Sugared & Spiced

pâtissière in paris, now shanghai

[Tokyo] HARBS

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Add: 3F, Marunouchi Bldg 2-4-1, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Tel: 03-6269-9595
Hours: [Mon-Sat] 11am-9pm [Sun] 11am-8pm
Price: [cakes] ¥600~1200/slice
Visited: Jan 2011

It’s hard to not like HARBS. The warm lighting, the wooden furnishings, the cute hand-illustrated menu, the beautiful, massive cakes on display – all the elements wave invitingly at passerby, luring them to line up one after another at the perpetually long queue. What you’ll get when you are eventually seated are huge cakes that are made fresh daily and sliced by the order, which prevents the sides from getting stale. We went to HARBS in Marunouchi Building, one of the 26 branches in the country, and despite the long line we were seated in about 20 minutes. Bring on the cakes!

It took us no time to order, since we already decided on our picks during the wait.The Strawberry Tarte (¥730), with those huge, plump whole strawberries nestled snuggly within a layer of custard and whipped cream, looked irresistible. The strawberries are beautifully colored and fresh as if handpicked just this very morning, so fragrant that the taste is not overshadowed by the sweet custard and a thick layer of whipped cream. Though the slice looked quite massive, it was actually very easy to finish since it consisted mostly of strawberries, was not too sweet, and – surprisingly – very light.

Mille Crepes (¥700), the most popular item at HARBS, is six layers of crepes sandwiching whipped cream and seasonal fruits: strawberries, kiwi, cantaloup, banana, and honey dew. The fruits are sliced quite thinly, it seemed like I was just eating a lot of whipped cream, which wasn’t all that bad because it was fresh, light, and airy – but I still wished there’s more fruits than cream in the mix.

There were some other good looking cakes on display, and I wish I had room to try more. The slices at HARBS are quite generous compared to the usual dainty pieces served in Japan, but since the cakes are light and not to sweet, they are indeed “light enough for a girl to finish in one seating” as claimed on the HARBS website.

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Written by sugarednspiced

January 28th, 2011 at 11:40 pm