Wednesday, May 20, 2009

lake bake, some sights & grom

In yesterday's post, I mentioned that we had some delicious bread with our dinner. The bread was baked here at a tiny shop and cafe called Lake Bake. The owner of the B&B told us about the shop as we were checking-out. This shop is right near the shore of Lake Kawaguchi and the cafe has a great view of the lake and Mt Fuji (on a clear day).

Having just eaten a big breakfast, we instead bought some "emergency" food. A milk bread filled with butter and honey 186 yen (about US$1.86) and a baguette coated with honey 230 yen (about US$2.30). We ate these on our bus ride back to Tokyo (this was actually lunch for us). The milk bread was soft and the sweet butter filling was delicious. The baguette despite being coated with honey was crisp, delicious with a touch of sweetness.

A couple of doors down from the bakery was the Nature Center. This center has blueberry jam making classes as well as a lavender festival.

We bought some jams (apricot, blueberry & rhubarb)600 yen (about US$6). The rhubarb jam caught my eye because I've seen rhubarb used in desserts and at restaurants but never in the markets here.

We also bought kodaimai (literally ancient rice), this rice is like a short grain wild rice 1000 yen for 650 grams (about US$10). There are red grains, black/purple grains. When you add a tablespoon of it to a cup of white rice, it will turn the rice red or black/purple when cooked. There has been talk over the years that this type of rice has more minerals in it, though I don't know if this is true. I like it because the rice seems to get a bit more chewy and tastes a little nutty.

We also found a mochi covered truffle from Kin-Daruma. Chocolate ganache is covered with a soft mochi (rice cake) then dusted with some cocoa powder. 900 yen (about US$9) for 9 in a box. Delicious! Eaten right out of the refrig was the best! Soft mochi and the semi-hard ganache...mmm.

Though most of the sights like museums and such around Lake Kawaguchi can be seen in a day or so, we felt that to be able to see Mt Fuji from the various points around the lake was the true attraction.

Our last stop before going to Haneda was stopping to have some gelato. I had heard about Grom from Kathy & David's blogs. This Italian gelato shop recently opened in Tokyo on April 24th and is the only shop in Japan, so you can imagine the lines!

Apparently during the Golden Week the wait was 2 hours, luckily we got our gelato after a 20 minute wait. There were so many flavors it was hard to decide. Unfortunately by the time we got there, Pistachio (which was one I wanted to try) was already sold out.

Satoshi chose the piccolo (small) cone with Yogurt & Coffee, 490 yen (about US$4.90), these were a bit grainy but the flavor was delicious. The yogurt was a little tart and the coffee (made with Guatemalan coffee) had lots of flavor.

I chose the piccola (small) cup with Crema di Grom (meliga biscuits, egg cream and Ecuador chocolate chips) & Extra Noir Chocolate (Bolivian chocolate gelato with chocolate chips), apparently no cream or milk is used to make this extra chocolaty gelato so it was very rich! this is for chocoholics only! The crema di grom was delicious, I liked the crisp biscuits here and there and the dark chocolate chips were delicious too. My cup was also 490 yen (about US$4.90).

We enjoyed the gelato, though we wished we could have eaten it slowly to savor it, but the line outside waiting to come in made it hard to relax.

On a side note, have you ever seen the eye of Shinjuku? I hadn't so Satoshi took me to the basement of the Subaru building, located in Nishi-Shinjuku.

There is a sculpture of a mezmerizing eye. Made by Yoshiko Miyashita in 1969, the center of this "eye" spins. Kind of neat to watch everyone walk by without really taking notice of it, I guess they see it everyday...I actually found video of this on you tube (check it out)!

Hope you enjoyed our little trip! We surely had a good time (despite the weather).

Lake Bake
2585-86 Ooishi
Minamitsurugun Fujikawaguchikomachi, Yamanashi
Phone: 0555.76.7585
Closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays
Open 10:00-18:00

Lake Kawaguchi Nature Center
2585 Ooishi
Minamitsurugun Fujikawaguchikomachi, Yamanashi
Phone: 0555.76.8230
Closed Fridays (during July-September open)

7407 Funatsu
Minamitsurugun Fujikawaguchikomachi, Yamanashi
Phone: 0555.72.2567
Open 9:00-18:00

Grom Gelato (UPDATE: this location no longer in business)
Shinjuku Honkan 1F
3-30-13 Shinjuku
Shinjuku, Tokyo
Phone: 03.3354.0101


Kathy said...

Whoa, that chocolate mochi is definitely droolworthy ^_^ And I'm glad you went to Grom!! I didn't like the Upper West Side location in NYC, but the one in the West Village is much better. I think I like the fresh whipped cream they make there more than the gelato itself, hehe ^_^ ooo and the hot chocolate!!! is awesome.

Pocky said...

You're killing me, Kat! Mochi covered truffles....drool!!!

Did you save me any? Haha! :)

2kamuela47 said...

Just love gelato!

KirkK said...

Whoa what an intersting trip!

K and S said...

I don't think the Tokyo one had hot chocolate, Kathy, maybe they'll have it later in the year...

Sorry Pocky...all gone :(

Thanks Laura :) it is good isn't it??

Take care everyone.

K and S said...

Thanks Kirkk, it was filled with lots of food for sure :)

Take care.

Rowena... said...

Enjoyed everything you shared, and the mochi covered that's something worth checking out. One of these days...Mt Fuji here I come. I want one of those walking sticks!

K and S said...

Thanks Rowena, I hope to see you climb Mt Fuji soon :)

Take care.

Debinhawaii said...

Lots of great food on this trip. I love Grom--we went several times when I was in NYC. I really liked the yogurt flavor myself--so good. That eye is really cool. Very mesmerizing!

A said...

True! had to queuen for 1.5 hours for Grom Gelato, but every second was worth it. I hope the hoopla would die soon, so I can have my gelato fix often! (Or they should just open another shop!) The mochi looks sinful! Ms. Kat, thanks for the really nice posts about your trip.

Asami said...

I love Gelato. It's the most common kind of icecream you get here in Germany and it's delicious.

K and S said...

Thanks Deb, next time you are in Japan, you'll have to check out the "eye" :)

I hope the hoopla will die down, so you can get your gelato fix A!though with summer just around the corner you may have to wait until Autumn??

You are so lucky to be able to have gelato anytime, Asami :)

Take care everyone!

manju said...

Yogurt gelato! Mochi covered truffles! You eat so-o-o well!

K and S said...

Thanks Manju :) we try!

Take care.