Posted on May 18, 2014
Shane is definitely very skilled at finding new, interesting places to consume sweet treats. He found another intriguing dessert place while searching on popular food blogs called: Matcha Love.
We were excited when we found out that the shop was close by in Kearny Mesa, San Diego, so off we went to taste test more new desserts! We were surprised to find out that this place was located in the Mitsuwa Marketplace inside the bookstore! Shockingly, I guess it’s been a couple of months since I have been to Mitsuwa.
As you can see below, the menu is very simple. They have ice cream, shakes, hot tea and boba tea flavored with either green tea or black sesame.
We both opted for black sesame desserts; Shane got the ice cream and I got the shake. We first tried Shane’s black sesame ice cream. As you can see, this is a creamy soft serve ice cream. This was delicious! The black sesame gives a wonderful nutty, toasty flavor to the ice cream. Plus, the texture was thick and creamy. We both definitely recommend this!
My dessert was the black sesame shake. This turned out to be more like a liquid milk tea as opposed to a rich, creamy shake. The drink was nicely flavored with the toasty black sesame flavor plus it had just the perfect level of sweetness! If you enjoy your drinks not overly sweet, I recommend this. If I could make one suggestion, I would get this with boba rather than without. I think this needs that extra textural element to create a more full-bodied dessert drink. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of the shake, but you can see the actual item in the video review.
I definitely recommend heading over to Matcha Love! It’s a cute little shop tucked away in the Japanese supermarket! If you suffer from indecisiveness, this is the place for you as they have a relatively limited menu.
Thank you for reading our dessert review of Matcha Love and don’t forget to watch our video review below!
Posted on May 10, 2014
Shane discovered Mochi Cream from reading Kirby’s Cravings food blog. When he showed me the beautiful images of this dessert, I told him that we absolutely must find this! Fortunately, we found out that a store is available in Mitsuwa Marketplace in Costa Mesa, not too far away from San Diego.
Mochi Cream is a dessert store that carries mochi with fillings that go beyond sweet beans. They can be filled with a variety of fruit, chocolate ganache, whipped cream, coffee and much, much more!
Off we went on a quest to find this new twitst on mochi. When we entered the store, I immediately fell in love with this Mitsuwa location! I have been to the San Diego store many times to purchase Japanese treats for video reviews, but the Costa Mesa location is much larger! They have a giant food court with multiple eateries and, of course, they have Mochi Cream! Their colorful display was to die for! It took all my willpower not to purchase every possible flavor option.
We eventually finalized our purchase and picked up these flavors of the donut-shaped Mochido: Cafe au lait, Double Mango, Strawberry Shortcake, and Chocolate Banana.
We started off tasting the fruit flavored Mochido: Strawberry Shortcake and Double Mango.
These fruit-flavored mochi, slightly melted in our two hour drive back home. 😦 Fortunately, this didn’t seem to affect the flavor much. They just weren’t as aesthetically pleasing as when we first purchased them.
The Double Mango was filled with whipped cream and flecks of mango. The rice mochi exterior had a nice, soft , almost melt-in-your-mouth texture and was also mango flavored. This was delicious and ended up being the favorite of all the Mochido flavors we tried!
Next up was Strawberry Shortcake. The rice exterior had a strawberry flavor and the interior was also filled with light whipped cream. This was also very tasty, however, the addition of fruit like the Double Mango, would have made this mochi taste even better.
We enjoyed these fruit -flavored Mochido a little more than the upcoming flavors.
The last two Mochido we tasted were Cafe au lait and Chocolate Banana. We noticed that these were firmer in texture than the previous fruit flavored Mochido.
The Cafe au lait’ flavored Mochido had a very strong coffee flavor. The interior was a coffee-flavored sweet bean paste. The top of the exterior was topped with an additional coffee glaze and small cubes of white chocolate. Shane and I both felt that the coffee flavor was a little strong for our taste. We both have never been coffee drinkers, however, if you enjoy your cup of coffee in the morning this might just be the perfect thing for you!
