Croissants ¥220, Rabbit White Bread Loafs ¥470
- 1 Chome-15-13 Umezato, Suginami, Tokyo
- Distance from Station:
- 5 minutes on foot from Tokyo Metro Shin-Koenji Station, 15 minutes on foot from JR Koenji Station
- 10:00am - 6:00pm, Closed Mondays and Tuesdays (also irregularly)
- http://bakery-lepus.hatenablog.com/ (external link)
A Blissful Encounter of Rabbits with Bread
Bakery Usagiza Lepus situated along Ome Kaido Road in Shin-Koenji is brimming with “rabbit love.” The shopfront has a sign with an illustration of a rabbit and inside the shop an array of bunny-shaped breads and baked goods are on display. The owner of this shop is Ms. Iori Higashiyama, former Sous-Chef Boulanger at Joël Robuchon, a restaurant in Ebisu, Tokyo opened and named after the famous French chef. She blends 15 types of wheat flours to suit each bread and bakes around 40 kinds of bread and confectionary.
“I want to bake what I believe to be delicious and hopefully others will enjoy too. But I work in a carefree way.” says Higashiyama-san.
As soon as Bakery Usagiza Lepus opened its doors in March 2017, the bakery won the hearts of rabbit lovers and became a popular place with a line of customers waiting outside the shop. In the following year, with the launch of limited time-only collaboration items with a rabbit character “Nanachi” from the Made in Abyss anime/manga, the lines got even longer.
“One coincidence led to another that brought me here to start my own business. It must be fate. I’m kind of glad that many animation production studios are based in Suginami,” anime-loving Higashiyama-san said with a smile.
“In general, croissants are usually well-baked and flaky but the Robuchon’s ones are crispy outside and moist inside with the fermented butter oozing out that gives off an amazing aroma. That was just sensational to me.” says Higashiyama-san. Her croissants (220 yen each, + tax) replicate this sensation while adding a toasty flavor from the wholewheat flour.
Usagi Shokupan (Rabbit White Loaf, 470 yen + tax per loaf) is a masterpiece created as a culmination of numerous prototypes, using their original rabbit mold. When toasted, the combination of the crispy crust, fluffy yet chewy textures, the light bite then the aroma and flavor of the wheat spread through the mouth and it is all so delightful.
If you’re hungry for more of a meal, the Usagi Chicken Sandwich (360 yen + tax) offers delectable juicy fried chicken with fresh lettuce on a rabbit-shaped bun. The flavors are then kicked up a notch with a blend of aromatic herbs.
The bakery offers mainly authentic Robuchon-style French bread and baked confectionery but also every Saturday bakes German bread “Roggenbrot” made with over 90% rye flour. Around Christmas time special bunny-shaped Stollen is also available.
Translation: Ian & Minako