Takemura 竹むら

Takemura – A place for traditional Japanese sweets

Near Akihabara JR station

DSC_0605Does this not look like a Samurai’s house? Really interesting I thought when I read about this place on Japan Times and therefore I wanted to visit this place when I was around the Akihabara area. Takemura serves traditional Japanese sweets and interestingly not only are there aunties or uncles in this restaurant, you also will see quite a handful of teenagers in there chatting while sipping away their tea. Most of the teenagers around us were mostly having the same thing that is the manju which we will see later.

DSC_0589This is the interior and there are two kinds of seatings. One is on a chair while the other is on a tatami mat. So we chose the traditional seating area and sat on the mats.

DSC_0588We were served sakura tea first which has an acquired taste. It actually tasted salty. I realised that anything with the sakura flower would usually taste salty, such as the sakura mochi I had at asakusa. Didn’t finish this tea as I couldn’t get used to the taste. Nevertheless, it was a pretty cup of tea I felt.

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This is kuzu mochi made from arrowroot and cover bown sugar yellow bean powder. This mochi is less chewy but is still a very good texture as it makes you feel refreshed. The brown sugar makes it slightly sweet and goes really well with the fragrant yellow bean powder. Delicious! Very simple and felt super japanese.

DSC_0592And then came my favourite and also is what most people around us are having – Manju. The waitress will surely recommend you this if you were to ask for osusume.

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Manju with red bean azuki paste. Love the texture of the skin as its lightly fried while the pastry actually has mochi in it. The dough is stretchy and slightly springy and I love this texture as it somehow helps to retain the fragrant azuki paste longer when you are chewing it. Really delectable I felt. The red bean paste is smooth and not overly sweet which really makes a good dessert. To sum up, fragrantly crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside with delicious red bean paste. I find it really interesting that some students just come in on their own, order a plate of manju, munch on them and then get the bill. They really just came for a plate of manju before going home to finish their homework.

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Anmitsu with red bean paste and salted red bean. The red bean paste is served in the shape of a ball. It is well mashed and quite smooth while not overly sweet. I guees that’s the natural taste of red bean. Sliced fruits like peach and cherries are also added in to make it feel more refreshing while red beans in it are salted. It was fine for me but K and G couldn’t get used to it. The jelly like cubes also have a good texture, slightly chewy while not too rubbery and also makes you feel refreshed. You can add the sweet black syrup into this bowl if you want your dessert to be sweeter. Quite a good bowl of dessert!

So Takemura was really an enjoyable place for me. It’s not that easy to find such traditional buildings in busy Tokyo I feel and coming across one is itself a compelling reason for you to try out the desserts served there. From the menu, they also seem to serve savoury food but I guess their strength lies in their traditional desserts as everyone around me was having that. But maybe I visited the place during tea time. Really fun experience I thought! And the sweets are not expensive, it’s about 400 – 700 yen for each. A recommended place to go for traditional desserts.

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