Tag Archives: ginza

nenrinya (ねんりん家) baum kuchen

tokyo is in the throes of a full-fledge baumkuchen explosion.  i swear, in the last six years in which i’ve traveled there, the baumkuchen craze seems to have reached the same frenzied crescendo as cupcakes in nyc.  fortunately, i happen to ADORE baumkuchen (more on my baumkuchen ravings here).  walking around the pastry aisles inside tokyo department stores, i felt sheer joy (or was that the adrenalin putting thru my veins?) i witnessed baumkuchens in every permutation.  there was even a baumkuchen that resembled a cupcake of sorts — tiny baumkuchen roll on the bottom, and topped with some sort of frosting or buttercream.

while waltzing down ginza, i came across the nenrinya baum kuchen boutique, nestled in the ground floor of the giant matsuzakaya department store.  i’ve never tasted baumkuchen from this company before, and thought i’d get in line behind the 30 other baumkuchen crazed tokyo-ites.

nenrinya sells baumkuchen in two flavors: original (which is kind of a vanilla/almond) and chocolate.  they also sell two styles of baumkuchen: straight and mount. the former is softer, less sweet, lightly coated with glaze, and is only available in the original flavor.  i purchased a small ring of the straight baum that had been made fresh that day and meant for same day consumption (they also sell a version of the straight baum that is vacuum packed to last longer).  of course, it still tasted delightfully moist about a week after i purchased it, even without the fancy packaging. i’ve learned to ignore japanese expiration dates (basically add a few days and up to a week to any date they’ve got stamped on).

i also picked up a quarter sliver each of both flavors of the mount baum kuchen.  the mount baum kuchen (pictured above) is more heavily coated with glaze, dusted with powdered sugar,  and denser with a ridged exterior.   i prefer the straight baum kuchen, but it’s nice to mix things up every now and then.  plus, the mount baum is just cool looking.

it was a bit hard to take photos inside the jam packed store, and there was  a no photo sign, which i didn’t see until i got up to the counter). that said,  i did pick up a brochure and scanned in some of their lovely photos for your viewing pleasure. . .



kimukatsu キムカツ: thousand layered tonkatsu

pork tonkatsu, by itself, is a guilty pleasure — a piece of tenderized pork loin, breaded in panko and then deep fried and served with a fruity and caramelized tonkatsu sauce. now, kimukatsu’s rendition of pork tonkatsu, with its thin layers of pork stacked on top of your choice of garlic, scallion, ume or cheese is as  fashionista rachel zoe would say, “beyond, just so beyond, i die, i mean, i literally die.”  i kinda like to think of kimukatsu as the love child of a mille-crepe cake  pastry artist and a traditional tonkatsu chef.

so which flavor to get? i ordered the scallion flavor (in the picture above), and i quite enjoyed it.  when we sat down, our waiter recommended garlic and cheese as his favorite.  my dining companion elected for garlic — they all seemed to gulf it down before i could ask for a sample.  G, who recommended Kimukatsu to me, said he really liked ume.  i did see quite a lot of customers ordering what appeared to be sampler platters, container one of each flavor.

the mille-pork is also served with a never-ending bowl of shredded cabbage (which is delightfully refreshing when dressed with their house sesame sauce) and a bowl of japanese rice.  we got refills on the cabbage about 3 times.

what can i say?  happy eating!

[there are various kimukatsu’s in japan. i visited the one in ginza; G went to the location in Ebisu]
Ginza branch (slightly different name ゲンカツ)
東京都中央区銀座4-6-18  銀座アクトビル3F
Tel: 03-3567-1129
(near the Mitsukoshi Ginza)
approximately 2500 yen/pp for dinner