Tag Archives: Sweets

Toraya-006 Toraya  - Tokyo, Japan Japan Kyoto Tokyo  wagashi Tokyo Sweets Pastry Kyoto Japan

Toraya – Tokyo, Japan

Toraya-002 Toraya  - Tokyo, Japan Japan Kyoto Tokyo  wagashi Tokyo Sweets Pastry Kyoto Japan
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Toraya-001 Toraya  - Tokyo, Japan Japan Kyoto Tokyo  wagashi Tokyo Sweets Pastry Kyoto 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

www.toraya-group.co.jp

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!

Toraya-0011 Toraya  - Tokyo, Japan Japan Kyoto Tokyo  wagashi Tokyo Sweets Pastry Kyoto Japan
Toraya-0012 Toraya  - Tokyo, Japan Japan Kyoto Tokyo  wagashi Tokyo Sweets Pastry Kyoto Japan
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portpanlarge_1227855196 Kyotofu  -  New York, NY New York  Vegetarian Vegan Sweets NY NYC Food Brunch

Kyotofu – New York, NY

portpanlarge_1227855196 Kyotofu  -  New York, NY New York  Vegetarian Vegan Sweets NY NYC Food Brunch   (above Photo © Kyotofu )

Kyotofu

Japanese Restaurant & Dessert Bar
(1) 212 974 6012
705 9th Ave, New York NY 10019
(Btw 48th – 49th St)

www.kyotofu-nyc.com

OPEN HOURS:
Unfortunately closed

Japanese restaurants are always such a wonderful experience.  The otaku culture finds  a wonderful outlet in creative cuisine.  The plating alone makes one anticipate and salivate for each dish, casting an eye towards the kitchen door.

Since 2006, one can find the small restaurant Kyotofu just a few blocks off time square.  A savior when venturing in the theatre district, with its endless rows of xeroxed fare, the exquisitely designed eatery specializes in small plates and variety of uhmm-inducing desserts.  The sweets are guilt -free, being delicious and light at the same time!  They also create perfect macaroons and others sweets to take home.  The chocolate cupcakes can create a serious addiction,while the heart shaped ones can make lovely gift a in their elegant packaging.

4843948381_91e82c3f4b_o Kyotofu  -  New York, NY New York  Vegetarian Vegan Sweets NY NYC Food Brunch

 

4843912933_3a0d1b9e43_o Kyotofu  -  New York, NY New York  Vegetarian Vegan Sweets NY NYC Food Brunch   Green Tea Soba Noodles served chilled with a soy-sake broth, daikon & wasabi
4843945815_9786dbd51a_o Kyotofu  -  New York, NY New York  Vegetarian Vegan Sweets NY NYC Food Brunch   Roasted Kabocha And Chestnut Soup japanese pumpkin, kombu & daikon
4844565676_e51b6e457d_o Kyotofu  -  New York, NY New York  Vegetarian Vegan Sweets NY NYC Food Brunch
Black Sesame Sweet Tofu hoji-cha roasted green tea syrup, black sesame tuile & goji berry
CafeLuxxe Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee

Caffe Luxxe – Santa Monica, CA

3930160445_ff464276da_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee
Caffe Shakerato

Caffe Luxxe

Coffee shop
(1) 310 – 394. 2222
925 Montana Avenue
Santa Monica, California 90403

www.caffeluxxe.com

OPEN HOURS:
6:00 am –  8:00 pm   Monday   – Friday
6:30 am –  8:00 pm   Saturday – Sunday

Caffe Luxxe was by far the best coffeehouse we visited whilst in LA.  Their glittering Italian coffee machine creates wonderful cups of cafe bliss under the hands of their knowledgeable baristas.  Los Angeles, as compared to NY or SF, seems a bit behind the café curve.  A theory could be do to the lack of pedestrian neighborhoods where these types of specialty shops thrive, rather then the palate of the citizenry.  One of the few neighborhood type places is Santa Monica- and that is where we found Caffe Luxxe.  (There is a second location in Brentwood which we did not visit).

3930160997_e912ea5eb8_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee

Tall ceilings top white walls which are covered with beautiful, framed coffee photography by Tom Benedek.  A few tables with silver chairs seat about 20.  The main L shaped counter is home to a display of pastries, chocolate bars and croissants.

The cappuccino was quite smooth, while the Caffe Shakerato (hand shaken espresso with milk and ice) was extremely yummy on a hot day!  The Caffe Nico (espresso, candied orange and steamed half&half) was quite strong and made a great dip for the light, airy macaroon.    I sampled an excellent drip coffee as well to complete the test trifecta.

