Friday, June 5, 2015

Shiseido Parlour Tokyo (Since 1902): Not Make-up Products but SWEETS and PARFAITS

Do you know that Shiseido isn't just a cosmetic brand but also a full fledged restaurant in Tokyo? It started serving western fusion dishes such as croquette and omelette rice since it opened its doors in 1902, which is even much older than the famous Taimeiken in Nihonbashi.

Maquillage: Not your make-up base but edible chocolate...even more attractive than macarons!
Occupying one entire building in the premium streets of Ginza, each floor is dedicated to a specific concept, for instance 1F is the retail space for souvenirs and petit entremets while 4/5F are reserved for fine-dining guests. 

Nope, of course I did not have the time and money to travel all the way to Ginza. Fortunately, the only pastry boutique is opened in Isetan Shinjuku and I would usually take a look to see if there is any interesting items. On a random visit, the shop was retailing two award-winning cakes produced by its young in-house chefs at the 2013 Japan Cake Show Contest Petit Gateau Section.
As you may tell from the name Ananas Coco, it is a caramel coated coconut mousse with mango and passionfruit centre on a tart shell filled with tarty pineapple chunks. I do not usually fancy pineapples but the use of vanilla beans soften the edginess of the fruit to my delight. However, the pastry tart has succumbed to some moisture attack and the coconut allure had not been fully extracted. 
Despite the all-too-common pistachio-raspberry pairing, this Pistachio cake was very captivating. Compared to the usual light fluffy mousse, this one is dense but not cloying.  

From the sponge wall to the filling to the rooftop pool of green sauce, every bit adhered obediently to the theme of pistachio. Not much textural contrast here but you know that the chef was not stingy on the pistachio paste. 
Nonetheless, there is still a wider selection of items at the main outlet in Ginza. It was love at first sight for Azuma Odori, a pretty cake with a mesmerizing oriental charm.

The components of white chocolate mousse, matcha mousse, vanilla custard and sponge cake might bring no surprise but I like the exceptionally milky scent in the matcha layer. Anyway, sorry to inform you that this is a limited edition item only available last summer in 2014 ! Hope you chance on something better next time.
Shiseido Salted Caramel cheesecake (Tokyo Station Limited Edition) The team behind Shiseido really knows how to market the popular flavours as limited edition items. These petite baked square cheesecakes are so dense and rich that having one at one time is more than sufficient. 
But instead of the cheesecake, I think their La Ganache Petit is definitely a more worthy investment. With a intensely dark ganache filled center, this resembles a deluxe version of a chocolate crunchie.
"An amazing, unique texture with rich flavour?" I am glad these are not just merely marketing slogans but these Chokaki (a word play of Chocolate + Okaki) are probably one of the most successful hybrids experimented by the quirky Japanese. They are not as hard as typical rice crackers but disintegrate into shambles in a few bites. The cheese version has a bonus dust of cheese powder that intensifies the balance of taste. Available only at Tokyo station and Haneda airport. 
Matcha Parfait
The quality is more like a casual cafe that does not pays too much attention to matcha. To put it bluntly, it is a cheap sundae in disguise, filled with vanilla ice cream, azuki bean paste, green jellies without shiratama dango. The warabi mochi on top were strange as it does not have any elastic stretchy texture. But for ¥920, I guess one can't bargain much. 
Do you know that Okinawa is another prefecture that produced excellent mango? This is a seasonal edition parfait featuring the sweet juicy Okinawan mango. It did burnt quite a big hole in my wallet but it was worth at least a try.

From the ice cream to the mousse, everything is made of the prized fruit, not the Creme de la Creme of the crop (i.e Miyazaki's Taiyo no Tamago Mango), but already good enough to help me tide through the sticky heat in July. 

Shiseido Parlour 資生堂パーラー
[Address] Ginza Shiseido Bldg. 3F, 8-8-3 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
[Direction] Ginza Station; Shinbashi Station
[Telephone] 03 5537 6231
[Open] 11.30am-9pm (Sun & holidays until 8pm)
[Holiday] closed Mon (except for holidays)
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