Friday, March 20, 2015

千年の香り 千紀園 Senkien : Matcha Shop from Shiga Prefecture

Yes, Kyoto prefecture is NOT the only place for green tea. In fact, Aichi and Shizuoka are also renowned for this popular tea that has gained popularity around the world. Perhaps due to the close proximity to Kyoto prefecture, Shiga has a number of established tea houses that has been involved in the tea business since Edo period.

One of them is 千紀園 Senkien, which I happened to bump into when it opened a 2-week pop up store at Kintetsu depato, Abeno Harukas Osaka. This shop started out as an ocha-ya around 1860. 
Once I sampled the Uji matcha chocolate truffles to test waters, I knew this shop is definitely worth checking out. Although the sweets here are very simple, they are a good test of the quality of the matcha precisely because there are just those few ingredients in these confectionaries. The matcha sandwich (324 yen) was super soft and moist, filled with a cream of rich intensity. 
Savour these cheesecakes (238 yen) at room temperature because this is when the texture and flavours are unlocked. Creamy yet not terribly rich, my favourite was the Charcoal as there was some interesting gritty particles dancing on my tongue. 
In a moment of impulse, I returned to buy the choux puff again. The choux pastry is a sad story but not the matcha cream. At an unbelievably cheap price of only 230 yen, this huge fat choux puff satisfied my final cravings for green tea, before I packed my luggage to head home. 
千年の香り 千紀園  Senkien 
滋賀県草津市上笠2-11-8
Main Shop: 2-11-8 Kamigasa, Kusatsu-shi, 
Shiga-ken 525-0028
9.30am-6pm (Closed on weekends and PH)
Tel: 077-562-3423
http://www.senkien.jp/

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