【Tokyo Stroll】Experiencing the Finest Quality Gateau au Chocolat at “Ken’s Cafe Tokyo”—Reservations Required

14.February.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

Shinjuku—Situated in the heart of Tokyo, the most populated metropolitan area in the world, and absolutely packed with travelers and tourists. It’s a pivotal ward in Tokyo connected via many transportation services including the JR Line, subway, private railways, rapid bus lines and more. Shinjuku is an absolute must-visit when sightseeing in Tokyo.

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In today’s entry to “Tokyo Stroll,” Rinko Murata stopped by Ken’s Cafe Tokyo in Shinjuku, a shop specializing in Gateau au Chocolat that’s made with the best quality ingredients.

Ken’s Cafe Tokyo is very easy to get to, located just 3-minutes on foot from Exit 2 of Shinjuku-Gyoemmae Station via the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line.

0Q0A4142The Special Gateau au Chocolat is one of the desserts served by the shop’s owner, Kenji Ujiie. Full sales of this dessert began due to strong demand from customers for it being so delicious. The word got out and immediately led to high praise that spread far and wide, and this year, the shop is celebrating its 20th anniversary!

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The Special Gateau au Chocolat comes in at ¥3,000 (tax included), with reservations in abundance up to a month. When it’s freshly cooked, the outside is crispy, and the outside is creamy like fondue chocolate, making a perfect melt-in-the-mouth combined texture!

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The secret to its deliciousness is in the thoroughness to use only the best ingredients. The chocolate used in the photo is from an Italian brand called “Domori.” The founder of Domori, Gianluca Franzoni, was deeply impressed with the quality taste of the Special Gateau au Chocolat, and so personally created his first and only chocolate mix called “KEN’S” to be used at the shop.

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To draw out the good flavour of the chocolate, it’s made with gluten-free chocolate. Although the flavour is rich and full-bodied, the result of the taste is that makes it simple to eat.

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300 gateau chocolates are made in a single day! And because each and every one of them are handmade with the utmost care and detail, it’s difficult to make any more than this, so there’s always an abundance of reservations. But if you can’t wait and need to try one straight away, limited quantities are being specially sold at Matsuya Ginza and Tobu Department Store in Ikebukuro, so be sure to check those places out.

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Rinko couldn’t control her excitement at the sweet smell of the chocolate. She took no time at all to begin tasting the Special Gateau au Chocolat.

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When eaten at room temperature, it tastes like terrine chocolate. Depending on what temperature you eat it at, the taste and texture will change, so with one gateau chocolate you can enjoy trying three completely different flavours. Also, the balance between the sweetness and bitterness is fine-tuned every time. If you buy one now, the bitterness of the cocoa has increased every so slightly compared to 10 years ago.

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Rinko gave it her seal of approval. “The moment I took a bite, the aroma of the cocoa hit me, and the soft texture just melted inside my mouth! The balance between the bitterness and sweetness is exquisite. This delicious chocolate hit me in the head right away. Happiness is running around inside my brain. I can’t get enough of how it feels!”

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You can go back via Shinjuku-Gyoemmae Station, but you should take a stroll towards Shinjuku Station instead – it’s just a 17-minute walk. Plus, Shinjuku Gyoen – Shinjuku’s imperial garden – is close by Ken’s Cafe Tokyo, so you might enjoy getting lost in your own thoughts while taking a walk through nature.

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The Special Gateau au Chocolat is a perfect present for yourself or someone special. They are always waiting on orders, so if you’re interest, check out the shop’s website below and make a reservation.

 

■Information

Ken’s Cafe Tokyo

Address: 1-23-3 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

Access: 3-minutes on foot from Exit 2 of “Shinjuku-Gyoemmae Station” via the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line

Opening Hours: 10:00-19:00

Closed: Weekends & Holidays

Website: http://www.kenscafe.jp

 

 

Model: Rinko Murata @rink0_

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Rinko Murata appears in fashion magazines and is active on radio and TV. Sales of her first style book were so successful that it required extra printing during its first week. She also has a rapidly growing following across her social media profiles. As well as modelling at big fashion events, she also has her own column online at “She magazine,” and receives much attention for her work in the areas of culture and lifestyle.

