Bricolage is an oasis in the fast-paced streets of Roppongi, and one filled with incredible bread and pastries and the heady aroma of baking. The bakery-cafe is a collaboration between a chef, baker and coffee roaster: Shinobu Namae, owner-chef of decorated Tokyo restaurant L’Effervescence; Paris-trained baker, Ayumu Iwanaga, of reputed Osaka bakery Le Sucre Coeur; and Kenji Kojima of Fuglen Coffee Roasters.
Ingredients are sourced locally and directly from farmers in Hokkaido, Shiga, Ehime, Chiba and beyond. The breads, however, are traditional French-boulangerie style but with a Japanese spin. Our favourites include the flaky, coiled pistachio ‘escargot’, pastry cream-filled tropezienne, anko-filled Viennese, and the signature Bricolage Bread, with its deep caramelised crust whose dough is made of ancient variety grains. It’s chewy, with deep umami flavours.
The interior is stylish without being stuffy, and the atmosphere is smart but casual. It’s very modern European in fact, with its high ceiling, grey concrete finishes, glass panels and timber trims; the scatter of dried flower arrangements and cookbooks gives the space a homely vibe.
There’s an outdoor deck with seating should you wish to devour the baked goods on the spot, but for a more substantial meal, take a seat in the restaurant behind the bakery, whose design is inspired by Namae’s maternal home. The flooring is over a century old, and it was salvaged from a house in Fukui prefecture, an area that lies above Kyoto in western Japan. You can’t go wrong with the house specialty, the open-faced sandwiches, which highlights local seasonal ingredients.