Archive for the 'Japan 2015' Category

Tokyo Dessert Diary

Hello! Who’s hungry? There’re still plenty of yummy food photos from my Japan travels but a lot of them can’t make up a whole blog post by themselves. So I’ve found them a home in my dessert diaries, because they shouldn’t be hidden from the world.

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Starting off simple with a classic Japanese-style parfait with matcha ice cream, azuki and shiratama; a lot of restaurants and cafes have this same dessert but no one ever gets tired of it.

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One of the best dressed ice cream cones I’ve ever seennekoIt’s milky soft serve ice cream, coated with almond crunch and stuffed into an even crunchier cone. A spoon’s provided,  because they already know you can’t chomp down the whole thing cleanly.

By the way this shop is called Zakuzaku and they’re at Takeshita-dori in Harajukuneko

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Their main attraction is actually the Croquant Chou, a long cream puff stick filled with sweet, silky custard. Aside from single portions they also sell it in packs of six, which makes sense once you’ve tried one. It’s addictively good especially when you go the shop and see it being freshly made in front of you. Zakuzaku even (kind of passive-aggressively) reminds you to eat it on the spot, by putting an “Expiry Date: Today!” label on all the packaging.

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Pablo, superstar of the cheesecake world. Look at that creamy golden filling ooze out from the insidelove girlPablo lets you choose how gooey you want it to be, so your cheesecake can be either medium or rare. Kind of like a dessert steak. I picked medium because I like my sweets to be firmer instead of wobbly.

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On one of the days my family went to a restaurant that I’d always wanted to go to because they had massive honey toasts in the window display. When we went inside and asked for a table, we got shown to a private room instead and found out it was a karaoke restaurant.

But we stayed because I really wanted that honey toasthurhurMy family did end up using the karaoke machine since we were already there and didn’t want to waste the experience. (Or it’d be like going to an aquarium and not looking at any fish, or something)

Even though I didn’t sing, I thought it was actually a great deal. The karaoke service in that restaurant is completely free and you’d only pay for your food, plus you get a whole room to yourselfgirl

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This is the result of letting my older brother decide where we’d eat for lunch. After staking out his favourite ramen shop, he brought me to the Max Brenner Chocolate Bar at Omotesando for dessert. Or second lunch—it was big enough.

A slice of pizza coated with chocolate spread and topped with marshmallows torched into gooey softness. It’s a monstrosity. (I make it out to be a total scandal, but it was delicious)

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Don’t worry, I don’t spend my days eating nothing but desserts all the time. Most of the time I’m eating sensible, ordinary food that just aren’t quite showy enough to make it to the blogneko

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Acai Bowls and Hawaii Wanderlust in Tokyo

It’s a long weekend! Since this Sunday is Singapore’s 50th anniversary we’ve got Friday all the way to Monday off, like a big birthday present to everyone in the country. Which is great because I’ve been up to my eyes in work all week.

Anyway, Tokyo cafe report time!

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I ate a rainbow in breakfast form.

I’d been seeing a lot of acai bowls on websites and social media. Even the Hello! Project members were writing about them on their blogs, so I wanted to taste one for myself too. This was the first acai bowl I ever tried, and it didn’t disappoint. It’s basically glorified smoothie and fruits in a bowl, and completely delicioussmile

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This was from a place called Island Vintage Coffee in Omotesando! Trendy food in a trendy place, no surprises there. The cafe originated from Hawaii, so you feel like you’ve stepped onto a sunny island but with air-conditioning and good food.

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It was a weekday afternoon when I visited so there were just a few people chilling with each other, some just with a book and their acai bowl. It definitely does give you an island vibekirakira(Though I can only guess, having never been to an island) The place feels like a beach resort, but you can still look at the view of Omotesando’s iconic street below and do some people watching while waiting for the food.

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Of course, I went there specially for the acai bowllove girlThe blended smoothie, crunchy granola and fruits just smash together like a big, delicious group hug. Drizzle in the honey and your taste buds will explode and go on a strike until they meet this glorious breakfast creation again.

I got the medium bowl, which is already a pretty hefty portion. The large size is massive, so it’s probably more suited for sharing. And since I crave the satisfaction of scooping clean the bowl, medium’s just the right size for onegood

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But aside from the acai bowl (clearly the queen bee here), the cafe also serves other dishes like salads and rice and waffles! My mom had the tomato basil soup set, which came with the usual friends of soup like toast and veggies.

