Friday, March 21, 2008
Japan 2007: Japanese Department Store Food Halls
We all know how much I loved the Food Hall at Daimaru in Kyoto, so here are some more photos I found from the depths of my Japan trip photos. I am crazy about the food halls in Japan's department stores, and only wish we had something like them in Australia. The beautiful store layouts! The approachable, unintimidating service! The beautiful packaging! And most importantly, the incredible quality and array of gorgeous foods from all over the world.
Here are a few highlights from our heart-stopping, wallet-draining trips to Japanese food halls.
First up is Jean-Paul Hevin at Isetan in Tokyo. They have a cafe here, in addition to a retail shop. We had a seat at the bar in the cafe, and marvelled at the well-dressed staff in cute black caps, the dark wooden tables, and the conscientiousness of the service. They gave us lovely boxes to pop next to our seats to neatly contain our cumbersome coats and bags. Little details are so important.
I am embarrassed to say that I don't remember the exact names of what we ordered - our trip to Japan was back in December (!!), and I've only just got around to blogging this. However, I do remember that everything we ate here was incredible.
A slice of cake...
Mirror shiny-glaze, deeply chocolatey cake, chocolate cream, chocolate truffle. Amazingly, it wasn't heavy at all. Just perfect.
2 Macarons... I believe one was chocolate with raspberry filling, and I'm sad to say I can't remember what the other one was! Apologies to Jean-Paul Hevin.
Hot chocolate. I loved that this hot choc had an intense chocolate flavour, without any overwhelming richness. Some chocolate cafes in Melbourne use double cream in their hot chocs, which just leaves me feeling feral and overindulged without actually satiating my chocolate craving. No such problem here!
A few more gorgeous shops...
Next stop, Mitsukoshi department store in Ginza. I found myself gawking at the wealthy patrons as much as the shops.
Amedei Chocolates. So stylish they should be selling handbags and shoes. I satisfied myself with 2 macarons. (See below).
CUTENESS!!! I am always impressed by the Japanese interpretations of Western baking!
There didn't seem to be much room for eat-in at Mitsukoshi, so I bought my treats to go, and enjoyed them back at the hostel.
One vanilla, one passionfruit-chocolate.
Finally, finally, I am posting about a Mont Blanc! This creamy-chestnut dessert is incredibly popular in Japan (pronounced "mon buran"), and available pretty much universally.
Now, check out the packaging. Japanese shops use heaps of packaging, but it's oh-so-cute! (However, I'm told that their recycling levels are leaps-and-bounds above ours).
Box containing Mont Blanc...
...also contains a napkin and a little ice-pack to keep it fresh as you take it away...
The ice pack!
The components of a Mont Blanc are a shiny shiny chestnut...
... a mini-mountain of sweetened chestnut puree...
...and a creamy filling, sitting atop a little almond tartlet.
Oishii sou desu ne!