Tuesday, 1 November, 2016
The plan today was to walk around Omotesando, buy pastries from Dominique Ansel and then head back to Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building for a cheap lunch with a view before catching the airport shuttle.
Omotesando is a very chic neighbourhood. Here, the wide straight streets are lined with zelkova trees and almost as many designer stores. Many fashion brands such as Prada, Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton and Dior have their flagship stores here. Apple has a huge store here too. There are many nice cafes and restaurants here for you to sit back and relax over good foods and drinks and people watch. Do check out this area after visiting Harajuku or the Meiji Jingu Shrine even if you’re not in the market for luxury items.
Our first stop here was at Tully’s. Sarah had a fond memory of having her first cup of chai latte at Tully’s in Kyoto and was craving for it this morning. I’m not much of a coffee person but I love the Honey Latte from Tully’s. In summer this year, I got a mango-cream filled Malasada (a Portuguese doughnut) which was to die for! They didn’t sell it this time so I guessed it must be a seasonal item.
As we were walking down the street, we came across this second-hand/pre-loved goods store. The store is located in the basement. Unfortunately, it was still closed when we arrived. If I could recall it correctly, it’s open from 11.30 am onwards.
There’s a Flying Tiger Copenhagen store here in Omotesando which I highly recommend but since we were not needing anything from the store this time, we gave it a miss. You’ll definitely find something quirky but useful from this store. Nothing here costs more than 2000 yen. From Omotesando Station, take the A2 exit. It’s a 2-minute walk from here. The address is 4-3-2, Jingumae, Shibuyaku, Tokyo.
If you’ve never heard of Dominique Ansel (where have you been?!), he’s a pâtissier extraordinaire and the creator of the Cronut – a pastry that resembles a doughnut but made from a croissant dough which is then fried in oil and filled with cream (yup, sounds like a recipe for a heart-attack). I got really excited when I read (in Tokyo Weekender) that he had opened a bakery-cum-cafe in my favourite city. Read this blog to find out more about what the bakery offers. I got myself a Mr Roboto (350 yen), a Matcha Monaka (380 yen) and a cronut (550 yen). Mr Roboto is a melon pan (there’s no melon in melon pan, surprise surprise!) but unlike most melon pans you find in Japan, this one is filled with cream and not just any ordinary cream, mind you, this one is a hojicha-flavoured one! If you like roasted Japanese tea, you will definitely like this bun. The matcha monaka is a wafer filled with green tea financier. The plain wafer goes nicely with the sweet filling. I got the Hokkaido Milk Honey Ganache cronut and according to their website, they only offer one flavour each month. It is also recommended that you consume it within 2 hours of purchase. I only had it the day after and it was still delicious! There’s a lovely seating area on the groundfloor for you to enjoy your pastries while they are still fresh.
After buying the pastries (which were packed in a way that they won’t collapse in the box), we walked down to Pure Cafe (a vegan cafe) for an early lunch. We almost missed the restaurant following google maps because it’s located on the second floor of a building. I very much prefer the previous location which had a nicer view. I remember sitting at the table facing the street and felt as if I was sitting on the front-row seat of a fashion show because almost everyone who passed by was trendily dressed! The new premise is slightly bigger but the view is boring. The foods were okay though their tempeh burger played a crucial role in helping Sarah acquire the taste for it. Tempeh is a healthy source of protein which Sarah relies on as a vegan.
With little time left to visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, we abandoned the initial plan and headed straight back to the hotel to collect our luggage and wait for the airport shuttle to arrive.