There’s no match for Minamoto’s treats
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There is something about Japanese sweets. Compared with their American counterparts, they tend to be lighter and not so overly sweet. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that they often are presented in a way that almost makes you not want to eat them at all.
To get your fix without hopping on a plane, there’s Minamoto Kitchoan at Ala Moana Center. And while there are plenty of places locally that prepare Japanese sweets, Minamoto is the real thing: It’s an extension of a Japanese company that has more than 200 branches in Japan.
The shop consists of two distinct product lines: When you walk in, you’ll find Japanese confectionaries on the left, and Western-style items on the right.
“We have various styles of Japanese confectionaries, such as mochi,” explains manager Yayoi Akana.
On the right side, Akana explains, you’ll find a combination of Japanese and Western goods, including chocolates made with sakura, miso and matcha.
The shop also has a variety of box sets that are available pre-packaged, or you can customize your own.
“It’s perfect for a gift — a lot of people use it for parties,” Akana says.
The hardest part will be selecting what you want from the shop’s cases filled with delicate, tantalizing treats, like Hakutou Jelly ($12 per piece). It’s comprised from white peaches in Okayama, Japan, along with mineral-rich spring water.
One popular item, especially among locals, Akana says, is Chocolate Crunch Mochi ($3.80 per piece, or $21 for six pieces).
“This is really easy to eat,” she adds.
Each piece is filled with creamy milk chocolate, and then surrounded by mochi and covered in a crispy layer of chocolate.
Later this month, Minamoto will introduce a new item, Youhouju ($12 per piece).
“There is a whole mango inside,” Akana explains. “It’s a very nice, rich flavor and very juicy. It’s jelly, but you feel like you are eating a real mango.”
The shop currently is accepting advanced orders for Youhouju. Plus, it’s expecting a new shipment soon, so you’ll have even more items to choose from.
Ala Moana Center
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
Monday–Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–9 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.