Also they had these giant salads.

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Really giant. This was the Pacific Ahi Salad, which came in a huge dish (bowl? vessel?) packed with veggies, fish, egg and bread. It was like eating a little island.

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On the side, we shared a fruit smoothiekiraThe flavour was mango pineapple, which is just about as tropical as it gets. It tasted icy cold and refreshing, kind of like something you’d sip at while lying on a beach on a sunny day.

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In front of the counter there’re shelves selling acai powder so happy customers get to make their own acai bowl at home! They even have the exact same mugs used in the cafe for sale for you to copy it right down to the last detail.

The merchandise includes jam and peanut butter and honey and coffee beans from Hawaii too!

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Hattifnatt Cafe, somewhere in a storybook

Happy Friday! It’s been a profoundly tiring week and I am yawning with all the grace of a grizzly bear as I write this. Also if you haven’t noticed I’ve been surreptitiously nudging my blog updates to the end of each week.

The weekend calls for some relaxing (read: a euphemism for being lazy), so I’m here with another post about a Tokyo cafe!

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Which easily makes you fall in love on first sightnekoThe only hitch is that it may well take you a long time before you actually see it. It took me forever to navigate the narrow streets of Kouenji, and when I finally did arrive I walked right past it because it was hiding in the row of shops.

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Every single wall is painted with bright colours and fuzzy animals, kind of like being in a giant book of nursery rhymes. You have to be there to really feel it while being surrounded by all these dreamy artgirl loveBut I think you can get a decent glimpse of what it’s like here!

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All of their menus are handmadekiraThey have pretty standard cafe fare like baked rice and pizzas, but you all know what I’m here for…

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DessertsloveThis is more or less a mountain of cream crowned with strawberry slices. It’s such a huge pile it practically smothers the crust below it. By the way, the name of this one is Ichigo-chanstrawberry

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More cakes covered with cream (a never-ending supply in the kitchen?) and given a smiley face to make you more emotionally invested into the dessert you’re about to eatsmileThis one was chocolate cake on the inside, so when I took a scoop out came the most glorious chunk of that chocolatey stuff)

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This is the cutest room decoration I’ve laid eyes on. Definitely would use this idea for the next time I get to redecorate my bedroom, if I were ever capable enough of painting acceptable-looking woodland creatures onto my wall.

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Be sure to visit it when you go to Tokyo! I don’t think you should trust me with directions, so the best I can do is to leave the addressgirl tongue

kira kiraTokyo, Suginami-ku, Kouenji-kita 2-18-10kira kira

Cafe Breakfasts in Japan

Hello! Today’s post is a collection of breakfasts I ate. Everyone knows Starbucks, but in Japan there are a lot of other cafe chains. They all pretty much serve the same thing, but have their own different surprises here and there.

All these cafes serve breakfast sets every morning which are fairly affordable; they give you a sandwich and a drink (coffee or tea, as always) for a couple hundred yen.

Moriva Coffee

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Starting off with my favourite—my goal when I came in the spring was to eat a sakura chiffon cake, which had to be pink and covered with cream. Thanks, Morivahehe rabbitThe set also came with a sakura ice blended drink, just to complete all that attractive pink goodness.

Doutor Coffee

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A no-frills toast set at Doutor! I thought it was cute how they gave me something called Toast Fresh to spread over the slices. It turned out to just be butter, but it was good butter.

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They also have a lot of small snacks at the counter, like cookies and scones and tiny cakes. This is a baked sweet potato confectionerylove girlIt’s golden and soft and tastes like a dream.

St. Marc Cafe

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This chain is known for their bakery menu, and the Chococro chocolate croissant is their trademark item! They usually have other flavours too, like matcha and almond. During the spring season I got to try the strawberry ChococrostrawberryEven the paper wrapper is cute!

