After witnessing such strawberry peaks, how can we ever be satisfied with lesser desserts?

There are some truly phenomenal desserts to be sampled in Japan, from the curious canned cakes to the elegant sweet bread available only at the most exclusive of hotels. While you’ll often find us savoring affordable sweets like the fare sold at grocery stores, sometimes our palates crave something truly extravagant.

The InterContinental Tokyo Bay Hotel had an answer for those desires in the form of their recently debuted dessert: the Strawberry Candy Parfait. While “strawberry candy” might summon up images of the cheap and cheerful hard candies for sale at festivals or tucked away in the pockets of grandmas across the globe, this dessert demands a handsome fee of 3,300 yen (US$29.07) before you taste it.

▼ Here is its relevant page in the menu.

The parfait went on sale on December 1 and will vanish from the hotel on March 31…in theory. The hotel has offered an Apple Candy Parfait in the past which sold out long before its alleged end-of-sale date. The description offered in the menu is as follows:

“Within the walls of this candy shaped to resemble a strawberry lays a blend of granita [blended sugar, water, and strawberry juice] and strawberry pulp. This parfait is crammed with strawberries, strawberry jam, and plenty of cream.”

You can also order it with a drink (hot or iced coffee or tea) for an additional charge of 660 yen on weekdays or 920 yen on holidays, with 330 yen added on top of that if you want a drink that isn’t any of those options. We ordered ours with a simple iced tea, though noted later that the coffee would have probably been a better complement.

When the parfait arrived, though, any doubts we had ever had about this strawberry dessert were blasted into the stratosphere. The visual impact of this thing is off the charts.

The parfait is served in a tall glass, with the contents creating a beautiful pattern of layered deep maroon jam and sparkling white cream. Atop that blend of tantalizing ingredients rests a bed of sliced strawberries fanned out to resemble flower petals, with the star of the show—that jeweled strawberry candy—nestled in pride of place.

▼ A closer glimpse shows that the glass has a fancy stained finish.

The dessert is even finished off with a glimmering accent of gold swirl. To our eyes, this felt more like an ornament than something we ought to put into our mouths and swallow.

Peering at the parfait from above only highlights the intricate work put into the strawberry candy, which glistens from its gilded green stem to the sparkling crimson end of the fruit.

We honestly wondered how we could even convey the varying textures on display here. These high-resolution shots will have to suffice.

A-Anyway, after sitting dazzled by the parfait’s gorgeous countenance, we decided we should probably try eating some of it. Naturally, our first objective was to crack open that precious-looking candy and sample whatever delicious nectar lay within.

This proved to be a bit trickier than anticipated. The candy shell of the strawberry is quite durable, even withstanding the tines of our fork with ease.

▼ Open, darn you!

Once we had access to the insides, we happily slurped them up. The granita, a kind of coarse sorbet, was cold and refreshing. The frozen strawberry flesh was delectable. We weren’t sure if they used liqueur in this aspect of the dessert but we were certain of one thing—this tasted special, much more than the sum of its parts.

And there was yet more to enjoy beneath the bed of strawberry petals, like the snowy-white chantilly cream. It had a faint taste of condensed milk and paired beautifully with the tart strawberries. There was even a blend of chocolate and vanilla ice creams swirled in with the strawberry confit detailed in the menu description.

The parfait was dusted throughout with small dark flecks that at first glance seemed to be chocolate shavings but were actually a mixture of chocolate, pralines, and cookies. All these decadent sub-flavors combined to form the perfect foil to all that stunning strawberry flavor. This dessert is definitely one for the record books!

This is exactly why you have to seize your opportunity to sample the Strawberry Candy Parfait while there’s still time. The hotel only sells a finite amount each day, and once they’re sold out, they’re gone…leaving only strawberry-scented regret in their wake. Any strawberry fanatics in the Tokyo area should go book a reservation online or by telephone before it’s too late!

Related: InterContinental Tokyo Bay Hotel
Images © SoraNews24

● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]