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Looks can be both beautiful and deceiving.

Here at RocketNews24, we realize we don’t always have the healthiest eating habits. Sure, we know about the importance of a balanced diet, but we have a hard time resisting the siren songs of giant tempura bowls, giant parfaits, and giant all-you-can-drink sake lists.

Still, we’re not completely averse to eating something that’s good for us, especially if it looks like a dessert. A while back, Vegedeco Salad, the line of mixed-vegetable dishes that look like mouth-watering cakes, caught our eye.

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While the Vegedeco Salad cafe is located in Nagoya, until May 24 the gorgeous vegetarian creations are also being sold at a pop-up shop at department store Isetan’s branch in the Shinjuku neighborhood of Tokyo. Since that’s just a few blocks away from RocketNews24 headquarters, we sauntered on over at about two in the afternoon to pick up a few varieties of Vegedeco Salad to try for ourselves.

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While there are seven different types of vegetable cake on offer, they’re so popular that when we stopped by they were currently out of four of them. Still, that left three for us to choose from, and being the indecisive types we are, we bought a slice of each.

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With their dusting of gold flecks, the Vegedeco Salads are ready to be the center of attention and conversation, which is good because at 700 yen (US$6.40) per slice for the three kinds we bought, they’re not cheap. Still, they look amazing, and viewed from above you’d have a hard-time convincing anyone that they’re not desserts.

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Still, these are genuine vegetable dishes. For example, that’s not chocolate atop the Pink Pearl Vegedeco pictured above, but burdock root shavings. The “cake” itself is a red onion mousse with sliced olives and bits of mozzarella cheese.

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Meanwhile, the vividly colored Royal Yellow Vegedeco is a bean-based sponge with “frosting” made from mashed potato and beets.

▼ It also features four types of mushrooms.

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Finally, the Pearl White Vegedeco is a smooth bean-based sponge with onion mousse on the outside and green peas, kidney beans, lentils, and chickpeas on the inside.

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Flavor-wise, they’re all perfectly tasty salads, and the ingredients have been chosen and prepared in a way that seems to draw out the ever-so-subtle natural sweetness of the vegetables. On the other hand, if you’re not a huge salad fan, how much they look like desserts can produce a visually triggered craving for something much sweeter than they actually are.

▼ This mix of beans and onion is sweeter than it might sound, but nowhere near as sweet as it looks.

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On the bright side, though, the fact that Vegedeco Salads are, after all, salads, means that you should still have some space in your calorie budget to enjoy a slice of actual cake afterwards.

Shop information
Vegedeco Salad pop-up store (part of Wellbeing Foodlife event at Isetan Shinjuku Food Collection)
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-14-1, basement level 1

Images ©RocketNews24
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