【Kyoto】Top 7 Matcha Parfaits From Famous Shops – Their Contents Revealed and Explained!

If there were ever a king among the many kinds of matcha (green tea) sweets available, it would have to be the parfait. We have carefully selected 7 of the most famous shops that serve matcha parfait and had our staff evaluate their deliciousness! <※This information is from KansaiWalker (issued September 5, 2017)>

A Tea Wholesaler That Generously Uses Matcha

Shimizu Ippoen, a tea wholesaler, offers a long list of sweets because they want to spread the true flavor of matcha across the world! Their Shimizu Parfait is a premium parfait that combines various ingredients and textures, using refreshing matcha ice cream, matcha yokan (sweet bean jelly), and milky matcha cream.

This is the Shimizu Parfait (1,274 JPY). It gives you the sweetness and bitterness of matcha using ice cream and other ingredients. It’s not too sweet. The fragrant biscuit is also delicious!

【Parfait Ingredients】
Matcha cream, biscuit, matcha yokan, chestnut compote, matcha ice cream, shiratama (rice flour dumpling), boiled azuki beans, chocolate crunch, milk pudding, kinako (roasted soybean flour) ice cream, and coffee warabi-mochi (bracken-starch dumpling)

It’s only natural for a tea wholesaler to be able to use generous amounts of matcha from Uji. They carefully pick and use only the best confectionery-grade matcha.

The richness of this parfait comes from fresh Hokkaido cream that has a 47% milk fat content. It is also used in the parfait’s matcha cream.
"This parfait is pillared on our homemade biscuit, matcha cream, and bittersweet matcha ice cream, plus the sweetness of chocolate crunch, milk pudding and kinako ice cream. It is completed with the simple coffee warabi-mochi, which gives you a refreshing aftertaste,” said Hiraku Shimizu, the shop’s owner.

Inside the store, there are 11 counter seats. There is also an area where they sell tea and other products.

■ Shimizu Ippoen
<Phone: 075-202-7964; Hours: 11:30 AM – 4:30 PM (last order); Closed: Mondays; Seating capacity: 33 seats; Smoking: Non-smoking; Parking area: None; Access: 10-minute walk from Keihan Line’s Shichijo Station>

Shimizu Ippoen

665 Honkawara-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

Luxury Unique to a Restaurant Known for Rich Flavors

Run by Kikunoi Honten, a famous restaurant for Kyoto-style dishes, Salon de Muge is a tea house that has been the talk of the town since it opened. This is a place where you can savor restaurant-quality sweets – such as monthly desserts that are also served at the main shop and rich matcha parfaits that use top-grade tea leaves that aren’t bitter – at any time. Sit back and relax in the Japanese modern space that faces the moss garden.

This is the Salon de Muge (Matcha Parfait) (1,300 JPY). It perfectly fuses full-bodied ice cream that has the condensed flavor and sweetness of matcha with refreshing matcha jelly and azuki beans.

【Parfait Ingredients】
Matcha ice cream, shiratama dumplings, azuki beans, sesame seed sponge cake, matcha jelly

The flavor of the matcha ice cream, which is carefully made while measuring the temperature so as not to lose its aroma, is surprisingly rich!
“The homemade matcha ice cream uses 80g of the best kind of Uji matcha per 1L of milk, so it has the maximum amount of aroma and sweetness. Please enjoy its compatibility with the soft sesame seed sponge cake, shiratama dumplings, and other ingredients,” said Togino Sakai, the chef at the shop.

From inside the shop, you can see the garden that is painted in the colors of the season’s flowers. The pleasant hospitality passed on by the main branch will warm your heart.

■ Salon de Muge
<Phone: 075-744-6260 (inquiries) and 075-561-0015 (reservations); Hours: (Shigure bento (boxed lunch)) 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ※Two batches, (Tea house/Japanese sweets) 2:45 PM – 6:00 PM (last order at 5:00 PM); Closed: Irregular days; Seating capacity: 34 seats; Smoking: Non-smoking; Parking area: None; Access: 20-minute walk from Keihan Line’s Gion-shijo Station>

Salon de Muge

524 Washio-cho, Kodaiji Kitamon-zen, Shimogawara-dori, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

Pay Attention to the Springy Jelly! Enjoy Thick Matcha Up to the End

Gion Koishi uses matcha made from Yamamasa Koyamaen in Uji. The jelly in the parfait has an attractive, springy texture that you won’t find anywhere else. There are three kinds of matcha parfait at this shop, and out of these three, the Matcha Chiffon Parfait that contains matcha chiffon cake and Mont Blanc cream (cream with chestnuts) is the perfect dessert for autumn.

