Taste the clouds on your tongue and float away to a better place in the heart of the capital.

Over the years, we’ve travelled on culinary journeys around Tokyo which have led us to unearth some unique finds, ranging from bargain all-you-can-eat deals to expensive, classy courses at some of the city’s best restaurants.

Today, though, we’d like to introduce you to one of Tokyo’s most sublime desserts, which is becoming a hot topic amongst gourmands-in-the-know right now. And what makes it particularly sought after is the fact that it can only be purchased at one place in Japan, at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Tokyo.

On the ground floor of the hotel you’ll find the Gourmet Shop, and this is where they’re selling the sweet that foodies around town are whispering about: the Kumo.

Created by talented executive pastry chef, Stéphane Tranchet, Kumo means “cloud” in Japanese, and this is exactly what this sweet resembles. And while the Gourmet Shop opens at 7:30 a.m. on weekdays and 9:00 a.m. on weekends, the special Kumo dessert goes on sale from 10:30 a.m. each day.

Our reporter Mr Sato had been wanting to try the cloud cake ever since he’d heard about it from a friend, and although he’d arrived at the hotel’s Gourmet Shop at 10:00 a.m. for a taste test, there was already one person in line waiting for the cloud to appear.

By the time Mr Sato got in to order the dessert, there were about 10 people in line, and they were all able to purchase one. However, the Mandarin Oriental only makes a limited number of these every day, so if you want to purchase one, be sure to arrive by at least 10 a.m.

▼ The wait in line is worth every second, though, as the Kumo looks like this.

The Kumo can be ordered for takeout or dine-in, and Mr Sato opted to dine-in so he could see what this tasted like straight away. Needless to say, he was blown away by the look of the sweet, which exceeded all his expectations as to what an edible cloud might look like.

The plump, cloud-like curves and light, powdery dusting took Mr Sato’s imagination up into the clouds, making him feel somehow lighter and carefree just by resting his gaze on it.

The dessert comes filled with different flavours according to the seasons, and for the month of May, the Kumo comes in a refreshing mango flavour, hinted at with a splash of orange colour on the gorgeous little butterfly embellishment.

Like many of the gorgeous sweets we’ve tried before, it seemed a shame to have to break the beautiful casing on this one, but Mr Sato’s desire to taste it quickly became insatiable. He took a deep breath and cut through it with a knife, which made him realise the casing was much harder than a wafer or meringue. It was more like cutting through an eggshell, but once it was open, Mr Sato felt like he was basking in the sunshine’s rays.

The bright orange centre actually contained a creamy filling made from real mango flesh, while the outer casing was made from white chocolate. Taking a mouthful of the entire thing together created an explosion of flavour and textures, with the creamy, fruity mango singing through the sweet and crunchy chocolate undertones.

The complementing textures and well-balanced flavours were a testament to the skill of the pastry chef who created it, leaving no question in Mr Sato’s mind that this was a high-quality sweet made from premium ingredients.

The light and airy filling did have a cloud-like feel to it, and after finishing every crumb of the delectable sweet, Mr Sato’s belly thanked him for the experience.

The Kumo is as delicious as it is beautiful, and it’s ready for your social media close-ups at the Mandarin Oriental right now. Each one retails for 1,400 yen (US$12.70), which might sound like a splurge, but it’s one you definitely won’t regret, especially if you’ve recently destroyed your taste buds with the cheap Above and Beyond series from Lawson 100.

Store Information
The Mandarin Oriental Gourmet Shop / ザ・マンダリン・オリエンタル・グルメショップ
Address: Tokyo-to, Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi, Muromachi 2-1-1
Hours:  7:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. (weekdays), 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. (weekends). The Kumo is on sale from 10:30 a.m.

Photos © SoraNews24
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