We found traditional pudding perfection in a brand new Tokyo cafe

In looks and flavor, this pudding knocked Mr. Sato’s socks off! 

If there’s one thing our Japanese-language reporter Mr. Sato appreciates, it’s good food. And if it’s good food that reminds him of his youth, even better! That’s why he’s just pleased as punch that it’s so easy to find the old-fashioned pudding that used to be served in cafes during the Showa period (1926-1989), thanks to a boom in the popularity of “retro” stuff. That pudding, which is similar to flan custard pudding, has become so popular it’s not even retro anymore, and you can find it at many cafes, even those that aren’t from the Showa era.

In fact, Mr. Sato happened upon a cafe that served one of the most exquisite puddings he’d ever seen. He found it while walking in the west-Tokyo neighborhood of Nerima, near the Toei Animation Museum.

It was called Musashino Coffee, which Mr. Sato remembered had a sister branch not too far away in Tanashi. Though he’d known about it, he’d never been before.

A signboard outside the cafe advertised free, unlimited refills of hot coffee, iced coffee, and iced tea for 430 yen (US$3.30). That was pretty exciting for Mr. Sato, since it’s not something you see much anymore. He would’ve been grateful enough for a half-priced refill, but free refills? Sign him up!

Musashino Coffee opened on December 22, 2022, so Mr. Sato’s visit on January 23 was just after its one-month anniversary. Everything in the store was brand new, from the counters to the tables and chairs. While those old-fashioned, nostalgic Showa-style cafes are great, there’s something to be said for brand-spanking-new places like this one too.

A look at the menu revealed that they served mostly pasta dishes, but they also had a drinking snack menu too, which sounded great for after-dinner drinking sessions.

Finally, Mr. Sato came upon his heart’s desire: pudding (450 yen). It wasn’t called “Retro Pudding”, but the picture definitely had the same vibe. Of course, Mr. Sato had to order it, along with a hot coffee (430 yen), and since he ordered them together as a set, he received a 200-yen discount.

The pudding came in an old-fashioned glass bowl and was topped with whipped cream and a cherry, the very picture of a Showa-era pudding.

Can we get a round of applause? It was such a traditional pudding that he wanted to give it a standing ovation.

Just look at it! The caramel top was so glossy, it actually reflected the whipped cream like a mirror. The color and luster were simply perfection.

Eating it revealed another level of its nostalgic beauty. Mr. Sato just wanted to scoop it up and carry it home, but of course, he could not, so he steeled himself and fractured its perfect veneer with his spoon. Do you see the way the caramel sauce has soaked into the custard pudding, creating a beautiful gradation?

The sight of it resurrected memories of his youth, of warm, bright sunset glows when the blue sky becomes tinged with color as the bright red sun crosses beyond it. This gradation struck the hues of nature into Mr. Sato’s heart, brought poetry to his soul.

The custard itself was unbelievably smooth, without a single impurity. It had clearly been very carefully pureed through a sieve, and the temperature of its environment had obviously been very carefully controlled. It was a sublime pudding any way he looked at it.

Mr. Sato need not even explain how delicious it was. The bitterness of the caramel was just perfect. It was neither too sweet nor too strong.

Truly, what a time it is to be alive. Whatever else may happen, at least we can make a random stop at an unknown cafe in Tokyo and sink into complete bliss for just 450 yen. When it comes to life’s joys, beautiful and delicious food will always reign supreme in Mr. Sato’s heart.

Restaurant information
Musashino Coffee Oizumi Gakuen Branch / ムサシノコーヒー 大泉学園店
Address: Tokyo-to Nerima-ku Higashi Oizumi 2-7-26
Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Open daily

Images © SoraNews24
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