Nov 13, 2016

Nope, anmitsu still doesn't make much sense!

I may be deeply cynical about Japanese dessert but I don't let this feeling stop me from trying.  Sunday lunch came in the form of a ramen / dessert set from 糸ぐるま / itoguruma; a chain family restaurant in Japan, so old it doesn't even have a homepage.  It doesn't seem to care either.  In fact, by many accounts 糸ぐるま looks to be on its way out, and in terms of atmosphere delivers the dining equivalent of a Sunday afternoon spent in a home center i.e. it's a bit depressing. 

Nope, anmitsu still doesn't make much sense! photo

I went with a まいこセット (maiko set).  For around 800 yen it came with a double header of shoyu ramen and anmitsu (あんみつ) dessert (above), pickles and a cup of green tea.  Even though anmitsu has been around longer than 糸ぐるま, it's still very much a 'dessert staple' in Japan, particularly amongst the older crew. To this diner, it very much doesn't make sense.  A base of cubed agar jelly is topped with anko (sweet azuki bean paste), banana, kiwi, satsuma, a sole cherry, and gyūhi (a very soft mochi style sweet).  The whole bonkers combo comes with a small serving of kuromitsu, a rich, thick, black sauce that tastes like liquorice.  

Nope, anmitsu still doesn't make much sense! photo

Nope, anmitsu still doesn't make much sense! photo

The ramen was nice.  The anmistsu, as I could tell by looking at it, is something that I may never get used to.  The Japanese friend with whom I was out for lunch assured me that anmitsu is a healthy dessert, to which I responded that most people eat dessert exactly because it's unhealthy.  Ultimately though, the combination of the two did a sterling job of filling me up without leaving me half comatose as Sunday lunches have a habit of doing back home.  

Nope, anmitsu still doesn't make much sense! photo

How does the ramen / anmistsu combination sound to you?



Traveler, surfer, and scribe. Based in Tokyo for six years.


  • kcsantosh

    on Dec 9

    Looks delicious.

  • Tomuu

    on Dec 10

    @kcsantosh It looks pretty good but it still seems like a strange combination of flavors and textures going on. Maybe I'll get used to it one day.