Exquisite works of edible art

Columns Lite Bites

April 19, 2015

Story By: Yu Shing Ting | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo

In my opinion (and I think most people would agree), the Japanese have mastered the art of presentation. But it’s not just the packaging that’s impressive, it’s also the quality of the actual product. Let’s face it: If it’s made in Japan, you know it’s going to be good.

Thankfully, you don’t have to leave Hawaii to find some tasty Japanese treats, whether for yourself or as a gift. Minamoto Kitchoan in Ala Moana Center offers a wide selection of Japanese candies, cookies, mochi and cakes. The famous Japanese confectionery (with more than 250 shops throughout Japan) operates three factories in Japan, plus a farm where they grow a variety of seasonal fruits. “Everything is made in Japan, except for the Hawaiian cacao,” says manager Yayoi Akana. “And everything is made with quality ingredents.”

Among its most popular items is Fukuwatashi Senbei ($3 for vanilla, $3.50 for matcha), which is a zigzag-designed cookie with sweet cream filling. “‘Fuku’ means good luck and ‘watashi’ is giving,” explains Akana. “So this is a perfect gift for all occasions, such as Mother’s Day, weddings, Christmas and New Year’s.”

The festive Japanese holiday, Children’s Day, is May 5, and Akana suggests celebrating with Kashiwamochi ($3.20), a rice cake filled with red bean paste and wrapped in oak leaf. Senbei ($9 per bag, 12 pieces) also is available in three flavors — Agodashi Shoyu, Salad and Negimiso.

Minamoto Kitchoan is located in Ala Moana Center on the Ground Level, near Center Stage.

Minamoto Kitchoan

Ala Moana Center (Street Level, near Center Stage)
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
947-0870
Monday-Saturday 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

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