After lunch at the Modern, we were all quite full, but we decided anyway to go to the New York branch of the upscale Japanese wagashi store Minamoto Kitchoan. Wagashi is a kind of Japanese candy and biscuits, and the supplies at Minamoto Kitchoan are among the finest out there. Everything in the store is flown in daily from Japan, and behind the counter you find the sweetest, most helpful Japanese shop assistants.
We bought some kusa mochi (green rice cakes filled with sweet bean paste) and sakuranbo which are fresh cherries in an exquisite jelly. Everything was packed neatly in small boxes looking so beautiful that we hardly had the heart to eat it.
Japanese wagashi is an acquired taste, and it may take a while, before you’re hooked, but when that happen, it’s a life-long addiction. In Japan wagashi is often enjoyed with a cup of well-prepared green tea which really brings out the many delicious flavors.
Because of the short shelf life and because only premium ingredients are used, wagashi at Minamoto Kitchoan doesn’t come cheap. Prices start around $1.5 to $2 for the cheapest biscuits, while the various kinds of mochi are more expensive, but if you’re craving wagashi in New York, I don’t think there’s any better place to go than Minamoto Kitchoan.
Minamoto Kitchoan, 509 Madison Avenue (between 52nd St and 53rd St), Midtown East, New York, Tel: +1 (212) 489-3747