Monday, January 5, 2015

Kanou Shoujuan 叶匠壽庵 : Matcha and Black Sesame Parfait from Kyoto

Established in Showa 33 years (1958) Kanou Shoujuan may not be the oldest Wagashi house in Kyoto but it is still an esteemed Wagashi house that has established a successful brand name in Japan. Asked any obaasan or ojiisaan about the shop with the famous Anko sweet and one of the popular answers is likely to be Kanou Shoujuan. 


Popularly known as "An-Mo", Kanou's signature sweet is a plain Mochi rice wrapped with premium red bean paste. They are so proud of it that they serve it free with a cup of black tea to any potential customers who visits any of their outlet. Even during winter, the rice mochi remains utterly soft and chewy, no wonder it has remained a popular omiyage  (souvenir) for the older generations. 
But my purpose of visiting one of its only two Wagashi cafe in Tokyo was certainly not for the red bean mochi (one can easily buy them anyway). I was there to hunt for matcha parfait and black sesame parfait.

Matcha Parfait ¥864
 It does not contain any matcha mousse or pudding but two scoops of matcha ice cream from Gion Tsuijiri and one scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Hence, together with the Yokan Jelly, Chestnuts and red beans, the sweetness of the parfait could have cause me to surrender if not for the koban cha. My favourite part of the parfait as usual, is always the crunchy element. This time, its a sesame cookie cigar. 
There is also the Black Sesame Parfait ¥864 which tastes equally delicious. Unlike the matcha version, it contains one Goma and one Vanilla ice cream. And dig further to find plain yokan and black sesame jelly! 
Even though I can't confidently say which green tea Parfaits is the best in Japan, I think Kanou's version is definitely better than Yojiya's and Kagetsudo's version. The quality is even on par with Gion Tsujiri. Moreover, if you consider the price of below 1000 yen, this is definitely very worth the deal, especially for those on budget. 

For a true "authentic" Japanese traditional sweets experience, try the beautifully crafted Wagashi that comes with pot of freshly whisked matcha. 

Kanou Shojuan 叶 匠壽庵 
Tokyo Outlet:
Shin Maruouchi Tokyo B1
Chiyoda Ku Marunouchi 1-5-1 
Mon-Sat 11am-9pm
Sun PH 11am-8pm 
Takashimaya Tokyo
Daily 10am-8pm

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