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A closer look at this week’s special: Usagisan ($24 for 10-piece set, $4.80 for 2 pieces)
Through the glass doors hina-ningyo are on display at Minamoto Kitchoan in Ala Moana Center. The seven-tiered presentation is ladened with Japanese dolls and furniture in celebration of Girl’s Day. Aside from hina-ningyo, Minamoto Kitchoan celebrated Girls’ Day (March 3) with Sakura Mochi ($3.20 each), an azuki bean-filled mochi wrapped in sakura leaf and garnished with a real sakura blossom. Other Minamoto Kitchoan local favorites include Fukuwatashi Senbei ($3.25 each), two waffle cookies held together by a cream filling. This popular Japanese confection not only tastes good, but it also signifies happiness and giving. As a result, Minamoto Kitchoan is a Japanese-style confectionary shop that brings happiness to its patrons. And in preparation for Easter, the establishment invites all to try usagisan treats.
Usagisan are individually wrapped so that you can give them away as gifts or keep in tact to enjoy for later.
Usagisan was introduced last August in coordination with Japan’s Otsukumi, or mid-autumn, moon-viewing festival. The rabbit represents health and prosperity in life.
Shaped like actual usagi (the Japanese word for rabbit), the mini cakes almost are too cute to eat. But you will, because the fluffy cake and decadent filling just are too good to pass up.
When asked about the shop’s philosophy, office manager Yayoi Akana says it’s important to educate people about Japanese culture and make it known that heart goes into everything Minamoto offers.
This confection, or wagashi, consists of a white bean and yuzu blend, which boasts a zingy citrus flavor and a smooth, creamy texture. Fans of the Japanese citrus fruit will be happy to know that there are authentic pieces of yuzu in this treat.
Ala Moana Center
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
Monday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Note: With 314 stores in Japan alone and 30 more establishments elsewhere, Minamoto Kitchoan wanted to make its mark in the Islands as well.