On December 6, Subway Japan opened the first of their new chain of satellite stores, “Bread Lab”, in Akasaka, Tokyo.
According to Subway, “Bread lab was created as a place devoted to pursuing the art of bread-making. As well as serving as a place where customers can get the most up-to-date and detailed information about what’s going on in the bread industry, Bread Lab also offers customers the chance to purchase new products before they’re released in normal Subway stores.”
Subway has partnered up with domestic bread company Shikishima Baking Co. to help with research and development, with new products available for purchase at the in-store bakery.
While this may come as a surprise to some, we here at RocketNews24 do occasionally eat at foreign restaurant chains other than McDonalds. Subway is no exception and we quickly made our way to Akasaka to visit the lab. Check below for the full report!
The store is attached to the Subway right next to the Tokyo Metro Akasaka-mitsuke Station. While the two appear to be separate stores when looking from the outside, they are actually connected on the inside, allowing customers to walk back and forth freely.
The rustic interior design gives the store a relaxed, low-key atmosphere when compared to a normal Subway store.
The ordering system works like your typical Japanese bakery: grab a tray and tongs, choose the bread you want, and bring it to the register for purchase.
For those of you who haven’t visited Japan, we should note that bakeries are extremely popular here and most offer rows of delicious breads, pastries and cakes freshly baked each morning. Many Japanese people visit bakeries daily for a quick snack or easy, take-out meal, while others may go to relax with a cup of coffee or tea.
Returning to Bread Lab—all of the breads and pastries lining the shelves look incredibly appetizing, perhaps a sign of Subway trying to push itself as a bread-making authority.
However, each product is also underwhelming in size—especially considering they carry individual price tags of 100 – 160 yen (US $1.30 – $2.00), slightly higher than the average Japanese bakery.
Still, size and cost can easily be compensated for by taste!
Tongs in hand, your reporter loaded his tray with a Spinach Pie (100 yen), White Cream Cheese (100 yen) and Bacon & Cherry Tomato Tartine (160 yen)—a 360 yen total.
Certainly with 360 yen one could just go to Subway proper and order a 290 yen daily 6-inch special…but this is science! We’re looking for quality, not quantity!
Unfortunately, the quality was a let-down as well.
Sure the 3 pastries were good, but they weren’t quite good enough to justify the price and size. Perhaps that 360 yen would have been better spent next door after all.
While the concept is intriguing, Subway may need more time at the workbench before they can start calling themselves masters of the art.
Subway Japan plans to open more Bread Lab stores across the country, so be sure to check their website to see if there is one coming near you.
Photos：Rocketnews24, Source: Subway Japan
▼ Bread Lab is near the Akasaka-mitsuke station
▼ Bacon & Cherry Tomato Tartine: 160 yen
▼ Spinach Pie: 100 yen, literally bite-sized
▼ White Cream Cheese (100 yen)
[ Read in Japanese ]