Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mochi Sweets: Authentic Japanese Mochi

Who could have thought that a fist-sized  ball of glutinous confection  can thrive on  the local food scene.   It is a fact that Filipinos are always game for new and exciting products, even so from culinary billeted outside our regions.    Boy, if it is sweet, then nothing to argue about it.  
Mochi's have started to storm bazaars and malls, bringing in Japanese traditions on redolent and rainbow-variant chilled  balls,  wildly popular as MOCHI SWEETS, and yes, it has made its way into the local food scene and is sure to create a "mochi craze" as seen in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and China.

“Mochi” is a well-loved Japanese rice cake made from glutinous rice flour pounded into shape. Mochi Sweets has taken this traditional dessert further by creating small balls of luxurious and flavorful cream and wrapping it in chewy mochi skin.  Think dessert dumplings with frozen cream or mousse in the center and a mochi covering made with just the right thickness, moistness and stickiness.

Business partners Jason Yap and Samatha Paz chanced upon Mochi Sweets in their trips to Malaysia and Vietnam and saw the store drawing huge crowds. Both only in their early 20s but with entrepreneurial exposure from their parents, they decided to write to J Sweets in Hong Kong and were soon awarded the official franchise for Mochi Sweets in the Philippines.

Garry Cheng, President of J Sweets was in Manila to grace the unveiling of the first Mochi Sweets store in the SM Mall of Asia. He was very excited for Filipinos to try Mochi Sweets. He says their dessert is superior to other desserts which loosely uses mochi but don’t produce the right texture and experience. Cheng offers a clue on how premium their product and standards are: “We learned from Japan. We had a Japanese chef who creates these delectable concoctions for us and we use only 100% Japanese mochi.”

Just looking at the cute and colorful balls of Mochi Sweets neatly placed in its classic gift box and you understand why it has earned raves abroad. “First impression counts,” says Jason Yap, president of Mochi Sweets Philippines. “Mochi Sweets first tempts you with how it appeals to the eyes. But the real pleasure is the taste and experience once you bite into it. This is because Mochi Sweets is made from the best ingredients. There is meticulous control to ensure consistency of quality. We do not short-change our customers. We aim to satisfy each customer and make them enjoy life’s simple indulgent treats.”
Hence, the real test is resisting the urge to sink your teeth into these decadent sweets. Mochi Sweets comes frozen and you have to wait 10-15 minutes for it to thaw before you can bite into its gummy goodness. But unlike those with ice cream filling, Mochi Sweets is not prone to messy meltdowns as you eat it. It is also a perfect to-go or bring-home treat since it does not melt all the way through and will be thawed and just-ready by the time you meet your family and friends.

In my case, giddy as girl could possibly be with a unique take on cold desserts on one hand and a cup of coffee taken out from a nearby coffee shop on the other hand, putting the mochi on top of the covered coffee  melted away minutes for that icy goodness to be savored in less than the time required for one to indulge in it.
Mochi Sweets indeed has a wide array of flavors – from the classic favorites to inspired special concoctions. Clear winners for chocolate lovers are the wickedly good Chocolate Mousse, Cream Chocolate and Dark Chocolate. Coffee aficionados will find delicious comfort in Caramel Macchiato. Kids and kids-at-heart looking for something wholesome will enjoy the fruity confections: Strawberry Mousse, Mango Yoghurt and Honey Lemon Cream. Those who want something different and exotic can try Sakura (or cherry blossom, which is very popular in Japan), Green Tea and Durian Mousse. Currently, Mochi Sweets offers 17 flavors and will continue to dish out cool and yum variants that will make customers think Mochi Sweets when they crave for desserts and comfort food.
Amongst all the flavors right before my eyes I have chosen Sakura to be the one who had my teeth sink in to it first.   With its soft pink shell covering, the cherry blossom scene is captured in it.   Cherry blossoms are actually edible, from the fruit to the flowers down to its leaves.   AS from reading write-ups about sakura, it has been mentioned that they pickle the tree parts, before it goes to the market.  It's hard to really get the taste of the sakura but the subtle tart and salty flavoring to the mochi blended so well with the red bean paste flavoring of the inside part, which is not too sweet.   You won't go wrong with this one!

From the first Mochi Sweets kiosk in SM Mall of Asia (beside the Skating Rink), the team of Jason Yap and Samatha Paz will open three more Mochi Sweets stores this quarter. The next two stores will be at Robinsons Galleria and Eastwood Mall. They promise rapid expansion in 2013 with the biggest Mochi Sweets shop already slated at SM Aura which will open at BGC.

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