Tag Archives: Pastry

Toraya – Tokyo, Japan

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Toraya at Tokyo Midtown

Toraya  Tokyo Midtown

(81)  35.413.3541
Tokyo Midtown Galleria B1, 9-7-4 Akasaka, Minato-ku; Tokyo 107-0052, Japan


Open Hours:
11:00 – 21:00    Daily

Toraya  is the oldest existing wagashi (Japanese  confections) store.  Dating back to the mid sixteenth century in Kyoto, where it became a purveyor to the imperial court under the reign of Emperor Go-Yōzei (1571-1617).  Towards the end of the Edo period Toraya moved their center of operations to Tokyo, leaving  behind the orginal store in Kyoto.

Currently, The flagship store  is in Akasaka, and  other locations in the main luxury department stores around Tokyo.

The Toraya store in the lower lever of Tokyo midtown,  a commercial, business and residential complex in Roppongi, is a great example of the modern life of this 400+ year old business.  It is an excellent location to go for delicious Japanese sweets.  This Toraya location also serves as an art gallery and a cafe as well as an amazing  wagashi  related souvenir shop

Wagashi  are Japanese  confections) in which main element is azuki bean paste.  This is made by cooking the beans with sugar, mashing them and finally straining the mix through a fine sieve to produce a smooth paste called gozen an (koshi an).  When  the paste is not strained it is called ogura an (tsubu an).

In addition to bean pastes,  other wagashi ingredients can be  agar-agar, rice flour, Kanten (a fiber rich gelatin  made from seaweed) and oldest domestic sugar which is made with rare kind of sugar cane from Tokushima prefecture, commonly made into molded dried sweets (higashi)

Wagashi confections are based on the principle to appeal the five senses; appearance, taste, texture, scent and sound

In Kyoto there are two locations:

The principal store, combined with decent sized tea house, is on a street west of the Kyoto Imperial Palace and garden.  The teahouse holds a lovely small library and some of the tables have a picteresque  garden view.
Address: Karasuma-Nishi-iru, Ichijo-dori, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto

The other is next to the Fujii Daimaru department store on Shijo-dori – the road that connects the Gion district with  wetern Kyoto.
Address: Gokomachi-Nishi-iru, Shijo-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto

There are many wonderful Wagashi shops in all of Japan and trying the different styles and specially Toraya!

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De Farine Et D’Eau Fraiche – Montreal, Canada

de-farineabove photo © Vladimir Antaki via v2com.biz

De Farine Et D’Eau Fraiche

Caffe and Pastry Shop
(1) 514 522-2777
1701 Rue Amherst
Montréal (QC)  QC H2L 3L4, Canada


Open Hours:
7:30 am – 6:00pm  Monday – Friday
9:00 am – 7:00pm  Saturday
11:00 am – 5:00pm  Sunday

De-Farine-005  De-Farine-004


The name De Farine Et D’Eau Fraiche translates to ‘Flour and Fresh Water’ and is an apt name for a lovely café located in the gay village of Montreal.  The overall design is by studio Surface3 – including the branding, interior design,  and  custom furniture.  Surface3 has synthesized a modern yet cozy vibe, by combining organic elements: distressed wood tables, with the logo tattooed on it’s surfaces, and hanging white gloss lathed table leg light fixtures.  The use of  general frieze molding as wall coverings continues the classic materials used in new ways.

Pastry chef Marilu Gunji is a queen of the aesthetics. All the cookies, cakes, pastries and candies are visually seductive.  Everything is carefully displayed; the refrigerated cases with their vintage cake stands and on glass urns – with all the pretty pastries on coordinated doilies.  The kitchen is open and visible to customers and adds to the impeccable feel.

The De Farine Et D’Eau Fraiche also serves crispy salads, savory soups and sandwiches.  Most importantly, you can accompany your sweets with a good cup of coffee.  Chef Marilu Gunji also creates just the cutest mini wedding cakes!


above photo © Vladimir Antaki via v2com.biz






 defarabove photo © Eva Blue 

La Balance Patisserie – Mexico City, Mexico

La Balance Patisserie

Cozumel 94A @  Sonora
(at the corner of Alvaro Obregon)
Condesa, Cuauhtémoc, 06140
Mexico City, DF, Mexico

9:00am – 8:00pm   Everyday

Just around the bend from the Hotel Condesa DF, we found this perfect little coffee spot.  The chic design features furniture by industrial designer Luis Mercado and the decorated with stenciled drawings of culinary equipment on chalk board.  The pastries are delicious and are perfect to the french technique.  The chef / owner Alain Dubernard is a teacher at the Culinary Institute of America; and it shows in his attention to detail.