(San Fran Trip) Minamoto Kitchoan – Financial District

Tfung’s friend had recommended us try this shop as she had a very good experience with the sweets, and she knew that I liked Japanese snacks. I have to be honest and say that the service fluctuated a lot. We came to this shop 3 times, and the first time we were here, the person was so rude and unhappy to be serving us. We were purchasing at least 5 items and she gave me this nasty attitude that I did not appreciate. However the other two times were ok and there was one person who was very nice, patient and polite.

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I liked how the store was setup, with the display as non-perishable gummy models of what the sweets look like. They have a back store-room where they store everything, since a lot of them need to be refridgerated. They receive their shipments from Japan every day, since some of the sweets expire in about 3 days since day of purchase.

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I bought the Green Tea Puff at the recommendation of Bernice :). She and I have quite similar tastes and all the recommendations she’s given me so far has lived up to her hype about it. This was the same. It looks like a macaron but the texture is more like a more elastic sponge cake, with the crust being slightly crumbly/crunchy. The butter cream filling was absolutely amazing, unlike most green tea flavours I’ve had. This was a true maccha taste, leaving that bitter aftertaste in your mouth. Since we went to the Japanese Tea Garden and experienced some real maccha tea, I thought this was very representative of high quality maccha. If you don’t like green tea, this is definitely not for you.

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We also ordered the Ayashirabe, which is a cake with white bean paste as filling. It was a little sweeter than I would have liked. It was also very filling and gives you that slightly nauseated feeling. I didn’t think this was a good purchase, but I guess it was a good try to rule out which sweets were good and which were bad.

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Finally we got the green tea mochi with white chocolate filling. I honestly had high hopes for this due to my love for authentic Japanese-made green tea products. However the white chocolate filling in this really turned me off. I hate white chocolate, and am a dark chocolate girl (as is tfung). But I gave this a try since I did love the maccha. The filling and the green tea didn’t go well together in my opinion and just tasted awkward, unbalanced and like someone just tried to mash two unwilling flavours together.

Overall I thought this sweet shop was nice to visit, but not a lot of their products were good. They had very interesting sweets, but it was almost like they tried to hard to be fresh and innovative. I’m a very traditional girl, loving authentic food. This might be why I wasn’t so impressed with most of their sweets (at least the ones I tried).

Service: 3/5
Food: 7.0/10
Atmosphere: proper, clean, Japanese-style
Price: $10-30

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