London is such a cosmopolitan city that at every corner you will find a different atmosphere. From a culinary point of view, it brings many influences to the capital, including Japanese ones (and followers know how much I am fond of Japanese Food!). And here I come with this brand that is said to be “The Authentic Japanese Confectionery” : Minamoto Kitchoan. There are 2 stores in London: one in Piccadilly and the other on the Strand. Let’s be inspired by these Japanese treats!
Wagashi, traditional Japanese Confections
Tasting Japanese confections is also learning a lot about Japanese Culture. “Wagashi” refers to the treats usually served with tea. This is what Minamoto Kitchoan is specialized in, giving me this great opportunity to learn something more from Japan.
The confection of Wagashi took off during the Edo period in Japan. There are several types of Wagashi and famous ones are made of Mochi (rice paste), Anko (Bean paste) or fruits.
The art of making Wagashi has been transmitted over generations and is part of the Japanese Culture. I was so thrilled to discover it that I made a selection of some sweets to taste at home with my family (but you can stay in the small seating area in the shop if the temptation is too strong to eat some sweets straight away…!)!
This will satisfy (or reassure) all those concerned about health and food quality: these traditional Japanese treats are made of natural ingredients such as Azuki red beans, grains, sugar, agar and fruits…
A pleasure for the eyes as for the mouth
I love these sweets, especially the Tsuya (the famous red bean pancake), White Peach Mochi (white peach rice cake), or the Matcha Senbei (the matcha cookie), which are part of the Minamoto brand’s signatures. I went to Minamoto Kitchoan already twice and tried different things each time. I am always so impressed by the beauty of these sweets, and keen on trying new flavors.
Taking a bite of these sweets is like opening a secret box because inside you discover new textures and colors. It’s like putting some art in the Food, which I particularly appreciate, as well as the flavors -even subtle- of these sweets.
The brand counts several shops in the world, including 2 in London localized in Piccadilly (below) and Strand (above).
These shops are totally irresistible. When you step in, you have the immediate sensation of being in Japan! Japanese staff is very attentive when it comes to help us trying to feel at ease and make a choice in front of all these attractive sweets.
All assortments of sweets are delicately wrapped in beautiful and colorful papers with Japanese writings. It’s very difficult to come out of the shop with a small selection of treats, because everything looks gorgeous and tempting!
The brand offers “signature Wagashi” -which may be the best choice for novices to try Japanese sweets- and “seasonal Wagashi”. How intriguing these Japanese specialities may seem to some people, I think they are worth a try. All the more as they take you on a (rather) affordable culinary journey to Japan!
Go and try these surprising treats for our occidental palates and let us know what you think about them on this blog!
To go further:
Minamoto kitchoan website