[Tokyo] Apart of ramen and sushi, matcha is another symbolic food that is iconic to Japan.
Suzukien Asakusa is the birth-child of 2 brands: Suzukien (a tea shop that was opened in 1853 in Tokyo) and Nanaya, a matcha sweets factory that serves the World’s strongest matcha gelato from the Shizuoka Prefecture.
Through this collaboration, their first outlet opened in 2016 just 200m away from Tokyo’s oldest temple, Senso-ji in Asakusa and subsequently expanded to a 2nd outlet along the next street 100m away.
Do note that each outlet has different closing days but at least one of the two outlets will be opened at any point of time.
Some background info: Even though matcha powder from Uji, Kyoto is more commonly known, Shizuoka Prefecture is ranked number 1 in terms of volume of matcha produced in Japan each year and the matcha used at both Nanaya and Suzukien is grown in Okaebe Cho, Fujieda City in Shizuoka.
The interior layout of Suzukien Asakusa is simple with a retail corner and benches to accommodate 20 people, after all, it’s a gelato shop.
Be prepared to be disappointed if you want to purchase the matcha powder used to create the Matcha gelato Premium No.7 as it’s not for sale.
Apart from the 7 different intensities of matcha gelato here, other flavours include Hojicha (roasted green tea), Genmaicha (Brown rice tea), Japanese black tea, Black sesame and Azuki red beans.
Since I’m here at the shop offering the World’s strongest matcha gelato, I will highly recommend the Matcha gelato Premium No.7 (Single scoop ¥590, SGD7.50) that comes in an intense evil shade of green.
A second scoop of gelato (excluding the Matcha gelato) is available at ¥680, SGD8.70 and an ice cream cone will cost an additional ¥20, SGD0.25 including taxes.
This definitely not for the faint-hearted as the Premium No.7 is well-balanced with a strong, bitter, umami with distinctive vegetal notes and a slight sweetness.
As a matcha-holic myself, I was pleasantly surprised with the smooth and creamy texture without bits of matcha in it considering the amount of matcha powder added to reach this high concentration.
Sugoii desu ne!
Just a suggestion to get another matcha gelato of lower intensity to balance out the richness as my friend felt that it was too overbearing and overwhelming for her.
The Premium No.7 reminds me of Nocturne No. 5 in Seoul that offers a similar concept of varying concentrations of matcha gelato.
However, the level 5+ matcha gelato at Nocturne No. 5 is more bitter and less enjoyable.
On the other hand, I ordered double scoops of ice cream (Level 4 matcha gelato and black sesame) for comparison purpose.
Level 1 to 6 matcha gelato are similarly priced at ¥390, SGD5 whereas an additional scoop of gelato (except the matcha gelato) will cost ¥500, SGD6.40.
The Level 4 matcha gelato is definitely more milky as compared to Level 7, but has a more distinctive matcha-ness compared to commercial matcha ice cream brands out there.
For most people, level 4 matcha gelato had a good balance of sweetness from the Hokkaido milk and bitterness from the matcha powder.
Furthermore, it’s aromatic with a pleasant matcha fragrance.
The black sesame gelato is worth a mention, which reminded me of a bowl of black sesame paste in the form of an ice cream.
Even though it’s not as intense as Gomaya Kuki at Omotensando, the texture of the black sesame gelato is smooth and milky with earthy and nutty notes.
As a matcha lover myself, I was so glad that I included Suzukien Asakusa into my itinerary for this trip to Tokyo.
After all, Japan is known to be the birthplace of matcha and nothing is better than eating the World’s strongest matcha gelato in the country of origin.
Suzukien Asakusa 壽々喜園 浅草本店
First outlet: 3 Chome-4-3 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo, Japan
Second outlet: 3 Chome-31-5 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo, Japan
Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm (Mon – Sun), Closing days not fixed
* Written by Nicholas Tan @stormscape who loves all things [NEW]. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.