I hear the Japanese word "hokkori" much these days. The word is used especially for teatime when we are having hot drinks and sweets. Did you get the idea? It is close in meaning to "relaxing", but you need to have drinks and sweets when you whisper "Ah, it's hokkori". And maybe a warm atmosphere of your favorite cafe or a cozy corner of your home is essential for 'hokkori'.
It is used for teatime and at other similar occasions related to relaxation.
One place did make me really "hokkori" with its trendy beverages and sweets based on traditional Japanese bean paste called "anko" or "an". The name of the shop is "Ann & Co." and is located right in front of the ticket gate of the subway Tenjin station, facing the new building of Fukuoka Parco.
As you come out of the ticket gate, you may chance to see a lovely girl with a cute smile holding a sign board of the seasonal menu of Ann & Co. She stands by the board of various memu to welcome the customers. One look at this menu already attracted me towards the shop. Wow, so many different varieties and everything looks great!
The new building of Parco was inaugurated in November, 2014. At the same time Aann & Co. opened its doors to the public, too. It's been 8 months since then and I glanced a pop-up sign stating that 70,000 'Tatedora' had been sold until now.
For my readers I will quote from the brochure as to what 'Tatedora' is - "Upright Pancake Roll with Paste". Freshly baked Dorayaki, where you have the option to choose your favourite 'bean paste' for ¥180.
Did you get the idea what it's like? There are 8 kinds of bean paste you can choose from: Coarse Red Bean Paste, Strained Red Bean Paste, White Bean Paste, Sesame Paste, Sweet Potato Paste, Pumpkin Paste, Strawberry and White Bean Paste, add to that a seasonal - Paste of the Season.
Since I was spoiled for choice, so I asked the girl at the counter for her recommendations. She quickly exclaimed, "Sweet Potato Paste and Echire Butter". Sounded so good and yummy!
They also have toppings for Tatedora; Whipping Cream for ¥50, Brown Sugar Syrup for ¥50, Echire Butter for ¥80, Gyuhi (Soft and Sweet Rice Cake) for ¥50, Mascarpone for ¥50, and Whipped Matcha Cream for ¥80.
So, here is how you can customize your own Tatedora the way you like to have it.
What's more wonderful is that the pancake of your Tatedora is first baked soon after you have placed your order and paid for it.
You can have it as a take-away or choose to enjoy it at their eat-in space, too.
The picture shows our (I was accompanied by my husband) treat for the day. I had cold green tea from Uji (Kyoto), which is on the left in the picture. It was so refreshing and aromatic after the long walk in Tenjin. My husband had this gorgeous drink with many things together: white bean paste with greentea-float, greentea-icecream and rice dumplings on the top for ¥580, while my drink came for ¥350.
We shared one 'sweet potato and echire butter Tatedora' half by half. It felt slightly warm, since it was freshly baked. How "hokkori" it was. Of course, I whispered this word from the bottom of my heart. I was overjoyed feel the "hokkori" spirit in the true sense of the term, at Ann &Co.!
Address: 2-11-1,Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka city (Fukuoka PARCO, Shinkan,B1F)
PS. They also have many kinds of hot and cold drinks using the same kinds of Bean Paste as in Tatedora, like 'an milk'.