Hey, Mr. Sato, how do you like them apple (pies)?

Last summer was a bittersweet time for pie fans in Japan, as Anna Miller’s, the restaurant chain that became a culinary and pop cultural legend in Japan thanks to its delicious desserts and cute uniforms, announced that it would be closing its last branch in the country. That sent people scurrying to the branch in Tokyo’s Shinagawa/Takanawa neighborhood for one last slice of pie before the end, but the rush of customers meant that the demand for pies was too great for Anna Miller’s kitchen to keep up with, and some diners who stopped by went home without being able to taste the restaurant’s flagship dessert.

That group included our ace reporter Mr. Sato, for whom the lack of pie was especially heartbreaking since he’d never eaten Anna Miller’s pie before either. So imagine how his heart leapt when he was walking through Koenji Station in Tokyo and saw this.

An Anna Miller’s, right there in the closest station to his apartment? He’d have pinched himself to make sure he wasn’t dreaming, if he hadn’t needed both hands to wave in the air to properly channel his excitement.

Gleefully gliding over to the display case, he peered inside, and his attention was immediately drawn to the both the classic apple pie

…and the Dutch apple variant, both priced at 648 yen (US$4.65).

His first impulse was to buy up every single slice, but thinking back to how sad he’d been over missing his chance to try their pie in the summer, he exercised commendable restraint and purchased just one slice of each, enough for himself and his wife (who, despite what you might expect, is not Mrs. Sato).

Once back home at the Sato estate, he placed the box reverently on his kitchen table, took a deep breath, and plated the slice he’d be having for himself, the classic apple.

Just looking at the cross-section, he could already feel his pulse quicken. The slice is positively packed with luxuriously large chunks of apple, and thinking of how many must be in a whole Anna Miller’s pie made him both light-headed and happy hearted.

And the taste fully delivered on the promise made by the pie’s looks. The crust had just the right level of crispness, and the apples were fresh, flavorful, and fulfilling. “Delicious!” Mr. Sato re-announced with every bite, and it even smelled good, with the enticing scent of cinnamon drifting up from his plate.

So yes, Mr, Sato’s conclusion is that Anna Miller’s pies are every bit as good as people say they are. However, you might have noticed that the staff that sold him his slices weren’t dressed in the restaurant’s traditional orange-aproned uniforms.

This isn’t because Anna Miller’s has done away with the iconic outfits, though, but because the brand is a limited-time guest at Kore Mou Tabeta?, a dessert takeout specialty shop managed by East Japan Railway Company/JR East. Kore Mou Tabeta?’s name translates to “Have you eaten this yet?”, and the shop welcomes a different partner each month, with this year’s December slot going to Anna Miller’s. Oh, and Koenji’s Kore Mou Tabeta? is located outside the turnstiles, meaning that you can buy pies without buying a train ticket.

There are rumors that Anna Miller’s will be making a full-time restaurant comeback next year, and the company does still have an online shop. For now, though, the Koenji popup shop is your only way to go from “I want some Anna Miller’s pie” to eating it the same day, and it’ll be in operation until December 26.

Location information
Kore Mou Tabeta? (Koenji branch) / コレもう食べた?(高円寺店)
Address: Tokyo-to, Suginami-ku, Koenji Minami 4-48-2
Open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (weekdays), 10 a.m.-9 p.m. (weekends), 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (December 26)

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