I discovered Arinco, a swiss roll specialty chain that’s apparently da bomb in Japan while I was taking a stroll with The F Man at Arashiyama (嵐山) . With my sharp skills of deduction, I figured that Arinco was famous or at least featured on Japanese TV. There was a crowd around the outlet and everyone was buying these swiss rolls by the boxes. (Yes, plural. Not just one box.) Guess what? I’m such a slowpoke. This was actually available in Singapore quite a number of years ago at ION Orchard, but didn’t stand the test of time and closed. No thanks to the exorbitant prices they were selling for in Singapore then. That said, it is still a pricey dessert in Japan at ¥950 per roll.
I struggled to order at counters with a limited Japanese vocabulary of hitotsu and arigato gozaimasu! It’s quite challenging to articulate orders and ask questions about what’s on the menu. Sometimes, the menu is without pictures, so that’s when both The F Man and I start squinting and trying to get at the kanji to figure out the ingredients included in each item. The safest menu item we found was the Arinco Matcha Roll (抹茶ロール) and we proceeded to order the chibi one which is half of the full roll and cost around ¥500 or so.
False Lashes from Charee Lashes
Matcha is green tea in finely-milled powdered form and the Arinco Matcha Roll is made using authentic Matcha from Uji, Japan. I had my roll slightly frozen and even then, the cake was light and pillowy. The aromatic bittersweetness of the Matcha was apparent in every bite and the roll was not overly sweetened making it very enjoyable. The cream in it’s frozen state had an ice-cream like texture but was a little bland. While better than the average swiss roll and really a joy to eat, I didn’t find it exceptional. Well, if I had done my research, I would have known, I should have chosen one of them “caramel” flavour rolls. Seems like that’s the hit!
Grab and go for a nice afternoon tea snack while out on a long day of admiring the sights and sounds of Western Kyoto? Yeah sure, why not. But I wouldn’t spend more than five minutes queuing for this of course. No harm trying this out if you’re in Kyoto and stumble onto the Arashiyama outlet, but don’t fret if you don’t come across it. There are other stores in Tokyo and some even have their own specialty flavours.
Arinco Arashiyama (京都嵐山本店)
20-1 Sagatenryuji-kitamichitukuri-cho, Ukyo-ku Kyoto City
Outside Keifuku Arashiyama Railway Station, 1F
Open daily from 9:00am to 6:00pm.