3956489897_f5f7448990_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee   The Caffe Nico
3930942730_d36402ece4_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee   Caffe Shakerato

3956490023_c1d5fd4749_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee   Cappuccino

3957267806_75e9853f88_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee   Cappuccino

3930160623_743b83ac52_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee

3930160715_6e6d667e29_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee   Macaroons

3930943112_c335218e23_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee

3930942538_147d972a04_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee

3930943186_382c832ce1_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee

3957267940_8ae9de36bd_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee

King-Johns-Tea-Room-007 King John's Hunting Lodge Tea House  -  Lacock Wiltshire, UK UK West Country  UK Tea Sweets Somerset Food

King John’s Hunting Lodge Tea House – Lacock Wiltshire, UK

3744363302_fa14ab214e_o King John's Hunting Lodge Tea House  -  Lacock Wiltshire, UK UK West Country  UK Tea Sweets Somerset Food


King John’s Hunting Lodge

Tea Room
(44) (0) 124 – 973 0313
21 Church Street
Lacock, Wiltshire, SN15  2LB
England

www.kingjohnslodge.2day.ws.

OPEN HOURS:
11:00am – 5:30ish pm   Tuesday – Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays

 

In the über picturesque village of Lacock, in a tiny Tudor building (1167 – 1216), behind a garden of poppies and wild flowers, sits the lovely King John’s Hunting Lodge Tea House.

3744363586_885b88fa95_o King John's Hunting Lodge Tea House  -  Lacock Wiltshire, UK UK West Country  UK Tea Sweets Somerset Food

Arriving along the ancient lane,  you float through the gate and garden. Soaking in the pure Englishness of the scene.  Pitched roofs, dripping windows, muted brick and bright flowers set the scene for an excellent spot of tea.

Our arrival on a cool early spring day, gave us an idea of how important these warm homey spots were.  Brushing off the chill we soaked up the warm ambiance.  Once settled, we indulged in the “King John’s Royal Tea”, which included delectable Tea sandwiches (A yummy Welsh Rarebit for me – wish I had one now!) & warm scones served with local fruit jams and organic Jersey clotted cream.


King-Johns-Tea-Room-002 King John's Hunting Lodge Tea House  -  Lacock Wiltshire, UK UK West Country  UK Tea Sweets Somerset Food   (above photo © Hiro Nakamura )
3743568267_5c2287bdfb_o King John's Hunting Lodge Tea House  -  Lacock Wiltshire, UK UK West Country  UK Tea Sweets Somerset Food

We spread it on everything we could!  Of all the scones and jams I’ve had, this sitting raised the bar yet again.  Looking at the origins, I could see this being the perfect calorie filled breakfast for farmers setting out for a day’s labor.

A lighter version is the “Margart’s Cream Tea” which is the same, without the sandwiches.   Pretty blue and white china bore all the treats in a manor befitting the period-ness of Lacock

A daily menu includes soups, homemade breads, delicious pastries, mackerel cakes and more!  There is a fine selection of tea, hot chocolate, coffee, spiced apple, elderflower presse, hot berry bliss … and a little shop for take away.

Really just a pleasant place to lunch – thoroughly English 🙂

3743568453_efdc3e1a25_o King John's Hunting Lodge Tea House  -  Lacock Wiltshire, UK UK West Country  UK Tea Sweets Somerset Food

3743568587_a3eb6eeb28_o King John's Hunting Lodge Tea House  -  Lacock Wiltshire, UK UK West Country  UK Tea Sweets Somerset Food

Juan-Valdez-010 Juan Valdez Café - Cartagena, Colombia Cartagena Colombia  Sweets Internet Food Colombia Coffee Cartagena

Juan Valdez Café – Cartagena, Colombia

Juan-Valdez-010 Juan Valdez Café - Cartagena, Colombia Cartagena Colombia  Sweets Internet Food Colombia Coffee Cartagena

Juan Valdez Cafe

+(57) 5 664 2500
Plaza De la Universidad
Calle San Agustin Con Calle De La Universidad
Esquina 6-15
Cartagena, Colombia

www.juanvaldezcafe.com

OPEN HOURS:
8:00am-10:00pm every day

 

The best coffee in Cartagena also opened every day (rare)  located at a small square in the old city across from the Universidad of Cartagena.

The shop has Wireless Internet Service all you need to do is buy a coffee or a pastry and ask the cashier for the code, this will give you about 30 minutes connection service so just buy another coffee and you will get more minutes.

The pastries are OK, but if you are into sweetening your palate, order a gelato from the adjacent ice cream shop. On the second floor is a pizza parlour, not bad (though it’s no Pizza al Parque); order personal pizzas at the Ice Cream Counter

Juan Valdez is also a great place to buy souvenirs and beautiful Colombian coffee to prepare at home!

 

Juan-Valdez-005 Juan Valdez Café - Cartagena, Colombia Cartagena Colombia  Sweets Internet Food Colombia Coffee Cartagena       .
Juan-Valdez-008 Juan Valdez Café - Cartagena, Colombia Cartagena Colombia  Sweets Internet Food Colombia Coffee Cartagena
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Juan-Valdez-009 Juan Valdez Café - Cartagena, Colombia Cartagena Colombia  Sweets Internet Food Colombia Coffee Cartagena       .
Juan-Valdez-003 Juan Valdez Café - Cartagena, Colombia Cartagena Colombia  Sweets Internet Food Colombia Coffee Cartagena
Juan-Valdez-011 Juan Valdez Café - Cartagena, Colombia Cartagena Colombia  Sweets Internet Food Colombia Coffee Cartagena