Thursday, February 9, 2012

京はやしやカフェ Kyo Hayashi :259年的抹茶老铺

Kyo Hayashi is a matcha sweets specialist shop that has been around since 宝暦3年(1753年). It was first established in 加賀・金沢 Kanazawa area.  Now, it has many outlets  in Kyoto, Hakata and Tokyo.  They are famous for not only traditional matcha sweets such as warabi mochi, but also matcha parfaits and cookies. One can buy matcha omiyage ranging from cheesecake, baumkuchen, matcha azuki roll cake, matcha sables on their online shop at rakuten.

Following the traditional marketing strategy, the cafe offers seasonal edition matcha desserts like the two shown on the poster. 
元祖わらび餅あんみつ 1200 Yen
2012 New Year Warabi Mochi Anmitsu
Matcha Warabi Mochi, Kinako Warabi Mochi, Matcha Soft Ice Cream, Apricot Jam, Red Beans and Kuromitsu (Black Sugar) Syrup
Have you notice the sour plum pickles by the side of the plate? This sour and salty pickles help to curb the sweetness and prevents one from being too sick of the sweet taste.

One can order this as an ala carte or as a set with their choice of beverage. The kuromitsu blends well with the kinako warabi mochi. If you prefer it to be less sweet, you can just omit the kuromitsu syrup but this may cause the dessert to be too dry. The red beans is mashy and not overly sweetened. Those who like soft ice cream ( a speciality of Japanese style ice cream) might enjoy the additional of it here but the ice cream is too sweet.
Once everything melts, it becomes a creamy pool of matcha cream with the mochi and kanten jelly. Kanten jelly (the transparent ones) is a healthy version of jelly and low in calories. In fact, kanten jelly can be eaten just simply with vinegar shoyu.
Along with the above anmitsu, we ordered the set and this is the beverage for the set-Grape flavoured Sencha
Surprisingly, this was not sweet at all, but retained all the bitterness that one will find in a good-quality cup of green tea. The grape flavour comes from the smell of the tea. So one can smell but not taste the grape, which makes this tea a refreshing pair to the sweet matcha dessert.

Matcha Parfait
Red Bean Ice Cream, Matcha Ice Cream, Matcha Bavaroise (Mousse), Shiratama (Plain white mochi balls), Apricot Jelly, Vanilla Ice Cream, Choco crunch
This is a dessert that is available all year round. Instead of black sugar syrup, this is paired with thick green tea syrup. It is indeed rare to find matcha syrup in wagashi desserts. One should note that the ice cream here is not soft serve so one will take a longer time to poke through the two frozen ice cream balls. It will be make this parfait much more unique if the ratio of the matcha bavaroise to matcha ice cream is higher. (more bavaroise)

Be prepared to queue as this is quite a famous shop. Majority of the customers are female. But fear not that they only offer desserts as they have savoury dishes like special obento sets during lunch time as well.
Exterior of the Cafe.

Kyo Hayashiya
Outlets at Aoyama/Roppongi/Ikebukuro/Shinjuku/Haneda Airport/Kyoto (Sanjyou) / Yokohama/ Hakata

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