The dessert bars offering a taste of Tokyo

The dessert bars offering a taste of Tokyo

On the heels of the influx of sushi, teppanyaki and ramen has come desserts, from twists on French classics to creations that could have only been dreamed up in Japanese kitchens

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Cake at Fuwari
Everything about this Japanese cafe is teeth-gnashingly sweet – from the watercolour illustrations used in their marketing to the heart-shaped chocolate mousses and cakes topped with origami-like pastry swans on their shelves. It’s worth stopping in for a $2 slice of the chocolate which, like most of their offerings, comes with a dollop of frothy cream. Perfect washed down with a cup of their coffee, a snap at 50 cents if you buy food. Their take on creme caramel – a tiny plastic pot of slippery, vanilla essence-laced custard – is worth the $1 too.
Fuwari Cafe, #79B Street 63

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Mochi ice cream at Kane Mochi
A ball of rice paste with a cold and creamy centre, Japanese mochi ice cream is a whole lot nicer than it sounds. Scoops of various flavours of ice cream – from milk and chocolate to green tea – are coated with soft sticky rice which has been pounded into a paste. Don’t be afraid to explore the fruity kinds – blueberry is particularly good. Kane Mochi also stocks regular ice cream, as well as drinks and other desserts.
Kane Mochi, #3 Street 302

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Waffles at Waffle Cafe Orange
Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and served with a choice of wicked toppings, the toasted treats from Waffle Cafe Orange make for an indulgent experience. The owner claims his Japanese-style waffles use different flour to US waffles, which makes them softer. Also, none of the 12 different variations – from cream cheese and blueberry sauce to chocolate, almond and whipped cream, to mango and orange – are overpoweringly sweet. To top it off, priced from $3 to $3.80, these waffles are an affordable decadence.
#51 Street 63.

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Cheesecake at Hamaya
Don’t go to Hamaya expecting a New York slice. Japan does things different. Japanese cheesecake is lighter and fluffier than a sponge cake, and leaves a sugary taste floating on the tongue. There’s no base to speak of, and no marscapone either. In fact, there’s not much Japanese cheesecake shares with its Western counterpart apart from sugary goodness, but it’s tasty nonetheless – and fairly priced at $1.50. Varieties include green tea, chocolate and blueberry as well as others more exotic.
#14A Street 294 & Aeon Mall

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Salted caramel croutons at Sancha
The primary product sold by Japanese bakery Sancha, which supplies to supermarkets and stores around town, is bagels. But it’s their insanely moreish sugar-coated croutons that have the potential to become, in the words of one of our staff, “a problem”. The glazing on the light and crispy nuggets ($1) has this faint salted caramel kick that makes it nigh on impossible to stop munching. At least, at only a dollar per packet, it’s a fairly cheap fix.
Bagel Sancha, available at Natural Garden (#213 Street 63), among other outlets.

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Cream puffs at Various outlets
Beard Papa, the face of Japan’s best-known bakery franchise, is a prolific little baker. You might recognise him from his cameo in Disney hit Wreck-It-Ralph as the Santa Claus-like security guard who dreams about cream puffs. His arrival in Phnom Penh when Aeon Mall opened in July was greeted with great mirth because the desserts he whips up – choux pastry stuffed with soft and creamy custard in various flavours – are downright delicious. Some of the lightest and tastiest are made at Fuwari Cafe.
Beard Papa, ground floor Aeon Mall, #132 Sothearos Boulevard. Also avalible at Fuwari.

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