Dorayaki are usually palm-sized, but you’ll need both hands to eat this one.
Dorayaki are one of Japan’s finest culinary creations. A pair of fluffy, pancake-like cakes with a large dollop of anko sweet beans sandwiched between, dorayaki are at once both distinctly Japanese yet non-intimidating to those who’re still unaccustomed to Asian desserts.
One of the best places to get dorayaki in Tokyo is Tokiya, located just a block away from Shinjuku Station, the rail hub of the downtown Shinjuku neighborhood. Not only are its sweets high-quality enough to have kept the store and cafe in business for decades, its dorayaki are said to have been a favorite of Fujiko F. Fujio, the creators of manga and anime Doraemon, the dorayaki-loving robot cat from the future.
▼ Tokiya’s dorayaki
As seen in the above photo, a typical dorayaki is about the size of your palm. Some are a little smaller, some are a little bigger, but palm-sized is pretty much what you can expect nine times out of ten. However, if you’re looking for an exceptional exception, Tokiya has something it calls the Tokudai (“Extra-Large”) Dorayaki.
▼ The Tokudai Dorayaki smugly looks out over its dominion from the left edge of the top shelf.
Tokiya makes the Tokudai Dorayaki in limited quantities, but they were available when we stopped by just as the store opened at 11 a.m. (because we say it’s never too early to gorge yourself on giant desserts). It comes in its own box, and after we got it back to RocketNews24 headquarters, we set it down next to an iPhone SE, which really hammered home just how huge it is.
▼ Believe it or not, the Tokudai Dorayaki is on a plate here. It’s just so big that it’s completely obscuring the dish!
Usually, when there’re sweets in front of us, our first instinct is to immediately devour them. In this case, though, we briefly considered playing Frisbee with it, but since we’re sort of a clumsy bunch (especially when we’re hungry), we decided not to play with our food and just eat it.
While dorayaki are generally finger food, Tokiya’s Tokudai Dorayaki actually comes packaged with a pair of chopsticks.
However, for maximum decadence, we decided to start by taking a bite out of it directly. As we did, we were glad we’d decided against chucking it around like a Frisbee, because it’s surprisingly heavy.
Much of that heft is due the vast amount of anko inside. As a high-class touch, there are also large chestnut chunks mixed in.
As delicious as it was, consuming an entire Tokudai Dorayaki was a task too great for any one member of the RocketNews24 team. Instead, we sliced it up into 12 pieces and shared them among the dozen people we had in the office that afternoon, and even then, each individual serving was bigger than a normal dorayaki. Cutting the price up 12 ways also meant the 2,750-yen (US$25) dessert worked out to just under 230 yen per person, which makes the Tokudai Dorayaki a great choice for a shockingly huge contribution to a potluck party or souvenir to take back from Japan to share with friends and family who couldn’t make the trip with you.
Tokiya (Shinjuku Odakyu Halc branch) / 時屋（新宿小田急ハルク店）
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Nishi Shinjuku 1-5-1 Odakyu Halc 1st floor
Open 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. (Monday-Saturday), 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (Sunday, holidays)
[ Read in Japanese ]
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[ Read in Japanese ]