Have you ever taken a bite out of a Japanese-style shortcake? What distinguishes Japanese shortcake from, let’s say, an English shortcake? While most English bakeries are known to use a biscuit base, Japanese bakeries often use a sponge cake base, which gives this dessert an extremely soft and delicate texture. Whether found in the food section of a department store, or in select cake shops and bakeries, you will most likely see them sold as wholes, or in other cases, in individually wrapped little triangular slices across Japan.

Japanese shortcake is our Grandmas favorite. So naturally, before dropping by her place to have lunch together, we stopped by Ogawaken, the famous Japanese patissier for three slices of their famous shortcake. Ogawaken has been around for over a century. Founded in 1905, it was originally a restaurant that served European lunches and dinners. However in the 1970s, they rebranded their company as a patissier, a little sweets boutique that only sold high quality desserts. Today, Ogawaken is known for their invention of the raisinwich, a sort of cookie sandwich with rum raisin cream filling.

After a delicious lunch of sushi, sweet black beans from a neighbor, our Grandma’s potato salad, and countless other mouthwatering dishes, we enjoyed our shortcakes for dessert with black coffee. The cake was soft, and the airy whipped cream had a light sweetness that was balanced out by the tangy strawberries. We recommend going early, around late morning or noon time, as cakes and other sweet treats tend to sell out VERY fast!

2-6-14, Meguro-Honcho Meguro-ku
Tokyo Japan 152-0002


Most katsu (pork cutlet) fans in Tokyo know the famous restaurant, Tonki. Located about five minutes from Meguro Station, this well-known pork eatery houses a large open station on the first floor, where customers can observe the very making of their food. This setting creates an atmosphere of tradition and dedication to the katsu craft that can be seen up close.

The first time I visited Tonki, I had the privilege of sitting at the counter table where I could watch the chef’s every move. The counters are purposefully low, revealing all the preparation that each katsu goes through. They also have a second floor where private tatami rooms are located.

The menu consists of three varieties of katsu, the Roast (pork loin), Hire (pork filet), and the Kushi (skewered cutlets). All are equally good, but on this most recent trip, all of my family ordered the Roast, and it was worth every bite. The katsu is served steaming hot, fresh out of the fryer. A dash of mustard (also known as karashi), white rice, miso soup, and a side of thinly sliced cabbage are served along with the main dish.

1-1-2 Shitameguro Meguro-ku,
Tokyo Japan 153-0064
Tonki via Yelp