I freaking love dessert — as if it wasn’t obvious from my Rubenesque proportions. But if there’s one dessert style I love above all others, it’s the Japanese interpretation of Western sweets and desserts.
Whether it is crepes from France or shortcake from England, the Japanese put a spin on these European favorites that is refreshing and sometimes unexpected. Their flair for creativity and their stringent demands for fresh ingredients puts their desserts a cut above the rest.
Here are four places in Manila where you can savor just a little bit of Japan’s special brand of dolce.
Strawberry Shortcake from Bebe Rouge
You know those impossibly perfect slices of cake you see in shoujo manga? They’re real! And you can get them here, only a Bebe Rouge — a Japanese-style French patisserie located inside New Hatchin Japanese Grocery in Makati. They not only have lovely strawberry shortcakes, they also have delicious sable cookies and petits fours.
Cream Puffs from Happy Cream Puff
If cream puffs are your thing, then you can’t go wrong with Happy Cream Puff. Whether you indulge in their large w-cream (double cream) puffs filled with custard and fresh whipped cream, or nom-ing away on their mini-puffs that are just big enough to pop into your mouth in one bite, this little slice of heaven on the corner of Rada and Dela Rosa Streets in Makati is worth the trip.
Japanese-style Crepes from Tokyo Cafe
A trip to Harajuku isn’t complete without a quick stop at a crepe shop. Tokyo Cafe serves a delightful version of these sugary favorites — light and fluffy and stuffed full of goodies like chopped nuts, sliced fruit, and premium ice cream. If you’re feeling especially indulgent, pair it with a hot cup of Royal Milk Tea. Bliss.
Coffee Jelly Parfait from UCC Cafe
One of my favorite Japanese-style Western desserts is the deceptively simple coffee jelly parfait. It sounds really easy to make, but in truth it is really tricky to perfect, and if you’ve lost all your patience trying to make your own, just head for the experts for your fix of coffee jelly perfection. Brewed from their signature sumiyaki beans, UCC Cafe’s coffee jelly parfait is the perfect treat to keep you up all night.