Sasaki Fine Pastry
Sasaki Fine Pastry is the very definition of a hidden gem. Placed deep inside the bowels of J-Town, this small but cute cafe serves authentic hand-made Japanese snacks, otherwise known as wagashi, in a homey environment.
Both go well with their tea collection, particularly the various Sloane-brand Teas they have on offer ($2.75).
The daifukus($2.50) are all hand-made. Flavours rotate seasonally, with the one mainstay being the traditional black bean flavour made with Hokkaido black beans. I'm told it's a hit with Japanese seniors, but is unfortunately only available on weekends.
The other daifukus here contain fresh cream, a modern take on the traditional dessert, which means they should be chilled before consumption.
Two interesting flavours are the pink-coloured strawberry and purple-coloured chestnut cream. The former reminds me of a strawberry Pocky while the latter gives a muted, nutty flavour profile.
My personal favourite is the unmistakably green-coloured matcha cream. It uses authentic Kyoto matcha as a base, and has that classic sweet-bitter matcha flavour. Serve it extra-chilled and you get a flavour sensation not unlike a high-end green tea ice cream mochi. Fantastic.
If you're feeling adventurous, try the Sakura cream version. Identified by its colourful, flower-like design on the wrapper, it actually contains real Shizuoka sakura leaves inside. I'll be honest: it's not my favourite. But fans of rose-flavoured desserts or floral flavour profiles should definitely try.
Finally, there's the dorayaki. A classic Japanese mini-cake known by many as Doraemon's favourite food, they are available in either red bean ($2.50) or red bean mixed with various kinds of cream ($3).
The winner in my books? Once again, the red bean and matcha cream version. These flavours complement each other so well. I could have had five more.