In a country filled with great bakeries, you’ve got to do something special to stand out, and this shop/cafe in downtown Tokyo does just that.
In 2013, American-based premium ice cream company Häagen-Dazs closed down its dedicated ice cream parlors in Japan. That didn’t mean that the company was pulling the plug on its Japanese operations entirely, though.
In the years since, Häagen-Dazs has continued to occupy an exalted position in the Japanese sweets scene, rolling out Japan-exclusive flavors and even operating a swanky “ice cream lounge” in Tokyo last month. As of April 19, there’s a new place, and even a new way, to eat Häagen-Dazs in the capital, thanks to the opening of the Häagen-Dazs Bakery.
The Häagen-Dazs Bakery is actually on the premises of pre-existing bakery chain Maison Kayser’s branch in the Marunouchi neighborhood. For a limited time, customers will be able to choose from 14 different combinations of Häagen-Dazs’ frozen desserts and Maison Kayser’s baked goods, with six offered as take-out and the remaining eight as options for diners at the shop’s eat-in seating area.
We decided to start off (of course we ate multiple desserts) with the 600-yen (US$5.40), baseball-sized Croissant Hat with Vanilla Ice Cream from the take-out menu.
Accented with citrus and chocolate balls, this was delicious and filling, and would be an extremely satisfying indulgence to eat on a park bench on a warm Tokyo spring afternoon.
Next up, the 600-yen Cacao Bread with Macadamia Nut Ice Cream, another take-out item.
The outer crispiness, with a slight but pleasant bitter quality, gives way to the creamy, nutty inside, culminating in a sophisticated flavor that still made us want to squeal with delight like little kids.
Finally, it was time to try something from the eat-in menu. With our stomachs filling up, we realized there was probably only space for one last dessert, so we selected the option that offered the greatest variety and asked for the 1,300-yen Baguette with Häagen-Dazs, which gets you six different types of ice cream.
▼ And yes, we ate them all.
Sadly, the Häagen-Dazs Bakery is a limited-time engagement, and the special ice cream/bread hybrids will only be available until May 9. On the bright side, that means you’ve still got a couple of weeks to make the trip to Marunouchi, and even if you don’t make it on time…
…the bread used in the desserts is sold by Maison Kayser year-round, so you’ll always be able to pick up a few, grab some Häagen-Dazs at the grocery store, and make your own.
We know that’s what we’re going to do come late May.
Häagen-Dazs Bakery (Maison Kayser) / ハーゲンダッツベーカリー（メゾンカイザー）
Address: Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, 1-4-1, Marunouchi Eiraku Building iiyo, 1st floor
東京都千代田区丸の内1-4-1 丸の内永楽ビルディング iiyo1F
Open 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
Until May 9
[ Read in Japanese ]
Follow Casey on Twitter, where the bakeries have always been one of his favorite things about living in Japan.
[ Read in Japanese ]