I love ice-cream to bits. It is an essential part of my personal complete meal. Sure the occasional cake or chocolate might work for a while, but there’s nothing quite like ice-cream, and any substitute will be nothing short of a compromise.
I used to just stick to vanilla. It was the easiest way to tell whether someone’s ice cream was good or bad (seriously, if you can’t make a good vanilla, what gives?!). But recently I’ve had a stronger craving for other flavours like chocolate (the sort that is probably next to being regular dark choc), rum and raisin, lavender (Hokkaido has seriously spoiled me with this), and green tea/maccha (抹茶; some people spell this as matcha as well).
Lots of people make really great maccha ice-cream (Haagen-Dazs and Azabu Sabo). I’d never heard of Tsujiri before, but it came to me highly recommended by my Japanese teacher (who ironically has yet to try it…), so I decided to visit this ice-cream cafe myself.
Yes. That’s it.
A word of caution: keep expectations extremely low when you first see its maiden store at the 100AM (formerly Amara Shopping Centre). We all judge a book by its cover. This has not faired that well. I can see why it could be so easily missed.
This is all there is to the place. Just a few places to sit (there were barely 4 tables to my left, and I was already at the corner closest to the exit). Diagonally across me was a shelf displaying some of its products: powdered maccha tea, tea whisks, and tea bowls.
Once again my camera skills have proven that I make a horrible photographer.
Thankfully, since there were no lines to speak of, my order came very quickly: the shiratama parfait, consisting their signature matcha ice-cream (you can get this with vanilla too), red bean paste, square jellies, several glutinous rice balls and shaved peanut toppings.
Poor sod at the counter tried very hard to make this look good, but the ice-cream’s just not cooperating today.
I tried to make this look good but my camera battery went flat. So all that was left was to enjoy this pretty densely packed dessert (it was pretty heavy!) within 10 minutes. The ice-cream wasn’t as sweet as Haagen-Dazs and, when mixed with the red bean, the glutinous rice had a really nice texture. I didn’t eat the square jellies though; never liked to eat those. But if I wanted to eat something filling on the go, this would probably suffice.
I can see why my sensei would think she would enjoy this though. Tsujiri is well-known for using fine green tea leaves from Uji in Kyoto as far back as the Edo period, and has been popular for serving reaerly awesome green tea and green tea-infused sweets. It’s probably still popular in Kyoto (I understand there’s a branch in Isetan Kyoto as well), and I wouldn’t be surprised if it appeared elsewhere.
I hope they open more branches soon!
100 Tras Street
#1-14 100AM (formerly Amara Shopping Centre)