This is the Matcha Chiffon Parfait (1,080 JPY). The tsubu-an (coarse sweet red bean paste) is also made by hand. It highlights the technique and thoroughness of the artisans, who handle sweets every day. The shiratama dumplings are also delightfully soft!

【Parfait Ingredients】
Marron cream (chestnut cream), Tanba dainagon azuki (type of azuki bean from Tanba), koicha (exceptionally dark matcha) ice cream, shiratama dumplings, vanilla ice cream, matcha mochi-flavored jelly, matcha chiffon, agar-agar, matcha syrup

The shop’s pride is their matcha mochi-flavored jelly. There are many people who are addicted to its elasticity, which you can’t find in namafu (steamed wheat starch) or jelly!

“On top of the parfait, you’ll find koicha ice cream and flavorful matcha chiffon cake that was carefully baked at a low temperature. The chestnut cream goes well with the ice cream. When you finish eating the parfait, you will feel refreshed thanks to the matcha mochi-flavored jelly and agar-agar jelly covered in bitter matcha syrup,” claimed Hiroyuki Yamada, the owner of the shop.

This is the cafe on the second floor. It adds modern influences to a traditional Japanese space. There is also a tea lounge at the back of the first floor.

■ Gion Koishi
<Phone: 075-531-0331; Hours: 10:30 AM – 7:00 PM (last order at 6:00 PM); Closed: Irregular days; Seating capacity: 50 seats; Smoking: Non-smoking; Parking area: None; Access: 4-minute walk from Keihan Line’s Gion-shijo Station>

Gion Koishi

286-2 Gion-machi Kita-gawa, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

Outstanding Combination of Fragrant Warabi-mochi, Brown Sugar Syrup, and Matcha

Back when Giwon Komori’s filling parfait with its famous warabi-mochi made its store debut, it used to be served only during the summer. However, it has now become a standard dessert, and is currently the most famous item on the menu! The characteristic round top is actually ice cream made with Uji matcha. You will be able to taste both the matcha and the warabi-mochi, which will surely leave you feeling satisfied!

This is the Warabi-Mochi Parfait (Kuromitsu-tsuki) (bracken-starch dumpling parfait with brown sugar syrup) (1,550 JPY). Inside, there are 4 large pieces of warabi-mochi. The rich sweetness of the brown sugar syrup poured on top of the parfait brings out the bitterness of the matcha.

【Parfait Ingredients】
Vanilla ice cream, matcha ice cream, warabi-mochi, anko (red bean paste), matcha chiffon, matcha jelly, chestnuts, agar-agar

These are warabi-mochi dumplings made from carefully selected bracken flour. Scorched soybean flour is also sprinkled on top, creating an exceptional aroma.

“The matcha ice cream is heavy and filling, but there is not much sweetness. Soybean flour is combined with the soft warabi-mochi to add a fragrant flavor to the dish. This parfait was designed to make you eat up to the last bite by keeping you refreshed with the bitterness of the matcha jelly and the fresh agar-agar,” said Hisaaki Nagata, the owner of the shop.

This is the elegant tatami room on the 2nd floor of the store, which is housed in a Kyo-machiya (traditional merchant’s house in Kyoto). Next to the entrance, there is a space where warabi-mochi and other sweets are sold.

■ Giwon Komori
<Phone: 075-561-0504; Hours: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM (last order at 7:30 PM); Closed: Wednesdays; Seating capacity: 112 seats; Smoking: Non-smoking; Parking area: None; Access: 5-minute walk from Keihan Line’s Gion-shijo Station>

Giwon Komori

61 Motoyoshi-cho, Gion-shinbashi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

Their Special Sauce Doubles the Thickness of the Matcha

Founded in 1946, Eirakuya is a popular shop that sells salty food (tsukudani, or food boiled in soy sauce) and traditional Japanese sweets (wagashi). At the cafe on the second floor, there are various original Japanese sweets that you can enjoy, including the Matcha Parfait that was refreshed this year to double its matcha content, as well as the zenzai (red bean soup) and anmitsu (boiled beans, agar jelly, and fruits with sweet syrup poured on top).

This is the Raku/Matcha Parfait (1,080 JPY). It has a sensational tea flavor thanks to its specially made gyokuro (high-class green tea) ice cream and Uji matcha jelly. There are also chopped chestnuts and shiratama dumplings inside, giving diversity to the textures and flavors.

【Parfait Ingredients】
Gyokuro ice cream, fuyaki senbei (kind of rice cracker), Uji matcha jelly, special shiratama dumplings, hatomugi (adlay, a type of grain) millet, vanilla ice cream, Uji matcha sauce, chopped chestnuts, tsubu-an, agar-agar

This matcha sauce is 100% made up of high-quality Uji tea leaves from Kyoto’s Irokuen. It has a mild yet powerful taste.

