Give us all the mochi!
What’s not to love about Japanese sweets? Culinary influences from overseas have brought us beautiful taiyaki ice cream cones, matcha ice cream sandwiches, and flaming desserts. Another cult dessert that has been gaining popularity around the world is mochi, the chewy, super satisfying rice flour treat from Japan. Now, London’s giant food hall, Japan Centre, has received an entire shop dedicated to all things mochi — ‘The Mochi Bar’ is the first of its kind in the UK.
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If you’ve never tasted mochi, the treat is honestly a bit hard to describe. We can only try by telling you that mochi often comes in the form of pounded sticky rice balls of ooey-gooey, chewy goodness. The squishy dessert can be found in creative flavours like matcha, mango, coconut, chocolate, strawberry, and more. You’ll just have to try for yourself.
The good news is, you won’t have to trust our pathetic attempt at describing mochi, because you now have access to an entire shop filled with the dessert. You can let your tastebuds roam wild through aisles filled with mochi donuts, cookies, pan bread, ice cream, you name it. Try the ‘mochi daifuku’, a traditional soft and chewy mochi with a sweet adzuki red bean centre in a variety of flavours including matcha, mango, dark chocolate ganache, hoji cha, coffee and yuzu. Or opt for the ‘mochi dango’, which are skewered mochi rice balls covered in a sweet traditional Japanese sauce.
We’ll admit that mochi is an acquired taste, so if you’re not a fan, you can at least grab some refreshing bubble tea filled with tapioca pearls, available in the following flavours: original milk tea, matcha, taro, choco milk, mocha milk, and fruit combinations with green tea, including mango, lychee and peach.
The Mochi Bar can be found at Japan Centre’s flagship food hall in Leicester Square, and will be open Sunday to Friday from 11am to 8pm, and Saturday from 11am to 9pm. Find more information here. 35b Panton St, SW1Y 4EA, the nearest station is Leicester Square.