Eat here: Heart Bread Antique, Tokyo, Japan (bakery)

Heart Bread Antique
3-4-17 Ginza | OPTICA 1F, Chuo 104-0061, Tokyo
http://www.heart-bread.com/shop

I came across this place in Ginza after arriving at Cha Ginza, only to find out that their tea house actually opened an hour after their retail store. While I was wandering the streets killing time, I realised my stomach was audibly grumbling, and resolved to stop at the next cafe I found; a few meters later, I looked over my right shoulder to see a giant glass door with what looked to be giant donuts stuck to it..

I still can’t say with absolute certainty what exactly Heart Bread Antique are purveyors of. Absolutely mammoth wheels of pastry, approximately the size of a small tyre (or almost the height of an iPhone and with a circumference of a standard dinner plate) were lined up and collected at surprising rate by customers flying in and out the door.

A quick walk around uncovered a small rack of “minis” – curiosity got the better of me, so I grabbed one to fuel myself with until the tea house was ready for me…

… Wow. Basically, a croissanty, puff pastry donut, layer upon layer of crunchy golden goodness, with chocolate chips and walnuts tucked in there. I still don’t really know what it was, technically, but it was DELICIOUS!! And the crazy amount of people filing in and out of the little store purely to pick up the giant versions as they passed through the otherwise quiet street made it pretty clear this place was popular with the locals, too.

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If you’re in the neighbourhood, definitely worth a visit! And if anyone gets into one of those mega ones, tell me what it’s like!

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Tea time: Cha Ginza, Tokyo, Japan

Cha Ginza
5-5-6 Ginza, Chuo-ku
http://www.uogashi-meicha.co.jp/shop/ginza/

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Hello from Tokyo (again) 🙂 cannot believe how quickly this week is going! I don’t think I’m going to be ready to go home tomorrow; I feel like I’m only just settling in properly! 

Yesterday I had one of those gorgeous quintessential Japanese experiences – visiting a tea house. To coincide with the Tea Time! page I’ve just added to the blog (thought it’d be a good idea to have a quick and easy way to find tea places!), I thought I’d write a quick post about my visit 🙂 

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I had heard that Cha Ginza provided a particularly beautiful experience, and I was already going to be in Ginza for around midday, so I decided to seek it out. The easiest way to get there is to make your way to Ginza station, take exit B3 (out through the Armani area), turn right onto the side street the exit will pop you out into, and it’s a few doors down. If you’re already in the area, you’re looking for the side street between Armani & Dior. Easy!

Anther thing to know is that while the store opens at 11am, the tea house doesn’t begin service until 12pm.
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When you get there, you’re presented with a small menu of 3 options:

1. Basic service sake, two types of sencha, and a sweet to go with it (¥800 or AUD$9.50)

2. The nicer sencha option of sake, gyokuro, two types of sencha, and the sweet (¥1000 or AUD$12.00)

3. The matcha alternative option of sake, matcha, two types sencha,and sweet (¥1000)

The hostess recommended I try option 2, as the gyokur is a rarer, higher quality, more expensive green tea (selling for around AUD$45 per 50g in the store); it was the first tea I tasted and it was INCREDIBLE!

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The first sencha I tired came with a chestnut-tasting sweet, both delicious and perfect together.

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And finally, one last cup of sencha. Served on an amazing chain-mail coaster!

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The room itself is stunning; quiet, modern, beautiful, with every detail taken care of and thought out. It was one of those truly beautiful experiences that I think I’ll remember for a long time, and one I’d really recommend if you find yourself in Ginza!