I’ve been craving for some of my favorite Japanese pastries lately. It’s been a couple of months since my last trek to Minamoto Kitchoan on 49th Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, my favorite source of Japanese pastries/confections. I’ve been a regular there for several years, and my husband and I enjoy and love the fresh pastries that they offer.
I still remember the first time I step foot inside the cozy little shop after a day of shopping at Saks. Knowing nothing more than “arigato gozaimasu” I walked in and said “hi!” to the friendly girls behind the counter. What ensued after that was a lot of smiling and “say that again please.” I survived that first experience and needless to say my succeeding visits got a lot better through the years. Now, I’m already familiar with the pastries even with the Japanese labels on each of them. I now say “konnichi wa” (“good afternoon” because more often than not I’m an afternoon customer) as I step in to the shop.
What never changed through the years though are the steep prices. This pastry shop does not sell anything cheap. Currently, each mochi is at $3 per piece and at the most it keeps for a day only. I’m not complaining though because everything that you can buy from this shop is no doubt utterly delectable, and fresh. If you are a frequent shopper, you get a frequent buyer card wherein you get $5 for every $100 spent in the pastry shop. Oh, and the Origami packaging is always a delight. Walking out of the shop with beautifully packaged Japanese confections always bring a smile on my face.
Recently, because I’m hibernating due to my chronic allergic rhinitis, and I so miss my Japanese sweet treats, I succumbed to the packaged Japanese Mochi sourced from an Asian store a few miles away from where we live. They are a lot cheaper but they can’t be compared with Minamoto Kitchoan’s confections.
And, they are not sourced from Japan as you can see in the packaging.
Bottom line, this packaged mochi is a great alternative if you want a quick fix to satisfy your cravings. On a going basis, I can’t make it as a permanent substitute. Minamoto Kitchoan will forever be my sole source of Japanese cakes and pastries notwithstanding the steep tag price.