“The matcha sauce that is spread at the bottom of the glass uses matcha from Kyoto’s Irokuen, a well-established tea house with more than 190 years of tea making history. From the fragrant gyokuro ice cream to the matcha sauce poured on the agar-agar, you will be able to enjoy the delights of Uji matcha to your heart’s content,” said Yuna Shimada, a staff member at the shop.

The vast space with an open feeling where air blows through. At the first floor, tsukudani, confectioneries, and many other great items for souvenirs are on sale.

■ Eirakuya
<Phone: 075-221-2318; Hours: 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM (last order at 6:30 PM); Closed: None; Seating capacity: 52 seats; Smoking: Non-smoking; Parking area: None; Access: 10-minute walk from Hankyu Line’s Kawaramachi Station>


Shijo-agaru Higashi-gawa, Kawaramachi-dori, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

Matcha-Filled Ice Cream & Soft-Serve Ice Cream Flavors Enhanced with Brown Sugar Syrup

The Matcha Parfait at Nikenchaya, a long-established tea house found along the approach to Yasaka Shrine, has matcha ice cream on top and matcha soft-serve ice cream at the bottom. The red bean paste in the middle that is made with azuki beans from Hokkaido is actually sweet. The softness of the gyuhi (soft confectionery made with rice flour) and warabi-mochi, as well as the crunchiness of the cornflakes, add different textures to this dessert.

This is the Matcha Parfait (1,250 JPY). It is literally filled with matcha, as everything up to the rice cracker toppings is matcha-flavored. The milk soft-serve ice cream in the middle is there to cleanse your palate. You can also pair this with hot bancha (coarse tea).
【Parfait Ingredients】
Matcha rice cracker, milk soft-serve ice cream, walnuts, matcha ice cream, azuki beans, gyuhi (white and pink), shiratama dumplings, matcha cake, special matcha green tea, soft-serve ice cream, warabi-mochi (kinako)

The thick brown sugar from Hateruma Island goes really well with the Uji matcha used in this parfait. It highlights the bitterness and flavor of matcha.

“Aside from the ice cream and soft-serve ice cream, we also use generous amounts of matcha in the cake, which makes full use of the flavor. If you pour on the brown sugar syrup, which comes separately, then it will become sweet. Another major draw of this parfait is the aroma that comes from sprinkling kinako flour on the warabi-mochi,” said Tomohiro Yamaoka, the owner of the shop.

The inside of the shop is a converted storage space where containers used by the neighboring well-established restaurant, Nakamura-ro, were kept. It is a relaxing space with a Japanese modern design.

■ Nikenchaya
<Phone: 075-561-0016; Hours: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM (last order); Closed: Wednesdays; Seating capacity: 36 seats; Smoking: Non-smoking; Parking area: None; Access: 10-minute walk from Keihan Line’s Gion-shijo Station>


Inside the Yasaka Shrine Gate, Gion, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

Condensed Deliciousness and Bitterness of Matcha on Special Thick Ice Cream

Tsuboichi Seicha Honpo is a cafe that has been in business since 1850. It is famous for its shaved ice concoctions during the summer, but it is also known for its matcha parfaits. Its Tokusen Matcha Parfait with Rikyu matcha ice cream is an exquisite dessert that contains homemade red bean paste, agar-agar from Amakusa, and other high-quality ingredients.

This is the Tokusen Matcha Parfait (1,144 JPY). Just add 344 JPY and you can have it with matcha, gyokuro, hot milk tea, and domestic black tea. If you add 172 JPY instead, you can have it paired with hojicha (roasted green tea).

【Parfait Ingredients】
Fresh whipped cream, Rikyu matcha ice cream, shiratama dumplings, red bean paste, milk agar-agar, agar-agar from Amakusa, hojicha jelly

The homemade red bean paste made with Hokkaido azuki beans is flavorful and not too sweet.

"More than anything, I want you to try the Rikyu matcha ice cream. It uses two cups of weak matcha, and perfectly blends with the fragrant hojicha jelly. The sweet red bean paste is made at our shop,” said Saori Tsuji, the assistant manager of the shop.

Inside this shop that is housed in a renovated machiya, the ceilings are high and you will feel warmth emanating from the wood. You can also see the garden from the windows.

■ Tsuboichi Seicha Honpo
<Phone: 072-227-7809; Hours: 10:30 AM – 6:00 PM (Cafe) 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM (last order at 5:30 PM); Closed: Tuesdays (shop will be open if Tuesday is a public holiday); Seating capacity: 26 seats; Smoking: Non-smoking; Parking area: 4 vehicles (free); Access: Short walk from Hankai Tramway’s Shinmeicho Station>

Tsuboichi Seicha Honpo

1-1-2 Kukencho-higashi, Sakai-ku, Sakai-shi Osaka

[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 10.01.2017]

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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