Japanese Cheesecake — so good it deserves it’s own haiku.
oh lovely cheesecake
you fill my belly with joy
my life is complete
It’s hard to describe this cheesecake. A rational description would be: a combination of a sponge cake and a traditional American cheesecake, but that doesn’t do the Japanese cheesecake justice.
Here’s our thought process when trying to describe it:
C: Light airy, melts in your month.
R: Hmm… it’s pretty much heavenly.
C: No, not just heavenly. It’s like a cow who died from getting hit by a car that stopped a caravan of hooligans that just robbed a small town from escaping went straight to heaven and produced milk that was cultured by angels to make cheese.
R: When the angels had babies, the cheese was too dense so they created this pillowy soft cheesecake so the angel babies could sleep on it.
Yes. It’s that amazing.
So remarkable that we did proper reconnaissance and ate it on three different occasions.
We started at Yamagen in the Kitano neighborhood of Kobe. When we walked by the vents of the bakery, all of us immediately halted and it didn’t take long to find the source of that tantalizing odor. Though tempted to dig in right when we bought it, we were able to last several hours before taking our first bite. Within minutes, the whole cheesecake was just a delicious memory.
Next up was Fouquets, which we passed on numerous times but it was either closed or we were too full from a previous culinary endeavor (the shame!). Our final okonomiyaki encounter didn’t leave us too stuffed so we bit the cheesy bullet and it was… gooey. Unlike other Japanese cheesecakes we’ve tried, which usually have a consistent texture throughout the cake, this one had a eggy, custard-like substance that came rushing out once the spongy walls were broken.
Our (sadly) last cheesecake was at Rikuro located in the beloved basement of the Sogo Loft shopping mall. This one battled the harsh downpour and deer pickpocketing debacles and we bit in, sans fork, on the walk back to the subway in Nara. Little raisins dotted the bottom of the cake which was extra cheesy but still soft. It probably tasted better right after the oven, after getting it’s famous seal as it jiggled with joy.