The Place If you are a fan of Cheese tart, you must have heard of PABLO, a café in Japan which specialises in cheese tart. With various outlets across Tokyo such as Omotesando and Akihabara, I visited the Omotesando/Harajuku PABLO Café branch twice just to try two of its cheese tart flavours. The Omotesando outlet is strategically located near Harajuku station on the JR Yamanote Line (approximately 3 minutes walk) and literally just beside Meiji-Jingumae metro station. The two-storey café is tucked in a small alley, which is impossible to miss as you are likely to spot a long queue at its entrance even before its opening hour at 10am. Once you are in line, the friendly staff will brief you that the menus served on level one and two of the café differs, so you can browse through the Japanese menu and decide on the spot. Don’t worry if you can’t read Japanese as the menu is largely pictorial.
The Food PABLO is definitely more of a sweet place than savoury, and best to come with a group try the various flavours. I was more fascinated with limited and seasonal flavours even though I know it is a marketing gimmick for many Japanese F&B brands. For a limited time only, I was excited to see the Uji Matcha Tart on the menu, which I had no qualms trying. The matcha taste was intense, with a wobbly texture over the solid crust, topped with azuki (red bean). It was amazing how good this was, given that it does not overplay on its sweetness.
Limited only to the Omotesando PABLE outlet, I went back for the Cheese tart with four different types of cheese as I was curious about the taste. At 1,389 yen, the size is huge enough for two people. If you are a cheese lover, you should like this item as the cheese flavour was very well-balanced and does not come across as too cloying. I had it alone and I almost finished it. It comes with honey syrup and vanilla ice-cream too, so it was like a sweet and savoury dish to enjoy at the same time.
Rants As with most popular restaurants and cafes in Tokyo, reservations are not taken, which means you need to budget and strategise your time well to avoid spending too much time in the queue. I will recommend going very early just before it opens.
Will I Return Again? PABLO is easily one of my favourite cafes in Tokyo at the moment, especially if I am in Harajuku area. The ingredients used are high quality while its menu offers a good variety of cheese tarts. Highly recommended if you love cheese and are looking for a nice café in Tokyo.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 3.5/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
1-14-21 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
10am-9pm (last orders 8pm)