Checking out two compelling new reasons to return to Pavilion this month: confectionery shop Minamoto Kitchoan & caffeine bar WA Cafe, both infused with inimitable Japanese influences.
First, Minamoto Kitchoan, which recently unveiled its maiden Malaysian branch, bolstering a cross-continental network that spans locations from Singapore to Shanghai to San Francisco, London to Tokyo to New York.
Minamoto specializes in "wagashi," the traditional treats commonly consumed with tea. Beautifully packaged but bitingly priced; it's startlingly simple to spend a whole lunchtime's worth of money on more or less a mouthful here.
Minamoto's mochi might rank as KL's best, exceptional in taste & texture. Sweet but not cloying, with a commanding complexity of flavor, these rice cakes feel fresh & pleasurably pasty without excess stickiness.
Sakura mochi (RM10 per piece), its glutinous grains wrapped with a salted cherry leaf & topped with pickled cherry blossom. Delicate & nuanced.
Also adore the kusa mochi (RM8), typically a springtime delicacy, colored with mugwort leaves & filled with red bean paste. Glutinous greatness.
Tsuyaguri, a whole, soft chestnut enveloped in mashed chestnut paste. Folks who feel like festive splurging can buy a nice 12-piece gift box of these for RM152.
Hoshigaki dried persimmon, reputedly a labor-intensive product to create by massaging the fruit over time, stuffed with white bean paste.
The azuki bean paste is lovely here, be it stuffed in the Oribenishiki baked buns ...
... or sandwiched in dorayaki pancakes (Doraemon's favorite!) ...
... & koganeawase crispy-light wafers. This coming from someone who's not a red-bean fan.
Cookies? These "leaf pies" could prove an irresistibly buttery-sugary addiction.
Not everything here's a hit though: We'd skip the surprisingly bland kasutera sponge cake (RM48) & fukuwatashisenbei vanilla cream cookie ...
... & the OK-but-unmemorable shimizuhakuto peach jelly (RM42).
Before leaving Pavilion, take the escalators four floors up to WA Cafe, where a Japanese barista has started serving this shopping mall's most satisfying coffee.
Colombian Arabica beans form the foundation for WA's lovable iced latte (RM11).
Also admirable: Hot matcha latte (RM10), potently aromatic with top-flight green tea ...
... & a deeply enjoyable roasted almond hot chocolate (RM11), both not-coffee beverages that make WA Cafe more than a coffee bar, come to think of it.
Note: WA Cafe is in a soft-opening stage; its barista advises customers to come next week, when the cafe's own-made ice cream & a wider selection of beverages will become available.
P2-12-00, Level 2, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
Center Court, Level 6, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
The Oct.-Dec. inaugural edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favorites is now available in an eBook for free, convenient reading on computers, tablets & smartphones. It comprises reviews & information for 100 pretty nice eateries that span various locations, cuisines & budgets. Please click here: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/Eat-Drink-KL-100-Favorites-Oct-Dec-2013 (This link expires Dec. 31, 2013; see blog entries after that date for new link).