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Honolulu Coffee

Off to Hawaii for the morningkirakiraOr at least, a Hawaii-born cafe that looks like a trendy island shack and smells like roasted beans. This ended up being a slightly more indulgent breakfast—I tried the malasada, which are basically sugared donuts, in both vanilla and cinnamon. They’re Hawaiian treats and very fluffyhappy girl

Excelsior Caffé

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And this place is my dad’s favourite! He always gets the same kind of ham sandwich. But since I like sweets right from the get-go I got the french toast to start my morningheart

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Matcha, sweet azuki and cream in one blissful cupgirl love

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Another sakura-flavoured cake! This was a simpler pound cake and considerably less fancy, but still pink nonetheless and therefore something I had to try.

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I’ll leave the savoury food to my dadgirlThey call this a pizza avvolte. It’s basically wrapped up dough with pizza filling, tucked up nice and snug inside. Kind of like a hot, toasty pocket.

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Well then, till next time—when I can round up more breakfast reports in Japan!

Bunny Parfaits at Nicolas Charles Cafe

What sound does a rabbit make?

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In Omotesando there’s an adorable cafe that celebrates bunnies by serving them as desserts. At the Nicolas Charles Cafe, everything—food, decorations, waiters—is dressed up as bunnies. Customers complete the experience when they put on the bunny ears provided at the entrancerabbit wave

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The cafe is especially famous for their desserts, but they don’t just have sweets on the menu. Their lunch plate is a luxurious combo of meat, salad and a happy rabbit made of rice. It looks like something out of a kid’s menu, but don’t be fooled—it costs ¥1,800. In fact they call it the “Children’s Lunch for Adults”hurhur

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And this is what I came for. Their sweetslove rabbitThe rabbit cream puffs are classic bestsellers and come in a lot of flavours and colours. This one is a strawberry and rose jelly cream puff, but it was a limited edition that came with a face.

There’re also the other regular flavours like this whipped cream and custard.

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And raspberry apple, with the cutest heart pattern printed over the chocolate.

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I got a rabbit parfait for sharinggirl loveThis is the kuromitsu mochi parfait (¥1,030), with crunchy choux rusks as the base, cream, feuillantine chocolate, coffee jelly, custard pudding, and topped with choux pastry and a scoop of caramel ice cream for the bunny head.

That is a tall order…literally.

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Not everything is adorned with rabbit ears—this elaborate french toast set is perfect just the way it is. Soft toast crowned with a pillowy heap of cream and juicy berries, yumlove

I couldn’t get a good picture, but my mom had this jar salad with quinoa and smoked salmon. It was layered with cream cheese and vegetables, and she really liked it. If you need a break from all that sugar, have some health in a jarkirakira

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There’re balloons bobbing about at the top! They cover every part of the ceiling, and you can pull one down and let it float back up again anytime. The whole cafe is just whimsical like that; there are cute ornaments from France and bunny figurines propped up around the tables.

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You can buy tiny merchandise at the entrance like these fuzzy key chains too.

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I ended up getting one of the cream puffs to gogirl loveAs much as I wish I could go back and buy one of everything on the menu to try, the Nicolas Charles cafe is pretty pricey. It has a French menu designed by a famous patissier in intensely kawaii fashion—well worth the price paid but probably best savoured as an occasional special treat.

Moomin Cafe in Tokyo

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Last month I visited the Moomin Bakery & Cafe in Tokyo! The Moomin family of characters are originally from Finland, and they’ve practically been adopted by Japan because they’re quaintly adorable fairy tale creatures.

There are two branches of the cafe within Tokyo (plus one in Fukuoka) and they’re all Moomin-centric with a themed menu and decorations.

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Moomin is parked outside the cafe to welcome in guestssmile(By the way, I went to the Tokyo Dome branch)

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The interior space has a homely feel, kind of like being in the real Moominhouse in a dreamy valley. A while ago the Moomin cafe became popular as the anti-loneliness cafe; the staff brings you life-sized Moomin dolls to keep you company while you eat.

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Even if you don’t have a lunch parter, no problem! In fact I think it might even be more fun to go on your own just to have some one-on-one time with the Moomins. Although the one in this picture is Stinky, a weirdly cute black hairball.

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Here’s my lunch partnerlove girlI’d asked the staff if I could choose a character, and she kindly brought over Moominmamma (who was supposedly taking a break from running the cafe). The characters are rotated around the tables, so if you have a particular choice they’ll likely come to your table eventually.

Both solo and group diners get to enjoy the characters’ companyhappyThat day I went with my mom and older brother.

Okay, so foodkirakira

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The lunch set includes all-you-can-eat bread, so you can help yourself at the side!

