Friday, February 20, 2015

Backstube Zopf Bakery

Expats might think that if you want a decently baked bread, there's no way you would get it outside of Tokyo or Yokohama, the expat hubs of the Kantou region.

Well, I'm happy that Backstube Zopf, proved me absolutely wrong.

This unassuming door opens to a tiny, warm, and deliciously fragrant heaven.

Heavenly, right?

I was initially drawn to the pastries, just because I'm a huge custard fan, but Backstube Zopf is actually known for the very Japanese curry bread (カレーパン).

You usually can't go wrong with a curry bread at any bakery in Japan, but Zopf goes beyond just making it "right," it's been marked as the best in the Kantou region and featured on television--resulting in lines (especially on weekends) that sometimes stretch far down the street.

Most curry breads have a thicker bread exterior, similar to a white bread that has been deep fried. Zopf somehow makes their bread exterior thinner with an unexpected crispy crunch, allowing me to take a bite and still retain its shape.

The curry is also much better than your average bakery. It has a much more robust flavor and doesn't taste like regular boxed curry roux, which is the standard fare for most places.

Does it get better though? Why, thank you for asking. Yes, it does.

Zopf also makes a variation of this--the katsu curry bread (カツカレーパン). Yep, you guessed it. To make things even better, they stuff a tiny breaded and deep fried pork cutlet inside the curry bread.

The curry breads are one of Zopf's top-selling items, but don't worry about it selling out--the bakery fries a fresh batch as soon as supply gets dangerously low.

Zopf also carries a variety of different types of bread. I usually visit early morning though, so I naturally gravitate towards the danishes with their very fresh seasonal fruits.

I also ventured from my usual fruit danish breakfast to try the bienenstich, a seasonal pastry only available for the winter.

It was a beautiful change from the danishes, which are delicious in and of themselves. Zopf's bienenstich was soft,crisp, and had a light vanilla custard, same as the ones used in the danishes, making it a perfect tea time snack.

The pastries do unfortunately sell out, so if you feel that you must have one, be sure to get there early.

This is a definite must visit if you are in the area, but it is a bit of a trip out, involving a 10 minute bus ride from Kita Kogane train station.

It is definitely delicious though, so it won't disappoint if you do make the trip out.

As the German's say--Guten Appetit!

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