Cafe de Ginza – Ginza, Tokyo

This might be definitively the best cafe style dessert place I’ve ever been. I’mDSC02585 usually just about the food. Service and ambiance is takes a back seat unless it’s terrible or extraordinary. Cafe de Ginza is one of those gems, the ambiance is spectacular here. Located just a few blocks from the stunning Kabukiza Theater which looks quite stunning at night.

We got to experience Cafe de Ginza late one night just passing by, DSC02587peering into the window and checking out the menu. It has a modern Victorian styling, a lot of wood, gold low lighting and fine china and silverware. Here we’re talking high quality desserts, teas, coffees, etc.

DSC02591The tea here is served in a pot with a hour glass to tell you when to pour out your tea and you get the use the shiniest tea filter imaginable. I got a little taste of the peach-apricot “tea” and it was sweet and very fragrant. More balanced towards the apricot side I thought. I had an extremely high quality macchiato, the espresso used here has very little after taste. Sometimes espresso this strong gives a sour taste or very strong aftertaste which I usually mask in sugar, but this was more towards towards a more roasted deep bitter flavour, which I enjoy.

When we looked at the menu, I was eyeing the crepes mille.DSC02588 I’ve heard of this dessert a few years ago, I even made it before and its very popular in a variety of flavors in Japan. This one is something on the special side, so we have just a pile of crepes a simple heavy cream or pastry cream and on top they spread a small ball of almost burnt sugar caramel on top which gives it enough sweetness for the entire slice. Dessert in Asia is good, the sweetness is very delicate and for this plate it allows you to taste the cream, crepes and caramel. The texture is something unexpected to me, letting the piles of crepes set in the cream allows it to soak up and breaks into the crepe and expands in the pockets creating something so light and airy its basically like eating a cloud, a caramel cloud.

My second choice was the mille-feuille or napoleon because there’s rarely any YEG DSC02589restaurants that will even know what it is, but unfortunately it was sold out. I’ve also tried to make it before a few years back when I was cracking open the book of classic French deserts. Understandable because it was so late into the evening. The strawberry shortcake was great too, again not too sweet allowing you to taste the creaminess and the extremely vibrant and in season strawberries(april) which was clearly the star. If you haven’t tried and you’re lucky enough to be in Japan in April try grabbing a box of strawberries, it is quite amazing (I believe Lotte mart in Seoul also imports it). Good buttery shortbread also giving it some flavour and a little texture.

Cafe de Ginza has a really refined clear ambiance and setting, it feels as if it should be stuffy and pompous but the staff gives you a feeling that you can just show up smart casual (or even a T-shirt if you’re a slob), really relax and have good food. The wood tables and chairs accented with gold are right in place with the highly polished silverware you use. The refinement continues to how your drinks seem expertly made with precise movements to the waitress lining everything up exactly for each dish/drink and bringing it to your table and the placement of your silverware. I loved it for the precision and attention to detail contrasting to the casual relaxed atmosphere.

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Kabukiza Theater, Ginza – Tokyo

Cafe de Ginza,

Ginza, Tokyo

April 16, 2015

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