I am a self-confessed green tea/matcha lover. I like anything with green tea. Perhaps, my palates fondness of tea (matcha) in general is un”matcha”ble. So whenever I hear of, read of or learn of a place that serves matcha delicacies (which is by the way pretty rare here in the Philippines), I would most certainly storm my way.
And so, when the wife of a foreign friend told me of Kissako Uji Matcha Café, I immediately made my own research about it and told myself that I would pay this café a visit the soonest my weekend is free from out-of-town trips.
Kissako Uji is a Zen-inspired green-tea café. (Such a breather from an uncountable number of coffee shops around the country). Dissecting the café’s name — kissa means “café” in Japanese, while uji is a Japanese city popular for its quality teas. They serve an array of green tea drinks (also Japanese coffee) and sweets that would surely satiate your palates love for green tea.
Wayback pharma days, I have always adore tea products. Learning how beneficial tea is made me love it even more. Matcha is an exceptionally pulverized green tea leaves. It usually has a bitter taste because of the alkaloid present in it (thanks again, Pharmacognosy for the knowledge).
So what did I try during my visit? Here we go… I asked for their best-sellers and I was offered to try out their Iced Matcha Latte – subtle bittersweet flavor. Just the way I like it, unlike other matcha drinks that are too strong with its bitter taste. I have learned that the milk they use is organic.
I haven’t eaten my lunch then so I asked if they have noodles or anything other than sweets and drinks I was delighted to know they do serve ramen. And yes, it is a matcha ramen! How lovely could that be? The Japanese style noodles of the ramen is organic matcha flavored. It is topped with several pieces of pork and egg. It was a food presentation without much embellishments. The taste, however, is beyond palatable. The seaweed containing fish-based soup did lots of wonders that my taste buds were screaming with joy.
Next, I ordered their best-selling dessert — an eight-layer sweet course called Matcha Parfait, that is made up of green tea ice cream, pieces of rice cake they call shiratama, sponge cake that’s matcha flavored, matcha jelly, a pasty red bean called anko, some whipped cream, crunchy corn flakes and nata de coco. Imagine how satisfied your sweet tooth be after eating it.
I also got to taste one of their newer offerings called Shiratama Kinako dango balls with green tea syrup and red bean paste. Dango balls are a mochi balls made of rice flour and water. Kinako is actually a soybean flour. I ordered a hot chocolate-hojicha with this. They seem to be a perfect blend to my taste. Hojicha tea is brownish-green in color and quite fragrant with a smooth, nutty and toasty without being bitter in flavor.
Still wanting to try their other pastries, I went on to order a piece of matcha cookie and a slice of matcha fromage. The cookie has a restrained taste while the fromage has a nice strong taste of matcha and creamy yoghurt.
They have other mouth-watering desserts that I plan at tasting at when I get back. In the meantime, below is a quick glance at what they offer. Surely, Kissako is a “matcha” made in heaven especially for green tea lovers, and Japanese pastry fans.
Kissako Uji Matcha Café
Pioneer Center, Pioneer Street corner Brixton Street, United Avenue, Pasig City
Contact: (02) 730-3356
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.