I’m hopping on a a fairly timely topic! Look at me go! Over the summer, some videos and pictures of a watermelony soft serve from Tokyo made the viral rounds of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Those came from the limited summer specials at Dominique Ansel Bakery down in Omotesando, just a short walk away from Harajuku. Not one to pass up interesting treats, I took my wife down the beaten path to try these two tasty treats.
Creme de la Corn
Somewhat less popular of the two specials, the Creme de la Corn is a sweet corn and caramel soft serve with small dots of corn icing, served on a cold, charred piece of corn. The ice cream is surprisingly savory; I tasted lots of saltiness and a bit of what seemed like soy sauce in each bite. The corn itself was nice and cold, with a more mild corn flavor to round out the experience. It was also the messiest to eat, melting down the corn within seconds of it being placed into my hands.
The one that started it all: The watermelon soft serve presented in a watermelon wedge with chocolate chip seeds. This one surprised me more than the Creme de la Corn: I was expecting a sweet watermelon medley, but instead, I got a very subdued, almost tangy taste. It reminded me of the flavor levels of cucumber: Not overwhelming, but not really what you would call exploding with natural flavor. It’s served with salt for you to add, but in my opinion, the salt was too much with the ice cream. The watermelon itself was not that sweet either, very subdued compared the the super sweet American melons I grew up with as a youth.
Dominique Ansel Bakery
Wedged off the main road that cuts through Harajuku and Omotesando, Dominique Ansel Bakery has tons of tasty treats beyond the two reviewed today. They have tasty treats like tarts, cakes, cookie shots, and a fantastic looking treat known as a frozen smore. They have shops all over the world, each with its own unique treats, and I was very happy to indulge in the ones offered in Tokyo. Here are some tips I have for visiting:
- Expect a line. Lines for popular locations such as these are to be expected. You can expect at least a 15-20 minute wait to order, then another 10-15 minutes for your order to be prepared, depending on how large or specialized it is.
- You need to order a drink in order to use the cafe space upstairs. Otherwise, you’re limited to the seating downstairs. The pace of customer flow usually clears out the tables downstairs quick enough so you’re not waiting too long for a seat, but be prepared accordingly.
- If it’s summer, the doors will be open to accommodate the queue. This means all the heat and humidity will leak into the shop, causing your frozen treats to melt very quickly (as evidenced by my pictures). Be quick to take those fun pics before your ice cream melts!
- The 1,000 yen price is slightly less than $10 currently.
I whole-heartedly recommend checking Dominique Ansel Bakery out. I look forward to visiting them again in the future to try some of their tasty-looking baked goods!