Let me share to you my Japanese High Afternoon Tea experience at this bakery slash coffee shop slash bistro at Wilson Street in Cebu City.
(Pardon the repetitive use of the word slash as it reminds me of samurai warriors from Japan.)
As much as I would like to immediately attack into the details, let’s first have a quick background of Japanese-style desserts.
After a quick online search, I’ve found out that technically there are no desserts established in traditional Japanese cuisine, most especially after meals.
Unlike Filipinos and Westerners, the Japanese prefer to indulge in traditional sweets during afternoon tea sessions to offset the bitter taste of tea. Today, Japanese pastries are influenced by Western styles but still use traditional plant-based ingredients from Japan.
Fujinoya, a bakery chain from Honshu Island with over 60 years in the trade does exactly this and also celebrates its second year in the Queen City of the South under the creative supervision of Master Baker Hideo Goto. Known for its seasonal Japanese cakes that rely heavily on the availability of imported ingredients, the Fujinoya experience is characterized by balanced, subtle and organic flavors with thoughtful preparation.
Bea first explained to us the concept of the High Afternoon Tea that has been part of Japanese custom and tradition. Using tea originating from Kyoto, Sencha green tea produces a more elaborate taste which complements chocolate very well. It also boasts of health benefits and a natural way to boost immunity. Well, this sure explains why tea-drinkers live to be more than a hundred years old!
A perfect pair to this amazing hot beverage, is the picture-perfect Bento Cake Sampler (well, that’s how I’d like to call it) composed of the Matcha Shortcake, the No-Bake Cheesecake with Blueberry Sauce and the Fujinoya Special Chocolate Cake. To fully enjoy each of them however, Mr. Hideo Goto suggests eating this bento according to the order I’ve mentioned earlier in this paragraph, with an intermission of meringue with cream and fresh fruits to reset your palate. He explains to us that the cake bento is strategically sequenced from the lightest to the boldest taste for the ultimate Fujinoya experience. Itadakimasu!
Well, who would’ve thought that there was a three-step guide to heaven on earth?
The exquisite mouth-feel and refined taste of Azuki red beans stuffed inside the Matcha Shortcake was truly enchanting. Despite the distinctive taste of the No-Bake Cheesecake with Blueberry Sauce, its method of preparation was just incomparable.
Also, the rush that comes upon waiting to devour the last piece in the compartments was just exciting by itself until you finally sink your teeth in layers of velvety cake goodness in their Signature Chocolate Cake (the mere thought of it makes my mouth water.
I guess you’ve had enough of my inked thoughts. Visit them and find out for yourself!