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London’s got its first mochi bar

Loads of variants, including everyone’s favourite mochi ice cream

Joe Mackertich
Written by
Joe Mackertich
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The Japan Centre food hall, located down a side street off Leicester Square, is great if, like me, you enjoying browsing premium soy sauces, psychedelic biscuits and niche noodle variants. 

And this week, the folks at the Japan Centre have opened London’s first dedicated mochi bar. Mochi, for the uninitiated, are rice cakes that have been pounded into a paste and reformed as chewy blobs. A lot of the time they're sweetened or used as a base for another recipe. But they can be a savoury snack in and of themselves. It’s also fair to say that mochi is having a moment in London right now (this new Asian supermarket became a Young Person Destination after it started stocking Gen Z’s favourite brand, Little Moons mochi ice cream).

If you can’t picture what that is, it’s bite-sized mochi balls, filled with various flavour of ice cream.

Baked fresh every day in the bakery, the Japan Centre’s mochi menu includes: Mochi Donuts Pon de Ring (made with mochiko rice flour to give them a sweet, crispy texture); Mochi Cookies that come in flavour like matcha and sakura; Mochi Daifuku, which is your standard soft and chewy mochi with a sweet red-bean centre; Mochi Dango (skewered chewy rice balls, covered in a sweet sauce); and yes, finally, Mochi Ice Cream. Wow, I have never written the word ‘mochi’ so many times in a single paragraph.

The Mochi Bar, at the Panton Street Japan Centre, is open Mon-Fri and Sun 11am-8pm and Sat 11am-9pm.

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