After seeing an influx of friends and acquaintances on social media post about the matcha desserts at Tsujiri, I finally had a chance to check it out for myself! Tsujiri is located on 147 Dundas Street West along a street of many other great restaurants and dessert places in Toronto.
Tsujiri is a 156-year-old Japanese traditional tea brand that was first established by Riemon Tsuji in Uji in Kyoto, Japan. Tsujiri’s “philosophy of offering the best quality green tea remains the same by painstakingly selecting the best green tea leaves from the renowned harvest of Uji in Kyoto, using the traditional grinding method to bring out the best aroma and flavour”. That information was taken from their website and you can continue reading more about their brand at their website.
I was really excited to try it out and on this Friday evening just before the long weekend, there was a decent line-up from the inside of their store all the way to just behind the doorway. Their full menu was displayed on a door right outside the entrance and Grace (having been there before and done a tasting) immediately noticed that the Tsujiri Sundae was available!
Tsujiri is known for having long line-ups due to their current popularity (and current trend of anything matcha in the city) so the Tsujiri Sundae was apparently an item on their menu that was frequently sold out quickly. Because of that, Grace highly recommended me to get that on my first visit. I was actually planning to get just the Matcha Soft Serve ice cream but since I did want to try something that was that was so rare and sold out easily, I chose the Tsujiri Sundae instead.
While there were a lot of people in line in front of me, it moved fairly quickly. Grace and I even got a seat inside and we were lucky considering that there were only three or four tables in there in the tiny space. Tsujiri aims to be more of a take-out dessert and drinks place.
We ended up waiting 15 minutes from the time of ordering to receiving the food which wasn’t bad at all considering I’ve heard that people have lined up up to an hour or more just to try this place.
Grace got the Yuzu Sencha, a hot tea made with yuzu and matcha. I took a sip and I was really impressed with how refreshing the tea was and the light taste of the yuzu.
The Tsujiri Sundae could be ordered with either just matcha or a twist of matcha and vanilla soft serve ice cream. I got the twist. It was a nicely assembled sundae with matcha and vanilla soft serve ice cream, two mochi balls, red bean in the middle, crunchy roasted brown rice puffs at the bottom of the cup, and topped with a pink cookie made with Sakura flowers.
I liked the matcha soft serve and found it to be quite strong. I especially realized how strong the matcha actually was when I wasn’t able to fall asleep later that night and kept tossing and turning in my bed. That matcha sure was concentrated! If you like strong matcha ice cream, you will definitely like this one.
The vanilla soft serve was light and paired well with the rest of the sundae. The red bean in the middle of the sundae added a sweetness to everything but was a little too sweet after a while. The crunchy roasted brown rice bits at the bottom of the cup provided a ton of texture to the otherwise smooth sundae dessert. If you like very crunchy bits in your dessert, this will be right up your alley too! I really liked the Sakura flower cookie since it was a little tart and sour.
I can see why there is so much hype for Tsujiri as it is the first Tsujiri location to open up outside of Asia. I would love to return again and try their matcha soft serve ice cream and matcha cake creations next time!
(Oh, by the end of the night when Grace and I left, the Tsujiri Sundae had indeed been sold out! We watched as one of the staff members went outside to put a “sold out” sticker over the Tsujiri Sundae item on the outside menu. We were definitely lucky to get to try it out that day! 🙂 )
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Haha, update! Just five days after I visited Tsujiri for the first time, I found myself there again after Betty and I were looking for a dessert place after a tasting event on a Tuesday evening. We were there around 9:15 p.m. and the line-up wasn’t long at all!
Once we lined up, the line actually moved very quickly. I got the Matcha Soft Serve Ice Cream in a Cone as I had wanted to get last time while Betty got the Chiffon Cake Sundae with Matcha Soft Serve (you could get it as a twist with vanilla too).
After paying at the cashier, my soft serve cone was ready within seconds. I had to make sure I was ready to take the picture quickly because I noticed that the matcha ice cream here at Tsujiri tends to melt very quickly. I was right. Within seconds of taking the first photo and wanting a better background for the second and third photos, the soft serve had already begun to melt and not look as “perky” as its first look. Why does Tsujiri’s soft serve melt so quickly? XD
I licked it as soon as our pictures were done because it was melting already. It was a smooth matcha taste but I knew that it was a concentrated matcha. The waffle cone that I got was very crunchy and easily breakable as I continued to eat the cone.
One thing I noticed was that as I was eating the cone, there was a big hollow gap in the middle of the cone. When they filled up the waffle cone, they did it so that they swirled around the sides of the cone so that there was a big gap in the middle. I wish there wasn’t the gap…
I’m glad I got to try the matcha soft serve this time! (Also, I noticed that the Tsujiri Sundae wasn’t sold out yet today either… perhaps because it was a weekday. 🙂 )
Betty enjoyed her Chiffon Cake Sundae but said that the chiffon cake was a bit dry. She liked her first visit to Tsujiri overall though! 🙂
If I come to Tsujiri for another visit, I want to try their matcha cream puffs! 🙂