50 SHADES OF TOKYO DESSERTS | SHADE 17
It’s one thing when a Japanese patisserie becomes famous for its wide variety of decadent cakes, but it is even more impressive when a small pastry shop gathers crowds eager to get one and only thing they bake – cheesecake tarts. My friend and I first stumbled upon BAKE while perusing one of my favorite neighborhoods Jiyugaoka. A long line was formed at the entrance when we first walked passed it. On the way back two hours later, the line was still there so we felt incredibly tempted to join these enthusiastic people and see what the hype was about. As soon as the glass door slid open and we walked inside an incredible smell of freshly baked tarts blew our minds. BAKE originates from Hokkaido and currently owns bakeries in Osaka, Fukuoka, and even Singapore and Hong Kong. Its founders strongly believe that the cheese tarts taste the best when they are freshly baked and that’s exactly how they sell their tarts. BAKE stores combine the shop and pastry kitchen into one thus making sure that customers can enjoy the pastry at its prime condition, fresh and hot from the oven. Once ready, the tarts are whisked out of the oven and queued up on the display behind previous trays. No matter when you visit, you are guaranteed to get nothing but fresh, fragrant, warm cheese tarts. It’s not just the freshness that sets these cheese tarts apart from its rivals, but their unique blend of cheese, as well as baking technique. The delicious creamy cheese mousse is a result of blending three different types of cream cheeses. Cheese from Hakodate in Hokkaido is distinctive for its mild flavor, while cheese made in Betsukai is rich in flavor. They are both expertly paired with a saltier French cheese to add more depth of flavor to the delightful tart filling. In addition, the pastry base is first baked separately and then baked again with the filling in it – a technique resulting into a perfect crust. I won’t lie, this is not a guilt-free treat in any way. But it’s oh-so-good. Besides their amazing golden brown color, the tarts have simply a divine buttery taste. One of the best I have ever eaten in my life. The creamy soft cheese filling on the inside couple with the crispy yet moist crust of the tart. As soon as I finished the first one I was simply drooling for more! The sweetness of the tart is very well balanced and despite of its rich consistency, the filling is really light. They can even be reheated the next day, and let me tell you, they tasted just as good on the second day. I highly recommend you stop by their bakery either in Shinjuku or Jiyugaoka, and give these bad boys a try. I bet you will keep coming for seconds.
- Shinjuku: Lumine Est 1F, 3-38-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0022
- Jiyugaoka: 1-31-10, Jiyugaoka Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-0035
Hours: 11:00 a.m.- 11:00 p.m.