Friday, May 1, 2015

Cheese Garden Tokyo : Japanese Cheese Heaven

Nope, this is not your neighbourhood cheesecake shop. It's a restaurant cum cheese grocery store that is dedicated to their royal brand of cheese "Goyoutei Cheese 御用邸チーズ. The cheese is produced at their own farm in Nasu, Tochigi Prefecture. I'm not sure if they are the selected brand for the Japanese royal family but the term "Goyoutei" refers to the Imperial villa that is currently situated in the same prefecture .
Even before you stepped into the shop, you will definitely stopped in your foot steps as the staff will distribute generous samples of their above signature Goyoutei Cheesecake (¥1230 for a whole cake). It's rich, dense yet not over cloying like a typical NY cheesecake. One of the secret is that the cake is baked at 3 different temperatures in about 1 hour. 
But the best way to sample all their lovely cheesecakes is to get their Cheesecake Platter (¥980), which contains Shirasagi--the most expensive cheesecake of the lot (¥3300 for one whole cake). On top of the cookie base is a baked layer made with 4 types of cheese and a light sour cream made with yoghurt and fresh cream. 

The third type of cheesecake is the Sappari Creamy Cheesecake, the typical Japanese rare Fromage blanc baked in a pie with a layer of French Strawberry conserve sandwich in the middle. I forgot what the last cheesecake is but this platter is so delicious and offers a interesting contrast of cheese textures! 
Cheese Fondue? Nah....that is a little out of fashioned. The team here has created an original dine-in only dish called Pandue (pan means bread in Japanese and this is a uniquely Japanese created word combining Pan+Fondue). The bread is cusped with soft molten cheese in which you can dipped the spare greens and potato wedges into. I have no complaints about this simple platter since I can even devour the bread in the end, leaving no trace of food crumbs behind. But I do wish there were more items for dipping. 

Not a fan of cheese? The Pandue is also available in Clam Chowder, Minestrone, Curry and Beef Stew. But I doubt any cheese hater would have step into the shop in the first place. 
Cheese is front and center here, so do not leave without getting their Goyotei Cheese Cookie. Made with Edam and Parmesan Cheese, these buttery almond delights translate so well onto the palate that you question if you are actually dreaming or living in reality. There is not only salt, but black pepper and some unknown spices that kick in as you chew on. 

Eventually, I ended up not only with boxes of this cheese cookie but also cheese galette, langue de chats and the wickedly sinful white chocolate cranberry cheese bar (¥280)

This is only outlet in Tokyo that includes an exclusive dine-in restaurant. The outlets at Seibu Ikeburuo and Haneda airport are retail-only spaces. I highly recommend you to drop by one of these three outlets as their products are really of superb quality. Otherwise, keep a lookout for their shops when you are in Tochigi prefecture! At least you know now that Tochigi isn't a place just famous for its strawberries! 
Cheese Garden
〒131-0045  1 Chome-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida
Tokyo Sky Tree Tower, Tokyo Solachi 2F
10am-9pm daily. 

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