We previously ran an article about Maplies, a bakery in Shinjuku that excels in the art of making cake look exactly like Chinese food, namely gyoza, ramen (salt or soy sauce), and tenshindon.

About a year has past since then and our reporter Mr. Sato had a sudden hankering for some cake that looked like egg, crab meat, and rice. He headed down to Maplies only to be shocked at what he found. The bakery had added a whole new assortment of cakes that look exactly like other foods!

Needless to say he bought one of each and brought them back to the office for a taste of pure confusion.

Like before, the cakes were packaged in containers resembling Chinese take-out boxes. But this time it was Japanese dishes we would be dining on!

Actually no, it’s cake not Japanese food. It’s incredibly easy to forget that just by looking at them.  For example the unaju (grilled eel served on rice in a box) cake had all of the details right down to the glazed sauce on the grilled eel. Notice how the sauce looks unevenly brushed on with some light burn marks, just like the real deal eel!

Even when you dig in with a spoon and bring it close to your mouth, it still looks like eel. As you can see, this is quite the culinary mindf*** and Mr. Sato recommends eating Maplies’ cakes in a comfortable environment near a loved one who can talk you down from a ledge if necessary.

After a moment, the illusion finally breaks a little to reveal the cake beneath. In this case a layer of sponge cake acts as the rice and the eel filets are made of choux pastry.

Moving on, the katsudon (breaded and fried pork cutlet atop egg and rice) cake was so realistic you’d swear that was a crispy piece of fried meat sitting in front of you.

But hidden inside is a lot of sponge cake, cream and some fruit.

The rice omelet cake comes topped with a few squirts of ketchup, or rather jelly posing as ketchup.

The egg part of this “omelet” was made out of a crepe wrapped around a mound of sponge cake.

Finally we came to the oden (various foods stewed in broth) cake, the newest addition to the line-up. Like real oden this is a hodgepodge of different cakes with unique flavors. Also like real oden, the “daikon” stands apart from the rest for its extreme juiciness, in this case made completely out of pear jelly!

Clearly a lot of skill and effort went into making these cakes look the way they do, but it’s not all about the image. These cakes also have a rich layering of flavors and textures that make them truly great. For instance, the katsudon cake had a little surprise reservoir of puring (custard flan) near the bottom just in case you were getting bored.

While eating these cakes, Mr. Sato found himself subconsciously shouting “whoa” several times. Cakes everywhere are great, but there aren’t many cakes that can generate that level of excitement.

In one final surprise, the staff of Maplies told Mr. Sato that they intend to make a new cake design every season. They also plan to go beyond Chinese and Japanese cuisine with creations like Salisbury steak or curry, and you know we’ll be there when they do.

Shop info
B2F Shinjuku Subway Station, 1-1-2 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Open 10am-10:30pm
Map (Maplise is #8 on the B2F map)

You’d have to read the fine print to know this ad is for cake.

1,020 yen (US$8.90) for these works of art seems like a steal!

Unaju Cake

Katsudon Cake

Rice Omelet Cake

Oden Cake

All photos (c) RocketNews24

[ Read in Japanese ]