Jan. 12, 2018 UPDATE
The perfect dessert for a hot summer’s day!
If you want to have sweets in Kyoto, these are the places to go to: old and established tea houses with classic parfaits and sweets
If you come to Kyoto, most of you must want to eat matcha parfaits that contain such delicacies as red beans and roasted soy bean flour. These Japanese ingredients are something very Kyoto, something you very much have to try when you are here. There are many classic tea houses and cafes in Kyoto that have kept their delicious taste for generations. In this part you will get to learn which of these tea houses are the true classics, and by going to these classic places even the most demanding matcha connoisseurs are going to be satisfied!
Saryo TsujiriThe matcha parfaits of the tea house Saryo Tsujiri run by the old and established Gion Tsujiri, famous for their Uji matcha, is well-known for their parfaits even among the many tea houses of Kyoto. The parfait looks big and it it, and it contains matcha jelly, sticky rice balls, red bean paste, chestnuts, and fruits, so it is sure to leave you satisfied.
They use Tsujiri’s matcha, and the parfait has a mild taste; it is not too sweet, but neither is it too bitter, it’s just right. This tea house is so popular there is often a line in front of it.
Nakamura Tokichi Honten – Main StoreThis traditional tea house was already established over 150 years ago in Uji. The most eye-catching items on the menu are of course their sweets which use their Japanese teas such as matcha.
Among these, the most popular one is this “raw tea leaves jelly,” which is served in a cooled bamboo receptacle and contains bitter matcha ice cream, matcha jelly, sticky rice balls, and red bean paste. This is a great cooling dessert for summers with a refreshing look.
Gion KomoriGion Komori is a machiya style tea house by the Shirawaka River in Gion where you can enjoy matcha sweets. This warabimochi parfait is especially popular. You have matcha jelly and the tea house’s special warabimochi topped with vanilla ice cream and roasted soy bean flour, and a ball of matcha ice cream on top of this. The ice cream is not too sweet but has a gentle taste. You also get brown sugar syrup which you can pour on the parfait if you want to make it sweeter. The atmosphere at the quiet tea house with the river flowing by is relaxed and perfect for having a parfait.
Kyo-Kinana GionNext, we have the always popular roasted soy bean flour specialty café, Kyo-Kinana’s parfait. In this parfait, you have three different types of roasted soy bean flour ice cream, yogurt, raspberries, and blueberries, among other ingredients, and it is a sweet and sour parfait that even looks refreshing, and is aptly called “Very Berry Parfait.” This is the choice for those who have had enough of matcha parfaits.
ItohkyuemonItohkyuemon is maybe the best known of the tea stores in Uji. The matcha parfait here is a chance to taste high-quality Uji matcha, and for this reason it is the most popular item on their menu. You have sticky rice balls, red bean paste that uses big beans, matcha jelly, and other ingredients to make a sweet parfait that goes perfectly with the bitterness of matcha. If you put some of the matcha powder you get with the parfait on it, you can make the parfait taste even more like matcha. Unlike other stores, the prices of matcha parfaits here start at 680 yen, which is a rather cheap price for a parfait in Kyoto.
Here you have the five classic parfait tea houses in Kyoto that we would like to recommend. Matcha is used in most of these famous Kyoto-sweets, so of course, most of them are in Gion or Uji. All of these parfaits are good choices, so if the summer in Kyoto gets too hot, how about you go get a parfait!