We enjoyed the Chocolate Banana flavor much more that the Cafe au lait’. The interior filling was a real banana-flavored bean paste along with chocolate whipped cream. The exterior of the Mochido was covered in a chocolate glaze. This was delicious and definitely recommend this flavor! Having two flavors and textures commingling in the filling greatly enhanced the taste.
Overall, our Mochi Cream experience was superb! Even just writing this review, I want to head back and try more flavors of Mochi Cream! I highly recommend for anyone to visit the Mitsuwa Marketplace in Costa Mesa to experience this amazing dessert!
If you would like to watch our video review, you can watch it here!
Posted on April 18, 2014
I have traveled to the west side of Chula Vista many times because my best friend used to live there. In my many years of traipsing around Chula Vista with Keyanna, I never came across this bakery even though it was only about half a mile from her home! Shane and I only recently discovered this gem on a search for the infamous wagashi, Japanese tea cakes.
Hogetsu is hidden away in a tiny shopping center, not visible from the street. The exterior of the building looks a little industrial, therefore not so much like a warm inviting bakery. However, when you step inside, magic happens!
I about died when I saw the colorful little tea cakes! Above, were our purchases from the bakery. Afterwards, we quickly resented placing such a small order.
The bakery is owned by an old Japanese couple that make all the wagashi on the premises. They certainly have a special talent for making beautiful, tasty objects out of rice! The brown tea cake on the right, was the first one we tasted. It had a very thin, light pancake wrapping the outside and was branded with cherry blossoms. Inside was a sweet mochi, rice dough, and this was one of the softest textured mochi I have ever eaten! It was like biting into a pillowy cloud. It became very clear that the pastries were just freshly made! Unfortunately, I cannot tell you what the names of these individual tea cakes are, however, teacake #1 was delicious!
We read a suggestion on Yelp that it was best to come to the bakery right when it opened to get first pick, otherwise the best selections would have already disappeared! We certainly didn’t want that to happen, so we showed up right at their opening time, 10am, which fortunately is not too terribly early.
The second tea cake we tried was the rainbow colored mochi. It looked like colorful toy sashimi because it was rectangular in shape and the bottom was white like a bed of rice. The rice was equally soft as the first, however, this was my least favorite. The top colorful portion was slightly salty in flavor making this mochi more savory. Shane’s description of it’s flavor was very accurate, “like the finest play-doh”! He did find this play-doh quality odd but, strangely, he took a liking to it. Come, on! Admit it! We all tried to eat play-doh as kids and remember it’s distinctly salty taste. Although, I have to admit I was a little exceptional in that I tried to eat many non-food items as a child which included silica gel and my mother’s contact lenses!
I digress! At any rate, tea cake #2 received mixed reviews. Shane liked the rainbow mochi and I did not. Although, If you have a strange desire to reminisce about your play-doh eating days, definitely give this a try!
The third tea cake we reviewed was the purple, plum-shaped mochi. They certainly do not overlook details at this bakery because they made a little green stem coming out of the plum from agar-agar which is a seaweed derived gelatin. The plum mochi was my favorite! It had same soft rice dough on the outside, except it had this extraordinary melt-in-your-mouth quality! Inside, was a soft, sweet, smooth red bean filling. Shane and I both loved this, so we definitely recommend tea cake #3!
The last tea cake we tried was the mochi shaped like a white peach. They even captured the beautiful color gradation on a real peach as the color transitions from pink to white. This too had a little agar-agar detail except this was a little green leaf. The peach mochi had the same incredibly soft rice dough on the outside. The inside had a sweet white/yellow bean paste that was more firm in texture than the plum-shaped mochi. This was also, tasty and we recommend this as well!
We came to Hogetsu with our friends, Chrissy and John. They, very smartly, purchased many items which you can see below.
I will definitely come back to Hogetsu and purchase more amazing tea cakes! I hope you have an opportunity to visit Hogetsu as well! 🙂
Shane, Chrissy, John and I made a video review of our purchases from Hogetsu. If you want to watch some silliness, watch our video below!
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