Hotel New Otani Tokyo: $15 Super Overhyped and Overpriced Japanese Shortcake

If there’s one place you should avoid for cakes in Tokyo or even the whole of Japan, it is Patisserie Satsuki of the prestigious Hotel New Otani, the same place that houses the first Pierre Herme outlet in Japan. 

It’s famous for its super melon shortcake which is priced at a whopping ¥3500 per piece and limited to only 20 per day.  WOW. To think that something so simple can fetch such a heavenly price. And if it can continue to be around for so many years (more than 10 years), it must be damn good. 

Having found out that the cakes can be booked online for collection (which means no wasted trip  if it is sold out or no wasting time to queue), I eagerly booked 3 items from the edo Sweets series, a collection of matcha based pastries. 

1500 yen (~SGD 18) millefeuille

As I tried to navigate through the rather forlorn hotel (think old Beauty World Shopping Center) with kimono-clad Obaasan sipping afternoon tea on red cushion sofas, trying to reach the god-knows-where patisserie, I felt very awkward and I just wanted to collect and get out of this place asap. But the horror of all horrors came later. The cakes turned out to be the worst decision ever made in my life. 

1250 yen (~SGD 15) per slice 

I won’t describe the details of every single piece because it reminded me of the mental torture to try to consume as much as I can without wasting my money. The sponge (be it in the roll or shortcake) was terribly dry and rough you’ll better standby some water by your side. Meanwhile the matcha cream/ganache was so sweet that the first reaction most will do is to scrape it away. I felt sad for the matcha which have been robbed of their beauty because of the poor control of sugar and chocolate.

Portion for each cake is definitely bigger than average but who will even be keen to finish it when it tasted like this? 

Better save your calories and $$ for something else across the streets.