Is Tokyo’s Skytree home to the greatest shopping mall and food hall in the world?
This is why I love Japan. Every time I go, they've come up with some new stuff that is, invariably, brilliant, or at least very, very different. Sometimes weird. In a good way.
These are all three. Forget cronuts, these are 'Cube Chou Cream-uns' from the 'Brothers' bakery. Chou pastry, cunningly cooked in cube-shaped moulds and filled with custard, white bean jam and, I think sometimes, ice cream. I found them in the flabbergasting food halls of the new Skytree mall.
Had to get my fat hands on one.
More 'Brothers' weirdness. Vegefru Choco anyone?
In further Skytree news. Forget the tower – which is the tallest free-stander in the world, I believe – for me, the shopping mall at its base could very well be the best on earth, with virtually no international chains, but plenty of SkyTree-themed souvenirs.
Some kind of Skytree beverage.
Macaron Skytree tower.
Skytree hot dog sausages.
Goo-filled Skytree wafers.
It wasn't all Skytree-centric. There were these flower-shaped macarons, which I haven't seen before.
An entire store devoted to the salts of Japan, and the rest of the world.
Interesting, if rather regimented, chocolate packaging – each a different flavour or bean variety.
There was an excellent eel restaurant.
But the very best thing in the entire mall was this mochi shop close to the entrance – fantastic quality, heavenly toasted flavours, gorgeous texture. I came back three times.
Talking of mochi: here is some chocolate covered mochi. It was Robbie Swinnerton of the Japan Times who put me on to C-Lab's earth shattering innovation (how did they get the couverture to stick to the mochi? I have spent hours pondering this).
Only one disappointment.
I wanted OVER 634, dammit!
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