Photo & Writer: Haruka Yamamoto

Editor: Sayuri Mizuno(ASOBI SYSTEM)

Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

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    ■Information

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    A garden where you can feel nature against your skin

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    The evening course line-up is also made up of five different bowls as well as seven seasonal snacks.

     

    Koji Kimura | Comment

    “I’ve been set up in Futakotamagawa for 16 years. I studied how to prepare sushi rice for many years, since it serves as the foundation, so that I could create unique sushi. I have made sushi rice that’s unique and draws a line under other restaurants, rice which when combined with toppings explodes with umami flavour. I use this same sushi rice as the basis for lots of innovative donburi dishes, and I’d love for people to enjoy a taste at the first place in Japan to do this.”

  • In promotion of the anime adaptation of Gaku Kuze’s manga series Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan, a merchandise collection was released in collaboration with Nippon Animation’s series Rascal the Raccoon on July 9 at Shinjuku Marui Annex. The items will also be released at Nanba Marui and Hakata Marui on July 24 and August 7 respectively.

     

    A little look at some of the items

    Name Badges | 5 Designs | ¥660 Each (Tax Included)

    Pins | 8 Designs | ¥440 (Tax Included)

    Keyrings | 8 Designs | ¥770 (Tax Included)

    Keyrings | 6 Designs | ¥1,100 Each (Tax Included)

    Keyrings | 8 Designs | ¥880 (Tax Included)

    Acrylic Stands | 8 Designs | ¥880 (Tax Included)

    Wooden Reversible Keyrings | ¥660 (Tax Included)

     

    Hand Towel | ¥1,100 (Tax Included)

    Onigiri Case | ¥1,320 (Tax Included)

    Pass Case | ¥2,970 (Tax Included)

    Tote Bag | ¥1,650 (Tax Included)

    T-Shirts | Sizes: M, L, XL | ¥3,850 Each (Tax Included)

    Exclusive artwork was illustrated for the collection featuring the characters Uramichi Omota, Tobikichi Usahara, Iketeru Daga, Utano Tadano, Kotori-san, and Rascal. The designs are featured on the merchandise sold at the pop-up shops.

     

    ©久世岳・一迅社/「うらみちお兄さん」製作委員会 © NIPPON ANIMATION CO., LTD.

  • Lotte’s Craft Sake Chocolate brand YOIYO Releases Yakushima Flavour

    12.July.2021 | FOOD

    YOIYO is a chocolate brand created by confectionery company that fuses chocolate with sake. Online pre-orders for its second release opened on June 6, and it’s scheduled to release on June 13. This chocolate is made with Single Malt Komagatake Yakushima Aging, a whisky made at the Shinshu Mars Distillery in Miyada, Nagano.

    YOIYO YAKUSHIMA NEW

    YOIYO KOMAGATAKE 

    限定TASING SET KOMAGATAKE×YAKUSHIMA

    YOIYO uses specially-selected sake from across Japan and infuses it with the brand’s own smooth and tasty milk chocolate. One bites makes it feel as if you have visited the region in which the sake is produced thanks to the combination of pure water, ingredients rooted in the land, and the use of traditional techniques. The brand’s name YOIYO is Japanese for ‘good evening’ as Lotte wants people to enjoy indulging in the chocolate at dusk or after dinner.

     

    Single Malt Komagatake Yakushima Aging is a whisky that is aged for 5+ years, and Lotte picks only from the best barrels. A bite into the chocolate first invites the full flavour of the whisky before the sweet and rich beckon of the chocolate arrives.


    Lotte is also releasing a limited-edition tasting set which includes a bar of their first YOIYO release so chocoholic and sake-lovers out there can enjoy taste testing both.

  • Hokusai and Hiroshige Japan Blue Ukiyo-e Exhibition Opens in Shinjuku

    10.July.2021 | FASHION / SPOT

    The Adachi Foundation for the Preservation of Woodcut Printing is currently holding an exhibition centred on the Japanese ukiyo-e artists Hokusai and Hiroshige at their permanent exhibition in Shinjuku.

