By Caroline J. Photos by Caroline J. Posted May 17, 2022 3:49 PM
Looking for new flavors that invite you to travel? Go now to the 3rd arrondissement of Paris to discover Ciao Roue and its gourmet concept imagined around the wheel cake, the famous Taiwanese cake!
For several years now, the world of street food invaded the streets of the capital with, each time, an invitation to travel. Of sando japanese au schiacciate Italian via burger smash and the fluffy pancake… the choice is sometimes difficult. And it risks being even more so, because new culinary specialties land in the four corners of the capital. Among them ? the wheel cakeWhere cake wheel in the language of Molière. Iconic dessert of the Taiwanese street foodit is savored by many school children at tea time in Taiwan.
In Paris, a few addresses – still too rare for our taste – offer tastings of this speciality. The latest? Ciao Wheel, opened in March 2022 by Ciao. Of Taiwanese origin, the young woman is one of those people who one day had the courage to embark on a professional retraining to live their dream. After studying at Audencia in Nantes and gaining experience as a headhunter, Ciao therefore chose to leave this sector, which was nevertheless financially comfortable. While a return to the country touches his mind for a while, Ciao finally decides to bring Taiwanese culture to France and more precisely in Paris by opening this small and very friendly shop rue de Montmorency, in the 3rd arrondissement, not far from Laïzé, another Taiwanese address in the capital.
It is therefore here that Ciao introduces the most curious to its native culture through a specialty still little known in France: the wheel cakea taiwanese dessert originating in Japan, namely the imagawayaki. Because, as Ciao reminds us, Taiwan has long been under Japanese domination; Japanese culture is therefore very present there.
Concretely, the wheel cake is a round-shaped dessert, whose dough is comparable to that of a pancake. Each wheel cake is garnished with one or more flavors of your choice, mostly sweet, but also salty.
In his shop, Ciao has done everything and thought of everything from A to Z: from nice decoration (wooden furniture with the help of a carpenter friend, calligraphy made by her cousin, objects for children from her family) at the menu going of course through the realization of the famous wheel cake, whose dough is prepared the same morning. So far, no less than 8 sweet recipes and 4 savory recipes are offered at Ciao Wheel.
If the wheel cake azuki (sweetened red bean paste) is one of the essentials, the one with azuki matcha is also highly acclaimed, as is the one at black sesame which we highly recommend! Generously garnished, soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, the cake can be devoured in a few bites, leaving us with a big smile of satisfaction on our faces. A real treat !
To eat on the spot or to take away, these tasty cake-wheels are also available in custardto the taro pasteto pickled turnip or even at ham and cheese. For the future, Ciao intends to offer a surprise flavor according to the seasons, with for example soon a wheel cake with pastry cream and yuzu.
While waiting to be able to taste these cake-wheels (approximately 7 minutes of cooking in a special mould), we observe Ciao proceed to the famous wheel cake markinga technique that allows him to differentiate each flavor once the cake is assembled on the baking sheet.
Those delicious sweet or savory desserts are to be accompanied by a Japanese or Taiwanese tea, from Kancha Tea, just to prolong this beautiful taste journey.
And the success is there! Many customers now want to taste the wheel cakes of Ciao Wheel, with on one side the curious and novices in the field, and on the other, those in search of a flavor reminding them of their stay or their childhood in Taiwan. A invitation to travel which cannot be refused and which we warmly recommend!