The Biglobe Beauty site brings us a sweet tale of sake parfait.
Kyo-hayashiya in Kyoto creates original Japanese-style sweets and desserts using carefully selected ingredients, particularly an (sweetened red bean paste), matcha (powdered green tea) and soy beans.
Their philosophy is that eating the whole green tea leaf, rather than just drinking infused tea, brings a broader range of nutrients, so they include tea in many of their items. Their Tokyo Shinjuku Takashimaya Times Square branch has a range of traditional and Western sweets only available at that location.
One special item is the Domyoji Parfait, which includes the traditional sweet domyoji, made from puffed and dried sweet glutinous mochi rice flour. The luxurious treat stands 20 cm tall and incorporates no less than 13 different sweet flavours, including domyoji, cherry blossom and sweetened red bean cream with a salted cherry tree leaf, matcha jelly with matcha ice cream, matcha dough, anko sweetened red bean paste, milk ice cream, milk pannacotta, red pea tofu, red fruit, and kanten seaweed-derived jelly (also known as agar or agar-agar). Plus, of course, sake – in the form of a sake jelly. The author notes that the jelly is soft and smooth with a delicate scent of sake.
The Domyoji Parfait costs JPY 1,100 (exclusive of consumption tax). The author notes that there isn’t that much alcohol in the parfait overall, so even people who aren’t good with alcohol should enjoy it.
There are plenty of Japanese expressions that are hard to translate, and が弱い (ga yowai) is one of them. Taken very literally it means to have a weakness towards something, but in this context of 酒が弱い (sake ga yowai) “weak” isn’t the best choice. More broadly speaking, it means to find something difficult or something being a weak point, so it’s more like someone who can’t handle alcohol or finds drinking difficult. I don’t think I’ve come across it in English, where it’s more the case that you’re teetotal/non-drinker or not (a choice or moral stance), so there may be cultural differences underlying the way it’s being talked about.
- Original article (Japanese, Biglobe Beauty, 15 December 2017)
- Kyo-hayashiya site (Japanese)
- Kyoto Project article on sakura-mochi, including domyoji-mochi and the origin of the name (English)