November 26, 2009

The Junoesque pumpkin bagel. I also tried black sesame and green soy bean.

Junoesque is not without its faults, but it still ranks as one of my favourite bagels in Tokyo. They apparently started in Jyugaoka in 1998, which is where I had my first Junoesque experience. The Jyugaoka location has a large cafe which is about 8km from my apartment. I was really hankering for a bagel one Sunday morning, so we had a little jog over to Jyugaoka. I hate jogging, but the bagel cafe was like a carrot dangling before my eyes and was a great motivation to get there faster. When we finally got there, there was a wait for a table. Being very hungry and kind of sweaty and tired, this was not a good thing. So I admired the bagels for sale to take home (not individually wrapped liked most other bagels in Japan), and read the newspaper until we got seated.

Junoesque has a solid menu with a lot of meal set options. I got a warm vegetable salad set with a poppy seed and strawberry cream cheese (didn’t bring the camera jogging, sorry). I would have really liked it if the bagel arrived at the table pre-shmeared, but other than that, the meal rocked! The atmosphere in the cafe is pretty nice, if not a bit too elegant for bagel eating. This kind of brings me to the name which bother me for two reasons: 1) I always want to say “Junesco”, and 2) the word means a “shapely woman” or “statuesque”…it’s too much. They certainly are proud of the name though, and they brand it onto every ‘gel. It seems  a bit abusive, but it’s a nice branding touch..haha, OK, anyways…

They sell these bagels in some upscale grocery stores and they come in a lot of flavours(dominated by sweets). I find them regularly on sale at the Seijo Ishi in my nearest JP station, Ebisu. There are sold in packs of two, and they are expensive. The Ebisu Station store almost always has some with a reduced price, and I buy these and eat them fast of freeze them.

These are good bagels. 10 out of 12!


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