The Totoro Cream Puff Factory carries a rather deceptive name. Located in Setagaya on the outskirts of Tokyo, it’s actually a mysterious little cafe situated in a vintage, slightly dingy house. I climbed up the rickety, steep stairs and found myself waiting for a coveted spot at one of the cramped tables. Antique baking machines perched on the window sills and all the customers–mainly female–took multiple (and I mean multiple) selfies with their cream puffs, then daintily squashed forks into Totoro’s fondant eyeballs.
Those little handmade choux creams were definitely worth the wait, however. I scored the last batch–sturdy pastry shells with a hint of flakiness were packed chock full of either thick, creamy custard flecked with vanilla bean or whipped raspberry cream cheese stained light pink. (I felt bad for bashing the cream puffs’ heads.)
The interior cream tasted light and smooth with a charming sweetness. I craved the vanilla one more than the raspberry since my palate is more opposed to cream cheese goods, but the experience of sipping frothy lattes and digging my fork into these cute desserts satisfied my craving for a sophisticated afternoon snack.