Kyoto specific chain offers convenient pastry treats03 April, 2013 by Chad
Chancing upon this tea house along the side streets of Gion last Autumn, we were unanimously and almost immediately drawn in by the shiny hybrid cake-tarts in the shop window. Sure everyone knows Lipton, but we had never come across a Lipton Tea House before. Didn’t regret giving it a try.
The Lipton Tea House is a hybrid bakery and cafe. A section of the shop in front is dedicated to takeaway pastries and breads. However, for those with the time to spare you can sit in for a sweets break or even a full meal in the classy cafe setting.
Unfortunately, we had already had dinner by the time we’d come across the tea house, so we’d have to postpone trying the meals her to some other time. From what we could tell, it was mostly Japanese “western” dishes like omurice, hamburgs and curry. But the thing that attracted us to the cafe in the first place were the cake tarts.
There are a dozen or so different cakes and tarts on the permanent menu at the Lipton Tea House as well as few seasonal specials. But since the tarts were made fresh daily, the ones are available at any given time will be limited by demand. Each cake (tart?) costs only about 400 yen (SGD$5.50) and as with most Japanese eateries, there is no any extra service charge for dining in.
All three cakes-tarts that we ordered were really awesome. I like my sweets, but not too sweet. The cake parts were just right enough for a dessert fix, without being overbearing. The tart portions for each cake were also unique. For example, the green tea cake-tart had a chocolate crumble base, while the choco-banana and grapefruit ones used banana and grapefruit custards respectively. Impressive!
Goes to show you can get great treats even in chain outlets like this in Japan. Sadly, the reason why we had never seen a Lipton Tea House elsewhere in Japan was because the small chain is limited to the city of Kyoto only.
There are just three Lipton Tea Houses in total, the original “1930” shop at Sanjo shown here, another just down the street at Gion Shijo and one opposite of Kyoto station. But if you do come across one in your travels while in the mood for something sweet, perhaps you might want to give Lipton Tea House a try?
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