On Wednesday 20 November 2019, Hiromi cake Japanese pastry shop opened in Viale Cogni Zugna 52. After the more than proven success that this style of pastry has had in European cities such as London, Paris and Berlin, the confectionery recipes of the Rising Sun also arrive in Milan, the city where a similar reality was missing more than ever.
Hiromi cake is born from an idea of Machiko Okazaki. After having successfully started two restaurants in the capital, in the autumn of 2018 she opened her first Japanese pastry shop in Italy (also in Rome) together with her colleague Mitsuko Taeki and other pastry chefs from the Rising Sun. The latter is the chief pastry chef. She started working very young at the most important French restaurant in Tokyo, Taillevent-Rebouchon, quickly becoming vice-director. Eager to gain experience, she travels to Paris and Monte Carlo before arriving in Rome, where she works both as a sushiwoman in several restaurants, and as a Japanese cooking and pastry teacher. Her abilities are much appreciated, so much so that the Japanese Embassy instructs her to make the desserts of the official lunches (the emperor’s brother, among other things, expressed his appreciation for his confectionery creations). The idea behind the name is the childhood memory of Mrs. Mitsuko: when she was a child and lived in Osaka, she went to the pastry shop every day, managed by an elderly lady named Hiromi who always gave her a sweet treat. Thanks to the entrepreneurs Lorenzo Ferraboschi and Mariko Takashima, Hiromi cake becomes a solid reality in Rome and now also in Milan.
Hiromi cake approaches the pastry in the traditional way: they try to work almost all raw materials by hand, trying to limit as much as possible the use of machinery. As in Japan, sweets also contain a low sugar and fat content, making them much lighter than those made in the West. The proposed offer consists of a series of sweets relating to wagashi pastry, typically Japanese, and yogashi, which regards Western recipes reinterpreted according to the Rising Sun criteria. This last style of pastry pursues the kaizen philosophy, that is, of continuous improvement. Among the many desserts present, there are green tea tiramisu, yuzu tarte, 64% Valrhona chocolate mousse with ginger and hazelnuts, mango cheesecake but also mochi (up to five different types of fillings) and dorayaki (in four versions). The ingredients, always of excellent quality, include rice flour, azuki beans, sesame sweet potatoes and soy.
The pastry shop style is very minimalist, played on the shades of milky white and blue-green.
On impact, in my opinion, it's not the best because the environment is far too cold.
It is possible to take away the sweets as in any pastry shop or consume them directly on the spot, perhaps accompanied by hot tea or coffee. The staff assured me that it will be possible to order ceremony matcha tea very soon. Despite all these excellent quality premises, there is no pastry shop in Milan: it is in Rome, from where the desserts are shipped. This obviously leads to a lower quality of the product, which is dry (many sweets tend to crack and crumble after a single forkful) and often tasteless. Of all the desserts tried, unfortunately, there isn't even one that really impressed me.
The hope is to evaluate the opening of a laboratory also in Milan to ensure greater freshness of the product, since it is already beautiful as it appears.