I've been watching this new TBS dorama "Ando natsu", which is mainly about wagashi (Japanese pastries), and obviously, I had a huge wagashi craving afterwards. Actually, I can't say that I'm crazy about wagashi - they're cute and ornate, yes, but flavor-wise, most of them are just so-so. I do realize that flavor is not the forte of wagashi - texture and subtlety of aroma are what wagashi is all about. Plus, wagashi is such a seasonal delicacy - a good wagashiya always have excellent seasonal varieties on their products.
Speaking of wagashi, it should be noted that both moo moo, Cla, and I had this wagashi craze a few years ago in Singapore. I believe I started the craze when I began to frequent this gorgeous wagashiya called Minamoto Kitchoan in Takashimaya. Soon afterwards, the 3 of us started to spend obscene amounts of cash buying those ridiculously pretty and deservedly expensive pastries (moo moo, remember the $35 hakutou jelly? mmm...pricey...and cla, our favorite hakutou shigure?? mmm...yummy...) Boy, I do miss Minamoto Kitchoan...
Unfortunately, as far as I know, you can't find authentic, made-in-Japan wagashiya in Sydney, but recently, we've got something close to it. It's the newly-opened Shu shin bou in Maxim Plaza, which is a Taiwanese-owned wagashiya that sells somewhat decent varieties of wagashi such as daifuku, mochi, dorayaki, etc. Nothing too ornate sold over here, but I hope that they will increase their menu and introduce seasonal wagashi in the future.
In the meantime, Shu shin bou is quite a good option if you're craving for wagashi - the shop is tastefully decorated and the staff members are nice and helpful. (the price is reasonable, too)
-> A nice twist to your regular dorayaki. Instead of just your plain ol' ogura filling, this delicious pancake is filled with a layer of chewy-soft mochi, ogura, and finally, a generous dollop of fragrant mango mousse. Very nice.
-> A selection of rolled mochi with european twist (it has a layer of 'castella' sponge cake) filled with various yummy stuff.
-> I am always partial to strawberries. I love strawberries, especially artificially-flavored strawberry products.