Valentines Day is coming up and in Japan it’s hard to miss it since all the shops are filled with all kinds of chocolate-related gift boxes. In case you’re not familiar with Japanese Vday, it’s a big day for the ladies to gather up their courage and give some chocolate to that special someone. There’s “Honmei chocolate” – for their true love and also “Giri choco” – obligatory chocolate for co-workers and friends. It can also be a nerve-wracking day for men to see how many chocolates they get on vday, but it’s always interesting to see how many Honmei chocolates you get VS Giri Chocos. How can you tell the difference? They say if it’s homemade or an expensive chocolate gift, it could be Honmei ;)
Anyhow, in honor of Vday today’s post is a sweet one. Pastry Chef Yoshiaki Kaneko, the owner of Patisserie Paris S’eveille, has trained in Paris for a few years at prestigious places such as ‘Ladurée’, ‘Alain Ducasse’, ‘Arnaud Larher’, and ‘Le Daniel’. He opened his own store in Jiyugaoka in 2003 and it’s a very popular patisserie which is always crowded with couples and ladies of all ages. I’ve previously purchased some pastries from here but never had the opportunity to dine-in and try their beautiful cakes so I was excited. I wanted to try everything, but ended up ordering the ‘Gâteau Basque’ and the ‘Isabella’ after going back and forth between many options. The Isabella was executed to perfection but I wasn’t a huge fan of this walnut-based cake even though I usually love walnuts. On the other hand, the gâteau basque was delicious and we liked that both of the desserts we had were not too sweet. It seems that they are famous for their chocolate cakes so I plan to try that next time.
Address // 2-14-5, Jiyugaoka, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-5731-3230
Website // n/a
There are so many amazing places to get sweets and desserts in Japan but Senbikiya is one of the most famous dessert shops because of their high-quality premium fruits (which are inside of all of their desserts!). They also sell the fruits separately but they can get quite expensive, like 8400 yen for a watermelon… yikes!
Senbikiya has locations all over Tokyo but there are a few places where you can actually dine/tea at. We went to get dessert at their Ebisu location and it was definitely worth it. I love everything I’ve had from here. The strawberry short cake is perfect — not too sweet but sweet enough and with fresh strawberries. The mango pudding and fruit panna cotta were both delicious, while the waffle dessert pictured above was just ok (but the fresh mango and mango ice cream that came with it were yummy). Come here for tea time or dessert, you won’t be dissapointed.
Address // Atre 3F, 1-5-5, Ebisuminami, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-5475-8306
Website // www.senbikiya.co.jp
Have you checked out the new UNIQLO store in Ginza? It is a beautiful 12 story building that just opened a few weeks ago. They made it look like their flagship Soho Store in NY and it’s quite overwhelming/amazing. On the 7th floor of the building, there’s a bridge which connects to the building across the street. The building it connects to is called Dover Street Market by COMME des GARCONS, and it’s where Rose Bakery is located. Rose Bakery is an English cafe from London that just opened on March 16th, 2012.
The cafe has a very open space with a modern clean feel. It’s a great place to relax after some shopping at uniqlo or for just tea and a snack :) Their teas and coffees are slightly expensive but their presentation is beautiful. The most appealing thing about this place, however, is their desserts. You can get european/american treats which are very difficult to find in Japan such as carrot cakes, sour cream muffins, tea cakes, and more! I wanted to eat everything there but we decided to try the Green Tea Layer Cake (550yen) and the Lemon Polenta Tea Cake (400yen). You can also get the “Cream Tea” special for 1600yen which includes a scone, your choice of pastry, and your choice of drink. They also have a “High Tea” special (2800yen) which includes a mini sandwich, mini quiche, mini scone, fruit salad, 5 pastries, and your choice of drink. Definitely planning to come back here again soon.
Address // 7F, 6-9-5, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-5537-5038
Website // http://rosebakery.jp
This small patisserie is located very close to the Ghibli Musuem. They only have 10 seats and they serve the most deliciously perfect sweets. We tried the ‘Jardin Fraisier’ (いちごのショートケーキ) for 450yen as well as the ‘Seasonal Fruit Tart’ (季節のタルト) for 480yen. They were both made to perfection and left us wanting more… Wish they made the cake size larger…sigh*
Address // 1-14-15, Shimorenjaku, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 0422-70-6052
Website // n/a