On 28th October, I started on my trip to Japan. It was only a short trip, staying only 7 nights as I couldn't stay too long away from my business. I also fell sick the second day I was there, serves me right for saying to my boy at the airport "Why are those people wearing face masks? If they catch swine flu, they'll catch it regardless of whether or not they have a mask on". I pretty much jinxed myself to catch something from the airport. But nevertheless I made the most of my trip, cold or no cold..I was going to complete my Cupcake Crawl in Tokyo.
I'm going to break up my post on my Cupcake Crawl into a few parts as I get tired typing it all up in one sitting and it is definitely way too long to read all of it in one sitting without falling asleep as well. So here goes part 1.
Well, I found out that it's actually not all that easy to travel around and find places in Japan if you don't speak or read the language. Trying to find some of the cupcake bakeries over there turned out to be a big trek as we got lost numerous times...on that note I want to thank my darling boyfriend for persevering on our cupcake crawl and being able to read maps better than I (He doesn't really read my blog so it's ok to admit it here.)
If it weren't for Cupcake Fetish I definitely would've had a much harder time finding these places.
So first on the list was Fairycake Fair - 1-9-1 Marunouchi Tokyo, 100-005 Japan
It was actually located IN Tokyo JR Train Station. We actually walked in the wrong direction and ended up in a department store then we went outside and got distracted by all the buildings and architecture. Central Tokyo (Maranouchi area) is actually very quiet compared to the other cities in Tokyo such as Shinjuku and Shibuya. I liken Maranouchi to Japan as Canberra to Australia, it has the government buildings, architecture and less hustle bustle than the other cities.
We actually stumbled upon a Dean & Deluca's when we walked around the city but after a peek inside we saw they no longer had Notting Hill cupcakes there as a special, instead they had Doughnut Plant doughnuts (more about them in my later posts). So I ticked them off my list.
So after 2 hours exploring the area and the beautiful Imperial Palace and gardens, we headed back to the station determined to find Fairycake Fair. I was getting tired at this point and lacked energy because I still had my cold, I was actually quite close to giving up on finding the place but my boyfriend, being the optimist that he is, asked someone for directions. If you ever get lost or need help trying to find a place, first thing to do is to speak to one of those friendly attendants at the train station information booths, most of them speak some form of English. So 2 hours and 15 mins after we arrived at Tokyo station we had found the place. Our first cupcake destination. Hell yeah!
All their cupcakes in their display looked amazing! Each of them perfect, but I am not surprised because all the food and desserts I've seen in Japan since I've arriving there have been nothing less than perfect. They are huge on presentation over there, they believe in quality and not quantity. They believe that spending that extra effort making something look absolutely perfect a must. They also believe in efficiency and fantastic service. Something I wish to one day integrate into my own business because those are the key things I believe that make your business stand out.
I ordered a Pistachio cupcake, a Fig cupcake and an iced latte. I'm only guessing the flavours mind you, I could not read Japanese and just pointed at the cupcakes and said "One" with a finger pointing in the air (I would say please but I think it confuses them).
First up, the Pistachio cupcake. Their cupcake size was in between a normal sized cupcake and a babycake, probably half the size of a normal sized cupcake really. The frosting was a fluffy lemon cheesecake-like frosting, different to cream cheese frosting I'm used to. It was delicious. The pistachio bits on the top were yum but I couldn't taste any pistachio throughout any other parts of the cupcake so it lead me to believe that it could've been a lemon cheesecake cupcake instead. The cake base was quite dense though and lacked butter so it was a little dry. I really did like the cheesecake frosting though, it was definitely different to anything I've ever tried before.
Next was the Fig cupcake, the cupcake that caught my eye when I looked on their website. So I took a bite of the cupcake and noticed all these little brown bits in it. What I thought was a Fig cupcake turned out to be a Chestnut cupcake. And after I took a bite of the 'fig' on top, I realised it was a chestnut. Oh well, it still tasted exotic. I loved the nuttiness of the cupcake and there was even a little teeny bit of gold on the chestnut. The cream was just a simple slightly sweetened whipped cream so I liked the fact the cupcake was not so sweet. The cake again lacked moisture though and was quite dense and not fluffy. My favourite was still the lemon cheesecake.