Part I - Century Southern Tower, some Shinjuku area
Part II - Food in Tokyo
It's my Jiyugaoka day! I always make time to visit this quaint little town because the whole feel is so comfortable, very different from the hustle and bustle of Shinjuku or Shibuya, with lots of interesting zakka/home and living shops to explore.
Reached Jiyugaoka before noon and headed directly to Jiyugaoka Burger for an early lunch. Read from somewhere about this quaint little roof-top terrace eatery serving wholesome burger made from exclusive Japanese produce, so I must give it a try. As the shop space is very limited, I planned an early lunch to avoid queuing (and afterwards I can have room for afternoon tea!).
The shop is located at level 4 of a building. Luckily I had wifi connection and managed to find the place very quickly using google map.
This sight greeted me upon reaching level 4. Chio looking bicycle!
Ordered an iced mint tea. Iced water with fresh mint leaves in a decanter was also served on the house. SG cafes should offer the same service as well!
The burger was really wholesome; bun was slightly chewy, beef patty was succulent and juicy. Loved the onion and tomato which tasted so sweet! The potato was really yummy, crispy outside and fluffy inside. To top it off, I got to end the meal with muscat grapes which were so sweet and juicy.
With my tummy satisfied, it's shopping time!
First stop, cuoca which is a confectionery specialty store, much alike our Phoon Huat. Strangely, I've been to Jiyugaoka countless time and I've not explored this part of the town! Luckily, my friend A told me about this treasure cove!
A baking demo corner where workshops are conducted.
What I liked about cuoca is, everything is categorized neatly and properly, the store is spacious and bright and somehow making the entire shopping experience so enticing.
Well, I was totally disciplined and emerged with only one small bag of goodies :p
On level 2 of the building housed Jiyugaoka Sweets Forest. This is like a dessert theme park featuring sweets and desserts from eight renown confectionery.
Thereafter, walked and shopped around and it was time for tea! Been looking forward to this for months!
Last December when I was there, I discovered this BAKE Cheese Tart shop. Unfortunately I didn't have time to queue for it. The cheese tart actually originated from Kinotoya Bakery in Sapporo, Hokkaido. After the success of the tarts in New Chitose Airport and Sapporo, more shops were opened in Tokyo and subsequently Osaka, Fukuoka and even Hong Kong! I think this Jiyugaoka store is their first/flagship store.
Level 1 is the open kitchen and sales counter. Level 2 hosts a small space for dining in.
After about 30 mins, I finally entered the store. OMG, the aroma of the cheese tarts almost made me salivate! Look at the rows and rows of freshly baked cheese tart. Oh, the lady server is very chio!
And finally, my turn! Bought 2 tarts only. Well, was watching my diet, couldn't eat too much. Come to think of it, why didn't I buy half a dozen so that I could eat it for supper and breakfast for the next few days? Silly me!
Ooooh, the tart was sooooooooooo good. The tart pastry was cookie-based, very crunchy and fragrant. But the highlight was the cheese filling, which tasted so cheesy and mouth-fill so gooey. I really have to give it to the Japanese for inventing such a delicious tart. I mean, the cheese filling was just the right amount of "gooeyness" and not runny or lava-like. Otherwise it would have been very messy to eat it, wouldn't it? And knowing them, they certainly wouldn't bring such dining inconvenience to their customers. Here's a tart that's pretty to look at, yummy to eat!
After I returned to SG, missed the tart so much that I tried baking it. Succeeded in baking a similar version which helped to curb my cravings temporary. Check out my version here.
After the satisfying tea break, walked and shopped around some more. Was looking high and low for a Meyer brand Perfect Grill Pan actually and finally found a store (212 Kitchen Store) that carried the range but it was sold out! The store assistant was very friendly and helped me locate a few stores that still had the item in stock.
One of the nearest store was a few train stops away from Jiyugaoka, at Musashi-Kosugi, so headed there. LaLa terrace is a mall just next to the train station. To my delight, found a few more zakka stores at the mall.
But first of all, 212 Kitchen Store where I bought my Meyer Perfect Grill Pan. Will share more about it on my shopping haul post and a few food posts on using the pan. This particular 212 Kitchen Store carries a whole array of kitchenware and I had to control myself not to over-indulge once again.
End of post. Up next will be Aoyama Flower Market, Kappabashi. Stay tuned!