     

    Shibusawa Eiichi (1840-1931) was a Japanese industrialist who is often known as the ‘father of Japanese capitalism.’ In Japan, people have a strong image of him as being a great man of modern history, but in actual fact one third of his life was lived during the same era as when esteemed ukiyo-e artists Hokusai and Hiroshige were alive. The Adachi Foundation’s exhibition focuses on the colour blue, one which has roots during that era and has gone on to become a prominent colour in present day Japanese companies.

     

    The immense popularity of bright blue ukiyo-e

    Aizuri-e is a type of woodblock print that is printed predominanetly in blue. They were extremely popular in Edo and used Prussian blue, also nicknamed ‘Japan blue.’ Hokusai used this same colour when creating his famous Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, as did Hiroshige, bringing life to the backgrounds and environment.

     

    Japan Blue: Ukiyo-e From Japan to Paris

    Hiroshige showcased his work at the second Exposition Universelle in 1867, making it the first time for ukiyo-e to be properly shown to the world, allowing for the spread of Japonisme. Taken aback by how he used the Prussian blue, the people of Europe praised Hiroshige’s work and named the colour ‘Hiroshige Blue.’ It was a turning point for Japan as the country began opening up to the world, enabling them to witness the skills of Japanese craft.

    The Adachi Foundation is also hosting the exhibition online in VR for free which is available in both English and Japanese. Visitors can enjoy Hokusai and Hiroshige’s work up close.

  • Promare x Little Twin Stars Merchandise Releases in Collaboration With THE CHARA SHOP

    08.July.2021 | FASHION / MOVIE

    The anime film Promare, Sanrio’s Little Twin Stars, and THE CHARA SHOP teamed up to release a collaborative merchandise collection at Shinjuku Marui on July 1.

     

    Wire Keyring Illustrated by Shigeto Koyama | 2 Designs | ¥880 Each (Tax Included)

     

    Mirror Illustrated by Shigeto Koyama |  ¥880 Each (Tax Included)

     

    Mini Towels Illustrated by Shigeto Koyama | 2 Designs | ¥990 Each (Tax Included)

     

    Pin Set Illustrated by Shigeto Koyama | ¥1,320 (Tax Included)

     

    Acrylic Stand Illustrated by Shigeto Koyama | 2 Designs | ¥1,430 Each (Tax Included)

     

    Mug Illustrated by Shigeto Koyama | ¥1,650 (Tax Included)

    Tote Bag | ¥2,200 (Tax Included)

    Freebies for every ¥3,000 spent on merchandsie

    The merchandise collection features adorable designs illustrated by Shigeto Koyama in the style of Sanrio’s Little Twin Stars.

    ©TRIGGER・中島かずき/XFLAG © ’21 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPR. NO. S620339

     

  • Cute Little Bird Themed Event Opens at Odakyu Department Store in Shinjuku

    02.July.2021 | SPOT

    The Shinjuku Bird Festival opened on the 11th floor of Odakyu Department Store in Shinjuku, Tokyo on June 30 where it’s running until July 6.

     

    Some of the cute bird products to get your beaks on

    Piyo Piyo Gao Poncho-chan: ¥8,250 / Piyo Piyo Gao Goggle-chan: ¥5,500

    Ikimono Cookie kurimaro collection Cookies: ¥432 Each

     

    Kisuke Paper: Large ¥3,850 / Small ¥2,750 (Available July 3-4 only)

    Hoholala Kobo Oven Glove | ¥2,200

    m-pool Glass Necklace | ¥4,950

    Wild Bird Paintings | ¥1,980 Each

    Hoholala Kobo x Oiue-dou Pouches: ¥2,200
     

    Free fan for buyers

    Free postcard for buyers

    Bird lovers will be able to get their talons on everything from accessories to desserts and more. Many of the items are exclusive to the event, and there’s also some freebies: the first 100 people to spend over ¥3,000 each day will receive an original fan, and the first 300 people to arrive at the festival each day will get a postcard.

  • The Shinjuku branch of EGG & SPUMA is now hosting “Sanrio Characters CAFE,” a menu of food and drink themed on Sanrio’s beloved characters. Running until August 31, the cafe has also been decorated in colourful and cute Sanrio designs.

