Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sembikiya Fruit Parlor

Japan has some of the highest quality fruit in the world. It is grown with incredible attention in order to produce both exceptionally beautiful and exceptionally delicious fruit. Sembikiya is a famous gift fruit store with a number of branches in Tokyo. They sell these exquisite fruits and fruit products (for quite a hefty price) but some locations also have a fruit parlor.

Just before my trip to the US Raku and I decided to treat ourselves to desserts at the fruit parlor since we wouldn't see each other for six weeks! It's been two weeks already - I don't know how we'll make it another four.

We went to the Sembikiya in the Kitte building near Tokyo Station, and waited in line for fifteen or twenty minutes before being seated because they don't take reservations. We poured over the menu which is filled with different fruit desserts, and even fruit sandwiches and a curry made with fruit. Eventually I decided on the classic fruit parfait.

The parfait was composed of layers of different fruit ice creams and sorbets, whipped cream, and then topped with slices of many different fruits. I'm not usually a fan of whipped cream, but this cream was amazing, it was sweetened and flavored with vanilla, and wonderfully heavy and thick - not the normal fluffy milkiness I dislike. The ice cream was wonderful too. I particularly remember the banana ice cream and the raspberry sorbet. But to my surprise the fruit was not incredible. It wasn't bad, but it seemed distinctly average, which was really disappointing considering the store's reputation. Raku agreed with my assessment, and while we definitely enjoyed our time and the desserts we were not left with the feeling that we needed to come back.

I hope that our experience was atypical, but based on my one visit I think you can find plenty of more delicious desserts for less money in Tokyo. Unless you're deeply interested in Japan's fruit culture this probably isn't a must-do.

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