The Sweet SpotA La Carte Columns
April 17, 2016
Story By: Yu Shing Ting | Photos by: Nathalie Walker
Minamoto Kitchoan opened its doors at Ala Moana Center in 2013 offering its famous wagashi, or Japanese-style sweets, including candies, cookies, mochi and cakes.
Everything is made in Japan using high-quality ingredients and presented exquisitely, making for great gifts, favors or simply for you to enjoy anytime of the year.
The store also has its Rokumeikan line of Western-style confectionery made in Japan, and last year added Chocolat Royal, a collection of fancy, high-end chocolates, which also is made in Japan.
Minamoto Kitchoan has more than 250 shops throughout Japan and operates four factories there, as well as a farm where they grow a variety of seasonal fruits. There also are stores in London, Taiwan, Singapore, Bangkok, New York City and Los Angeles.
At Ala Moana Center, Minamoto Kitchoan is located on the ground level near Center Stage. The company plans to open its second Hawaii location, a Minamoto Kitchoan kiosk, in Kahala Mall (fronting SoHa) this fall.
Minamoto Kitchoan plans to create a special gift set of assorted treats, along with a small Japanese toy (available starting April 19), for Children’s Day (also known as Boy’s Day) celebrated May 5. During this festive Japanese holiday, families will hang koinobori, or flying carp banners, and display decorative warrior dolls, battle armor, helmets and swords.
According to manager Yayoi Akana, a traditional treat during this time of year is Kashiwa Mochi ($3 each), consisting of white mochi with sweet bean paste inside, and wrapped in a Kashiwa oak leaf.
Also popular, especially with children, is Minamoto Kitchoan’s Shocora Mikasa ($3.60), which is like a soft and fluffy chocolate-pancake sandwich with rich chocolate-ganache cream filling containing whipped cream.
Akana also suggests Leaf Pie ($2.50 plain, two-piece package; or $2 for milk chocolate-dipped or white chocolate-dipped, single-individual package). Each thin leaf-shaped cookie is made with 256 amazing, delicate layers of fresh butter, resulting in a heavenly buttery and sugary flavor, combined with a crispy, crunchy texture.
ALA MOANA CENTER, 1450 ALA MOANA BLVD., HONOLULU
Monday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.