Desserts were considered to be the grand finale to a perfect date dinner. Well, that was way before all these swanky dessert kitchens with drool-worthy menus starting popping up all around town. With these sweet luxuries surrounding us, it’s difficult to fight back that guilt-ridden internal craving. From Anmitsu and tiramisu to Bavarian cream with a matcha twist, Tokyo has got you covered with some of the worlds richest and finest desserts with a contemporary touch. So if your SO has an enormous sweet tooth, spoil them without any guilt. And who knows it might score you some brownie points as well.
Here I list some of the best spots in Tokyo inspired by a famous Manga for a sweet indulgence.
Let’s start with a traditional Japanese dessert shop Hatsune which tops the list (totally my opinion), located at Ningyocho, Tokyo. They serve a variety of homemade sweets and desserts with hand-picked ingredients like adzuki beans and Kurumame (black soybeans). Established in 1837, the shop gives you vibes from the Showa era with a beautifully crafted wooden interior and seating area. If you are confused about what to order, I suggest their signature dish; Shiratama Anmitsu. It is one of the most popular Japanese dessert made of kanten (agar jelly), Anko or adzuki bean paste, kurumame (black soybeans), gyuhi (a type of mochi), seasonal fruits and sometimes topped with ice cream. It is served with either a white or dark syrup. Shiratama anmitsu comes with shiratama which is a type of gluttonous rice dumplings. A blend of these ingredients will definitely hit the right spots.
While you are there, try Kakigori too. It is a Japanese shaved ice dessert flavored with fruit syrup and condensed milk. The menu offers a lot more than kakigorii and anmitsu, and you should give them a try.
Hatsune is my personal favorite of all the dessert shops in Japan. Thanks to Netflix and Kentaro Ametani for helping me find this gem of a place. Kentaro Ametani; a sweet tooth salaryman is a Japanese TV show about a sneaky salaryman who sneaks out of his job to enjoy the desserts in Tokyo.
After some Japanese treats, if you find yourself craving for some western desserts, don’t worry, I’ve got it all. Esse Due is an Italian restaurant in Akasaka. It is regarded as ‘probably the best’ Italian food in Asia. The place is very cozy and stylish and more importantly a total bang for the bucks. The entrée is excellent, of course, but their star item in the menu is the crema caramelleta AKA caramel pudding. This beautiful sun-kissed golden pudding has a creamy texture that perfectly blends with the dash of caramel, whipped white chocolate cream, and berries. It gives a satisfying mouthfeel that leaves you wanting more. We also tried a couple gelatos which were yummy as well. They carry a variety of dessert menu options like chocolate ganache, coffee jelly, brownies, etc. They have a few branches in Tokyo, so if you are ever in Tokyo, check them out. You won’t be disappointed for sure.
Rue de Passy
Rue de Passy is a small patisserie tucked into the neighborhood of Meguro, Tokyo. It is just a station away from central Tokyo and is perfect for some toothsome time with your SO. They have their fair share of the eclairs, classic gateau chocolate, Mille-fueille, savarin and a lot more authentic French pastries, which I can’t recall at the moment. These are regular at the café, but you can find seasonal delicacies which have a Japanese influence depending on the season you are in Japan. One of my favorites is the Bana-Oolong cake, which has a banana crème with a hint of oolong tea at the center. But the must-try is the éclair. The caramel eclair has a thin choux pastry filled with rich caramel cream and is coated with caramel fondant. The caramel cream has a silky texture that goes with the thin crumbly choux pastry. They also have chocolate eclairs that have a fine chocolate ganache mixed with custard cream at the center and a chocolate icing on the outside. Don’t forget to try some seasonal pastries like chestnut/pumpkin flavored that are available during fall and Sakura/Ichigo ones during spring.
Kinozen is an old and established Japanese sweet shop, which serves mostly traditional sweets. Kinozen is particularly famous for their fusion dessert Bavaroise Matcha. The dessert brings out the real flavor and aroma of Matcha with a side of whip cream and Anko. The bitterness of the matcha mousse is smoothly balanced by the red bean paste without making it too sweet. The creamy whipped cream enhances the true flavor making it one of the best green tea flavored delicacy, that melts in the mouth perfectly. They also have a lot of other green tea flavored desserts and many seasonal ones. The kuri (chestnut) Bavaroise is another favorite dessert, which serves kuri mousse with Anko and a dollop of rich whipped cream.