Mitsu Cafe pop-up strikes again

Mitsu Sweet Cafe & Sushi isn’t just for The Jaw. Marty Grande-Sherbert

Mitsu Cafe sounds like it’s here to stay

If you ever find yourself on a trip to Moose Jaw – and you’d like to eat something that isn’t Deja Vu chicken for once – I highly recommend Mitsu Sweet café & Sushi, the Japanese dessert cafe that has never disappointed me. Mitsu makes a huge variety of Japanese cuisine for lunch and dinner too, from tempura to sushi to donburi, but their sweet offerings are absolutely what makes them stand out. As a Japanese-owned cafe, Mitsu serves desserts that absolutely take me back to the time I spent studying abroad in Japan, where I was a definite fan of bakeries and cake shops that have a certain flair you can’t find anywhere else.

If you can’t make it to Moose Jaw just to check it out, though, don’t worry. Mitsu in the past few years has been putting on “pop-up cafe” events at Japanese restaurants in Regina, like the recent one on Feb. 23. To say the events are popular would be an understatement. Luckily, I knew to get there half an hour early from previous experience and was able to get a seat. For most, though, that was impossible, as about 15 minutes after the starting time a line was already forming out the door.

People already love Mitsu Cafe in Regina, but I wanted to give some of its offerings a proper review and talk about them in detail, so I took a few friends to the pop-up and ordered four desserts and two drinks. There really was something there for everyone, including some things I didn’t try, but here are the top picks from my outing.

First, the little cutie featured in the photo above: the animal-shaped chocolate mousse. This was a chocolate mousse covered in white chocolate with a fruit centre, which seemed to be strawberry. It was the favourite of one of the people I ate with, who was mostly in love with how it looked – apart from the kitty model, there were bunnies and pandas you could pick up too. The mousse itself was great and not too sweet, which is usually the main drawback of a mousse. An excellent choice, especially for a photo op.

Second, we ordered two cheesecakes: the Japanese soufflé cheesecake and the mango cheesecake. The soufflé looked very impressive, with a citrus glaze on top and a kind of wavy appearance, and an incredibly fluffy texture. The mango was delicious in its own way, with a mango jelly layer on top, a much smoother cheesecake texture, and an artistically placed slice of mango on top. If you like cheesecake, I recommend the mango most of all. It was my second time having it and I would still give it a solid 8 out of 10. The soufflé had a texture that wasn’t my particular taste, but my friend who loves fluffy desserts gave it endless praise.

The last food item was the most highly anticipated for me, and also my favourite: the melonpan. For those who haven’t had it before, melonpan, or “melon bread,” is not actually made with melons but is a sweet bread with cookie on top that has stripes across its surface, making it look like a honeydew melon. It’s such a simple thing, but it was one of my favourite things to eat as a snack in Japan, and you simply can’t buy it here. So, of course, I immediately jumped at the chance to order it at the pop-up, and it was delicious, soft, sweet and cooked to just the right texture. Lots of people were taking them to go, and I’m sure they sold out in no time at all.

The drinks we ordered were a matcha latte, which was pretty average, but better than many, and the yuzu mitsu soda, which was a sweet soda drink with pieces of the Japanese citrus fruit, yuzu. It’s hard to describe the taste of yuzu if you haven’t had it yourself, but the soda was delicious and I regretted not buying a second one for myself. If you go to Mitsu and don’t know what drink to order, I recommend giving it a try!

The pop-up’s location this time was The Tipsy Samurai, where my friends also ordered some delicious appetizers, so check them out too! Keep an eye out for the next Facebook event that sees Mitsu come back to Regina – I even heard a rumor that there may be a popup at the U of R someday, a treat for the high number of student on exchange here from Japan. Fingers crossed.

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