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There was a big variety of different kinds of Finnish bread, and they’re all cut up in bite sizes so you won’t be full before even getting to the main mealsmile

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This is the chilled latte that comes with Moomin’s face on it! It was a Wednesday, which is the day when female diners get a special discount for drinks—although this was for my brother (the only coffee drinker at the table).

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For my main dish I had the Moomin rice plate! (As broken down above) It was a pretty standard curry and rice, but there were pumpkin chunks and potatoes which made it so much better. Also, the soup was perfect to dip the bread ingirl

This whole set (with the bread buffet and a free drink) cost ¥1,250, which was plenty worth it for the amount of food and general cuteness of eating a rice Moomin. I’ve experienced plenty times how detailed themed cafes in Japan are, and this one wasn’t an exception.

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They have character-shaped pasta…

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…and Moomin cutleryheart

Next to the cafe is the gift shop with lots of merchandise (you can buy the cutlery!) and the bakery, where there’s lots of fancy bread.

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Little My bread with strawberry cream, and Moomin bread with custard cream.

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Framboisier and chocolate bread, with the characters stencilled over the top.

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And this was some soft cream bread with different flavours like cream cheese and chocolate!

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There’re a lot of surprises at the Moomin Cafe & Bakery.

Kiki & Lala x My Melody Cafe in Shibuya

Once you’ve gone to Japan, you never go back to eating food that is not made to look like some animal or cute character.

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Yes. Just like thisheartThis is Lala, one half of the Little Twin Stars, Sanrio’s third most popular characters, and she was turned into a curry and put on my table.

Last week I visited the Kiki & Lala ♡ My Melody 40th Anniversary Cafe, which is open for a limited time at The Guest Cafe and Diner at Shibuya! The pop-up cafe is entirely based on a collaboration between the Little Twin Stars and My Melody, so the menu and shop decoration is full of nothing but fluff and cuteness.

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This is what the cafe looks like, with big pink posters and happy music bringing crowds of girls to the shop. You can’t see it here, but there’s a photo booth for you to take a commemorative picture with props toohappy girl

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 During the lunchtime period there was a long queue, but everyone seemed happy to just look at the menu with all its mind-bogglingly cute dishes and mull over what to order. (Pink My Melody curry or Little Twin Stars sushi?! It’s okay there’s still an hour to decide)

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The place mat was so adorable I took it home with me instead of using itgirlIt was free and I was probably going to spill sauce on it anyway.

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I had a strawberry milk with My Melody on itlove girlThe cream on top tasted like pudding, and below it there were juicy strawberry bits in the milk.

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This was my mom’s vegetable plate with 20 different ingredients in it! I liked how they can have a more health-conscious option that’s still just as dolled up as the rest of the cafe.

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The carrots were heart-shaped, and the cauliflowers were pink. (Dyed with natural colour, no less) So if you feel like eating something more sensible, the cafe still has something yummy for youkirakira

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The characters aren’t only on the walls or in your food, they’re right there at the cafe too! When there isn’t a crowd they’ll just sit right there at the table across you and mingle with all the guests.

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When I was there one of the guests was celebrating her birthday with her friends, so they got to take a special picture with the mascots and have the Happy Birthday song played just for her.

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There was lots of other activity going on too, since it was the first day of opening. A few TV and web shows were there to catch the cafe experience on camera, so I could see lots of tasting and interviewing going on from where I was seated. And of course, everyone has to take pictures of their foodhurhur

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As usual themed cafes make sure you enjoy the (expensive) experience from start to finish. I’m not a big fan of these characters so I didn’t buy anything from the merchandise shop, but I liked having a browsesmile

Anyway! I did get to take home a souvenir (besides the place mat I pinched). The curry rice I ordered came with a special pink Little Twin Stars x My Melody mug, which is way more than a good deal.

If you’re in Tokyo right now, trade places with me it’s definitely a good idea to try out this cafe!


Welcome ♡

▷ . Cheryl

I'm a university student in Tokyo blogging every weekend about cute food and cute places in Japan٩( ᐛ )و

Read my About Me ☆ to know more.

はじめまして!
大学一年生のシェリルです
毎週日本の可愛い食べ物や場所についてブログ更新していますヽ(´_`) /♪

よろしくお願いします

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