We woke up really early to beat the crowd at the Tokyo Skytree. Knowing how unpredictable the weather in Tokyo can sometimes be, we didn’t wanna be committed to buying our tickets in advance and end up going there on a rainy day. Thankfully, the weather throughout the whole time was quite pleasant and the visit went on rather smoothly. Time flies so quickly and before we knew it, it was time for lunch. the conjoining mall to the Tokyo Skytree has a good selection of eating joints from family restaurants to burger delis to choose from. We landed ourselves in a place which we’d always been wanting to visit, Nana’s Green Tea!
Gosh it has been so long since I last updated anything on our dessert sprees in Taipei and Osaka last year as well as Hong Kong earlier this year. Been really lazy recently with blogging, not to mention a writer’s block, evident in the recent Belachan Beehoon post. Anyway, we’re going Taiwan again (yes again!) in less than 2 months’ time, so upon some “
stern firm reminder” from J, I thought I’d better clear as much backlog as possible before the two rounds of dessert sprees to come. Yes! we are going Taiwan again next May as well! Alas, Taiwan has become more or less an annual pilgrimage for us. Hoping to steal some time for Japan as well since we’d missed it this year! How I wish it would be an annual pilgrimage for Japan as well! Anyway I’d digressed!
Our trip to Taiwan last year brought us for the “first” time to Taichung. Well, our last trip to Taichung was many many years ago and that was more of a “turn around”, since our local friend drove us down from Taipei and we’d “toured” Taichung for barely 2 hours before scurrying back to Taipei that same night. Thus, impressions on Taichung had always been blurry and non-descript, to say the very least. Despite our brief encounter, we’d never really been motivated sufficiently to visit Taichung again. In fact, there had always been a lot of impedence to visit this city located in the middle of the island country, owing much to the lack of a properly built-up transportation infrastructure. Unlike Taipei or Kaohsiung, Taichung does not have an MRT system within the city itself. Public bus routes are not easy to navigate, not to mention the irregular waiting times. Sparse and erratic bus service frequencies ain’t of much help as well. However, we’d been wanting to visit Fengjia Night Market 逢甲夜市, reputably the largest night market in Taiwan for the longest time now. Also there’s been a steady development in patisseries opening up in Taichung over the last 2-3 years which made me very curious about the quality of the bakes and makes produced by the growing crowd of young, budding patissiers in this city. Alas, the inevitable is finally here, so Taichung here we come!
青木定治 Sadaharu Aoki’s バンブー Bamboo , his signature creation which first led me to know his works and made me very curious about him. The aesthetics of it is really quite astounding. Well, none of the clever use of avant garde juxtapositions one would find in the works of revolutionaries like Christophe Adam of course, but its beauty is sheer sublime. There are some works which ranked as being “unparallel” in design and built by many. Pierre Herme’s Plasir Sucre is one of them, Gaston Lenôtre ‘s L’ Concorde is another and more recently, Christophe Adam’s Eclair Aquatique. Surely Sadaharu Aoki’s Bamboo must stand amongst this stellar cast. Or must it?
The first pound cake I’d tasted was a Sara Lee, and I’m pretty sure its the same for many of you. I remember having cravings for it when I was young, often picking up a loaf which was baked in tin foil from the frozen food section of a local supermarket and pestering my mum to put it into her shopping basket. This usually proved futile as the loaf mostly got sneaked back into the chiller compartment, but once in a very blue moon, my mum’s stance would soften and accede to our persistent pleads and protests and concede defeat. Then it is up for us to bicker on which flavour to bring back home. Our default choice is chocolate swirl, as we get the best of both worlds, i.e. rich buttery layers interlaced with ribbons of chocolate. A single loaf would usually last us over a couple of days, and sometimes a week if my sister and I have enough “determination” to prolong the “days of savouring pleasure”.
Over the years, we eat it less and less, probably weaned off the craving or perhaps because the spectrum of choices broaden over time. But Sara Lee pound cakes earned a special place in our hearts, being a “childhood delight” and often the central theme of several acts of child’s play, signing makeshift pacts and treaties to restrain each other from stealing bits of cake from the refrigerator without the knowledge of the other, drafted from torn out pages of school exercise books, to lil’ games like whose cake slices contained the most streaks of chocolate swirls. Totally silly and bewildering now in retrospect but its these little moments of pleasure that help fuel and formulate the most powerful memories which we cherish as time goes by.