Wara: The Rice Bread Shop (Wasabi's Dream Come True).

Posted on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 | 0 comments

   For the past month or so, I've been watching the construction of this new bread shop with great interest, since it's different from your usual French-style bakeries that tend to populate Japan. The sign for this place, Wara, advertises 'rice bread', so we looked it up online. Originating in Jiyugaoka (a neighborhood of Tokyo), there are now quite a few chains around the country. And yes, it really is rice bread. All of their products are made from rice powder. Plus, they don't use shortening or margarine, a small miracle!
  Wara isn't due to open here in Shimizu/Shizuoka (a short walk from Kusanagi station along Minami Kansen, if you're interested) until this Friday, February 25th, but in another stroke of luck, they happened to be having a trial run when we drove by on the way to the grocery store the other night. Upon pulling into the parking lot, we were informed that the trial was invite-only, but since it was nearly over, we were welcome to go on in. Better yet, they weren't actually selling their products for the trial run---they were giving them away! 2 free pieces per person! Of course Keila was counted too, so we ended up with 6 free pieces that we selected, plus 2 more that the cashier threw in for good measure. Yep, 8 pieces of fresh baked goodness. Needless to say, my night was made! I would've happily paid for the bread, especially since it meant avoiding the crowds on opening day, but being free made it taste even better.
  We selected 1 raisin/walnut stick, 1 plain white rice roll, 1 sesame stick, 1 roll with curry inside, 1 matcha powdered roll (which contained what seemed to be yomogi-infused bean paste), and 1 hard plain roll. The 2 free ones were soft walnut rolls. With all that to take home, I was sorely tempted to not even bother making dinner! Especially since they had free samples in the shop, too. We tasted a chiffon/sponge cake made with rice powder that was w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l, but unfortunately they weren't giving any of that away at the time. I did manage to refrain from running away with the bowl of sample pieces, but just barely.
  If you go, from the ones we tasted I would highly recommend the sesame stick. After having half of it, I was really wishing we'd opted to take 2 of those home. Also, the matcha/yomogi roll is great, as is the raisin and walnut stick. Everyone was actually really good, but those were my top 3 picks (besides the lovely cake). I'll definitely be heading back to this place again once the crowds die down a bit!
  Oh, and Wasabi was also in paradise after Yuki gave her a few crumbs to munch on. We'd somehow completely forgotten that her two favorite foods in the whole world are bread and rice...until we caught her frantically trying to rip the bag open!


                        I didn't have the camera, but luckily Yuki had his cell phone on him

                                                 Keila thought it all looked good, too!

                                                   Posing with the bakers

                                                   The new store

                                     Some of our goodies

                                 Wasabi going for the kill

                                   Plain rice roll, designed to look like a grain of rice

                                             One of the hard rolls

Matcha roll