there will be Cronuts and that the overall concept is a "next generation bakery." But as the bakery gets closer to its June 20 opening, Ansel's team offers a look at the bakery's planned design, by the Japan-based design firm Line. Here now, Eater gets an exclusive tour through the renderings:
The bakery is in a three-story standalone tower. Spokesperson Amy Ma notes that this can be a rare find in Tokyo, where many retail spaces are in malls. Throughout the two dining rooms and upstairs kitchen, Ansel traces his international journey, borrowing design themes that literally travel from his native France and his adopted home of NYC and to his latest stomping ground of Tokyo.
The first floor is dedicated to retail, and the design is inspired by the subway stations of Paris and New York City. (The pink space at the front of the shop will feature an instillation inspired by photo cut-out boards, and the photo station diorama will change seasonally.) At the center of the room sits a custom-built acrylic table that displays the times in Tokyo, Paris, and NYC. The wall features a replica of New York City's Spring Street subway stop signage (that's the stop closest to Ansel's Soho bakery).
At the rear of the first floor hangs a custom work of art by Vahram Muratyan, depicting a mashup of the NYC and Paris subway system. Instead of actual train lines with real stations, one line has stops with the names of chefs who have inspired Ansel, another line has stops with the names of past Cronut flavors, another line shows stops labelled with expressions and sayings from Ansel's kitchen.
On the second floor is a cafe with table service, with waiters offering a separate menu from the downstairs retail area. The cafe menu — inspired by the floor's "outdoor park" theme — will offer a picnic sensibility and focus on eggs, in part because Ansel says he's been floored by the quality of the eggs he's seen in Japan. Ma says the menu will be very "all-day," though with its eggy focus, it certainly seems like it will lean heavy on the breakfast items.
Going with the park theme, the second-floor lights are inspired by a Parisian ferris wheel, while the multi-toned tiles are meant to evoke shadows from leaves in New York's Central Park. The banquette has a table made of birch. The right wall will display projected photos from New York and Paris. There will also be a small private room in the model of a modern Japanese tea room, seating four to six people. The menu for this space is still in development, but the team is thinking about Japan-specific menu items and even tastings or bento boxes.
The third floor (not pictured) will be a kitchen space. While there isn't seating on the third floor, the team expects that visitors to the bakery will be able to go up to the third floor for tours and to see the cooking in action behind glass walls.
Dominique Ansel Bakery Tokyo is slated to open on June 20th at 5-7-14 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku Tokyo. (website)