Japanese-style parfaits you can eat with one hand will have you wishing you had five.
Japan is big on limited-time, seasonal dessert flavors, but green tea ice cream has earned a year-round spot in the hearts, and stomachs, of sweets fans. But while a scoop or swirl of matcha ice cream is plenty appealing all on its own, it becomes truly transcendent when you combine it with other Japanese sweets to make a matcha parfait.
Naturally, the best matcha parfaits come from the best matcha merchants, like Kyoto’s Itohkyuemon, which has been dealing in high-quality tea since 1832. But even companies closing in on their 200th birthday can still be innovative, and Itohkyuemon is blowing our matcha-loving minds with its newest creations: matcha parfait ice cream bars!
Like the name implies, each is based on a matcha parfait offered at Itohkyuemon’s cafes. Starting things off is the standard Uji Matcha Parfait Bar (540 yen [US$5]), the toppings (or should we call them coatings?) for which include matcha nama chocolate, tsubu an sweet red bean paste, and a shiratama mochi dumpling.
Also included in the lineup are parfait bars inspired by parfaits that are otherwise seasonally limited Itohkyuemon cafe desserts, like the Sakura Matcha Parfait Bar (590 yen) with sakura cream, pretty-in-pink shiratama, and even a salted shiotzuke edible cherry blossom. If you’re looking for something with more tang, the summery Tropical Matcha Parfait Bar (590 yen) gives you pieces of pineapple, mango, and a tart fruit sauce drizzled onto the bar.
The Mont Blanc Matcha Parfait Bar (590 yen) is all about chestnuts, with chestnut cream and a candied chestnut, and finally the Strawberry Matcha Parfait Bar (640 yen) obviously has bits of