Saturday, July 12, 2014

Toraya Cafe : Red Bean is the King

If you have always stay clear from traditional Japanese sweets,  Toraya Cafe may change your impression. Opened by TORAYA, a 500-year old traditional confectionary house from Kyoto which is famous for its anko (red bean), Toraya cafe serves a range of plated desserts with a modern touch. 

Toraya takes pride in their red bean paste, and thus it is not surprise that red bean is incorporated into many dishes. The specialty cake is a slow-baked red bean paste chocolate gateaux that is not as greasy as a poundcake but rich and intense like a fudgy brownie.
The Matcha and White Bean cake ¥864 is a seasonal twist of its specialty item. Blended with white chocolate, the cake is served with black sesame soy ice cream and a dollop of anko. I had the Peanut Red Bean Cake version at Roppongi Hills the previous time and I felt the cake tasted sweeter this time.
Looks can be deceiving because this Azuki Tea Jelly ¥864 is extremely light, refreshing and boozy.  Made with Kanten Jelly, this is probably (or hopefully) quite low-calorie dessert for the adults. The rum-spiked red bean sauce and white bean sauce formed a beautiful yin-yang like pattern.
On the other hand, this soy milk bean paste pudding ¥864 is comparatively richer. Still, the use of kuzu powder to form this gelatine dessert created an interesting chewy or mochi-mochi like texture that is seldom found in typical Western creamy milk  pudding. This was our favourite because of the slightly bland kuzu jelly could complement the sweet matcha white chocolate sauce very well. 

If you like the an paste, you can even take away bottles of an paste in various flavours such as Black sesame or matcha. There is also mini an pan bread, "WA" macarons and cookies at the retail section. While this cafe also sells a variety of delicious savoury meals, it might be good to try some of these anko desserts first. 
Toraya Cafe 
Omotesando Hills B1F
11.30am-10.30pm Daily (till 9.30pm on Sunday)
Other outlets: Roppongi Hills and Aoyama

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