Saturday, November 5, 2016

Janice Wong Dessert Bar (Tokyo, JAPAN) ★★★☆☆

The news of award-winning Singaporean pastry chef Janice Wong opening in Tokyo and Hong Kong was music to the ears for dessert lovers last year. We had the pleasure of visiting Cobo House by 2am: Dessert Bar when they first opened doors in Hong Kong back in February and were quite impressed with some of their signature desserts including their Kyoto Tsujirihei matcha tart and Cassis Plum. I'm very interested to see if her 40-seat eponymous dessert bar in bustling Shinjuku can live up to the same expectation.

Janice Wong Dessert Bar is located on the second floor of the newly opened NEWoman shopping mall. Through the all-black doorway we go and behind those close doors was a really stylish dessert bar waiting in the wings.

There are a number of tables facing the dessert bar but of course, no way would we be trading our front row seats for these.

Apart from the dessert chefs, they also have a handsome bartender working there behind the counter preparing all kinds of cocktails to go with their wonderful desserts.

Unsurprisingly, the dessert menu here is a little different from the one at Cobo House by 2am: Dessert Bar in Hong Kong as they have obviously localized the menu for different markets. Smart move!

I thought there was no point for us to order the same ones we had in Hong Kong again so that just left us with two possible selections - Mushroom Forest and Pumpkin Chestnut.

Mushroom Forest (1,600yen) - Porcini mushroom, salt caramel cookies, sauce of chestnut honey and figs, coffee liquid nitrogen and lotus root chips.

I suppose the porcini mushroom refers to the panna cotta which has mild mushroom flavors but nothing rich and that wasn't meshing particularly well with the fig, salted caramel and coffee.

Pumpkin Chestnut (1,800yen) - Roasted pumpkin, cream of Japanese chestnut and coconut foam.

The piece of pumpkin was slightly roasted on the outside and the texture still remained very soft inside. I thought its partnership with the different textures of chestnut (cream, meringue and chip) was a decent one but the result was quite predictable (without much surprise).

For the pumpkin chestnut dessert, we took the recommended pairing that was a mix of expresso liqueur and Irish cream stout beer (900yen). That was probably the only pleasant surprise of the night for us.

Both desserts were pretty decent but yet nothing mind-blowing enough to write home about, which was slightly disappointing.

Food Rating: 5/10
Price: ¥¥¥
Address: 5 Chome-5-24-55 Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
Closest Metro Station: Shinjuku / Shinsen-Shinjuku
Tel: +81 3-6380-0317

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