You may recall we reported a while ago on JR East’s Suica penguin mascot character being turned into a totally yummy-licious looking cream-filled bread. Now, Suica Penguin, as the mascot is known, has become a beautiful cake that’s attracted a fair bit of attention on the Japanese Internet recently. Of course, we couldn’t ignore such buzz involving a confection that’s bound to look adorable as well as taste delectably sweet, so we sent one of our reporters off on a mission to try the penguin cake everyone seemed to be talking about and provide our readers with a first-hand account. So, was the cake as cute and tasty as we expected?
But first, our reporter had to brave the summer Tokyo heat to get to the Pastry & Bakery Cafe on the first floor of the Hotel Metropolitan located near Ikebukuro Station to actually buy the cake. Now, we can imagine the temptation to taste the cake right then and there at the shop must have been great, but with great restraint, our reporter bought the cake to take away, in order to thoroughly and slowly savor the sweet creation at home.
▼The Pastry & Bakery Cafe at the Hotel Metropolitan
▼ The cakes all look beautiful, but the penguin cake definitely stands out
So, on to the taste test! The inside of the cake was made from layers of mousse, chocolate and a refreshing fruit jelly made from a citrus fruit native to Okinawa called shiikwaasaa. Mmm…yum! And what’s even better, they change the filling inside of the cake seasonally, so you can come back after a while and enjoy a completely different-tasting version. Now, that’s definitely an effective way to attract repeat customers!
▼ The filling inside the cake:
But what was even more fun for our reporter was her discovery of how Suica Penguin’s face changed as she ate the cake. With each bite she took, the eyes and mouth would move to create genuinely lovable and amusing expressions. In fact, our reporter couldn’t help exclaiming “Cuuute!!” each time Suica Penguin’s face was transformed.
Of course, the cake was cute to start with, but our reporter thought Suica Penguin looked particularly endearing when it was about three-quarters eaten, leaving the eyes and mouth appearing disproportionately large like something out of Wallace & Gromit adventure.
And okay, we know you’re not supposed to play with your food, but we just couldn’t resist creating some funny faces to share with you:
▼ The “Profile Shot”
▼ The “Picasso Face”
Oh, and our reporter also warns us, be prepared to feel guilty when you’re finishing the last morsels of what used to be a darling little penguin’s smiling face…
The small Suica Penguin cakes we’ve shown you here sell for 500 yen (US$5) each, but there’s apparently a larger whole cake in the same shape priced at 3,500 yen ($35) and also a chocolate cake in the shape of an entire penguin that costs 3,800 yen ($38), both of which need to be ordered three days in advance, as seen on this sign displayed in front of the cafe:
Well, it certainly looks like this was a mission successfully (and sweetly) accomplished by our reporter! And we’re not surprised the cake has caught the fancy of the Japanese public — it’s a beautiful piece of edible art, and you really can’t go wrong with the combination of mousse, chocolate and fruit jelly, can you?
They sell only 50 of the small Suica Penguin cakes each day at the cafe, so you may want to check with the shop before making a visit to make sure they haven’t sold out.
Shop Details for The Pastry & Bakery Cafe
Address: Hotel Metropolitan, 1-6-1 Nishi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Business Hours: 10:00-22:00
Open seven days a week
Original Article by: Rinko Meru
[ Read in Japanese ]