     

     

    Receive a free coaster with your order

    The menu line-up features lots of fruits, including the Cinnamoroll crème brûlée which is served on weekdays only, fruit sandwiches which will include My Melody themed ones this month and June, Hello Kitty and Keroppi ones in July, and Little Twin Stars in August. There’s also fruity jelly and more.

    If you’re a Sanrio fan look to indulge a little more, then there is also a two-tiered afternoon tea set. The upper plate includes Kiki & Lala sandwiches, a Keroppi tart, the Cinnamoroll crème brûlée, and more. On the bottom plate there is Hello Kitty apple jelly, My Melody strawberry caprese salad, Kuromi canapé, and so on. There will also be special pancakes and a jelly dessert arriving in June which must be booked in advance.

     

    Which of these Instagram-worthy delights do you want to tuck into?

  • Idol Group Tsubaki Factory Features on Tower Records Shinjuku’s NO MUSIC, NO IDOL? Poster

    14.May.2021 | MUSIC

    In promotion of their upcoming album 2nd STEP, which will hit shelves on May 26, Japanese idol group Tsubaki Factory was featured in Vol.242 of Tower Record Shinjuku’s idol project NO MUSIC, NO IDOL?.

    Tsubaki Factory in NO MUSIC, NO IDOL Vol.242

    Tsubaki Factory formed in 2015 as members of Hello Project, an all-female idol group project managed by UP-FRONT AGENCY. The eight-member group made their debut with the release of their first single Hatsukoi Sunrise/Just Try!/Uruwashi no Camellia in 2017. In the same year, they receive the Newcomer Award from the 50th Japan Cable Awards.

     

    Their forthcoming 15-track album 2nd STEP will include six singles from their fifth to their current as well as three additional tracks and six brand new ones. Tower Records is handing out posters and postcards to fans who pre-order or buy the record at select stores.

     

    Receive a free NO MUSIC, NO IDOL? poster and postcard

    Posters and postcards will be given to fans who purchase any of the three editions of 2nd STEP at the select Tower Records branches below. Available in limited stock on a first-come, first-served basis, those who pre-order the album will be given priority of posters and postcards over those who purchase it after its release.

     

    Participating Branches: Sapporo PIVOT/Sendai PARCO/Shinjuku/Yokohama Vivre/Niigata/Shizuoka/Nagoya PARCO/Umeda NU Chayamachi/Hiroshima/Takamatsu Marugamemachi/Fukuoka PARCO/Naha

     

    2nd STEP will be released in 3 editions

    First Press Limited-Edition A (CD+Blu-ray+48 Page Booklet) | ¥8,800 (Tax Included)

    First Press Limited-Edition A includes the album, all versions of the music videos from the group’s 5th single to their current release, a Blu-ray featuring a behind-the-scenes shoot of the album cover photos, and an 48-page A4-size photo book.

     

    First Press Limited-Edition B (CD+DVD) | ¥5,500 (Tax Included)

    First Press Limited-Edition B  includes a DVD featuring the footage taken from a drama event hosted by the group.

     

    Regular Edition (CD) | ¥3,300 (Tax Included)

     

    Get a freebie with your purchase at Tower Records 

    Purchasing the new album at Tower Records, TOWERmini, or the Tower Records online store will earn fans the below-pictured A4 folder. Available in limited stock on a first-come, first-served basis, those who pre-order the album will be given priority of folders over those who purchase it after its release.

  • These Shaman King Chocolates Are Filled With Adzuki Bean Paste and Marshmallows

    14.May.2021 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    TIROL-CHOCO is collaborating with the Shaman King anime series this spring with a special bag of chocolates releasing in Japan on May 17.

    Shaman King (Fukuro) | ¥130

    The Shaman King manga series written and illustrated by Hiroyuki Takei has over 38 million copies in circulation. This marks TIROL-CHOCO’s second collaboration with its anime adaptation.

     

    Inside each bag are individually wrapped chocolates each with a different character on the packets. There are eight designs in total, but one bag contains just seven. The chocolates are stuffed with adzuki bean paste, adzuki bean chocolate, and marshmallows.

     

    ©武井宏之・講談社/SHAMAN KING Project.・テレビ東京

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