For a part of February Spooning Australia became Spooning Japan and I couldn’t be happier. Japan does pretty much everything better than the rest of the world. The country, technology, people and most importantly food is on another level. I fell in love with this wonderful culture and lucky for you I am going to be posting a big bunch of gushing articles on the wonderful places I visited. First off the rank is Guzu Guzu – a little out-of-the-way Bakery and Cafe not far from Niseko/ Hirafu.
My Hokkaido trip was actually a work trip for my day job as Marketing and Social Media Manager at Snowboard.com – stay tuned – video content dropping soon from the trip. But part of our trip was to cover a lot of the things people can do in Niseko and the neighbouring Hokkaido resorts when they aren’t snowboarding. We are aiming for more lifestyle – and the bonus of this was that we shot a lot of footage in food venues for a video we have coming up. Combine my two passions of food and snow and I was basically blissing out the entire time I was there. My boss had eaten at Guzu Guzu before and raved about it being one of the best places I would ever eat in Hokkaido and, as much as I hate to admit it, he was right haha.
POSSIBLY THE BEST BAKERY OF ALL TIME:
Guzu Guzu would be much more visible and easy to locate when it isn’t the best snow season in over 20yrs. There was literally close to 15ft walls of snow build up on the sides of the road in sections. If Dan had not ventured hear before we would never have even known it existed. They set their monthly opening times on the glass-front entry and they aren’t consistent. As soon as you arrive in the Niseko/ Hirafu/ Kutchan area drive to Guzu Guzu and take a pic on your phone of the opening days and hours and then schedule it in.
I have a feeling the family that owns and runs it lives upstairs. It’s a two to three story A-Frame Cottage that was partially buried under mountains of snow when we visited. The entry balcony gave a great chance to stomp off all the snow and enter – you can keep your shoes on as the place is very relaxed. There is seating for probably a dozen or so people and a little play pen at the back for kids.
There are homemade knickknacks for sale and I bought a very cool beanie with a cap peak knitted in. I love odd hats and I know if my boss detests it I will love it so I had to have it haha. But along with the knickknacks is this boutique bakery – all handmade in-store. The smells of the place are divine and the pastries will blow your mind. If they sell out of bakery goods they shut the shop. I assume this happens regularly.
Their hours are usually 11am to 4pm when they are opened so there is no early morning breakfasts. It is brunch and lunch and takeaway. For the coffee drinkers – you will love this place! AND BE WARNED – THEY ONLY TAKE CASH!!!
GUZU GUZU MENU:
It’s bakery goods to takeaway: loaves, scrolls, cakes and pastries. I nearly bought an entire pecan pie to takeaway that just looked heavenly. But we were here for the Dutch Babies – Dan insisted they would change my life. While you assume this is a simple bakery you will then discover they make wonderful pizzas, salivating sandwiches and then their skillet sweets. The savoury stuff looked amazing but we were here for one thing only. And we ordered two…..each.
And seriously – that hot chocolate pictured above – one of the best I have had. It may have helped it was minus 13c outside and the setting and smells of this cottage combined to make everything better!
DUTCH BABIES AND FRENCH TOAST – HOKKAIDO STYLE:
A Dutch baby pancake, sometimes called a German pancake, a Bismarck, or a Dutch puff, is oddly an American sweet popover that is normally served for breakfast. It is derived from the German Pfannkuchen and we were eating it in a Japanese Bakery haha.
French toast is a dish made of bread soaked in eggs and milk, then fried. It comes from France (did you guess?) and here I was finding the best French Toast in Japan.
These two dishes really aren’t that different from each other. At Guzu Guzu they are both made and served in a skillet. They both offer the same toppings although the French Toast is served different to what I have never seen before. The toppings are served in a separate bowl and you can either take out your French Toast and scoop some topping on top of and eat it or you can just make it super easy and pour the entire bowl into the French Toast Skillet.
I had never had a Dutch baby before – and I gotta say – I AM IN LURV :).
I COULD HAVE EATEN ENOUGH TO DIE:
- Strawberry and Blueberry Dutch Baby
- Dark Cherry and White Chocolate Dutch Baby
- Cinnamon and Baked Apple French Toast
- Banana and Caramel French Toast
Oh My God!!!! The Dutch Baby Pancake is fluffy and thick with a slightly crispy shell. The strawberry and blueberry one looked better but the dark cherry and white chocolate had flavours from another plane of existence that I saw it when my I eyes rolled back into my head. This is one of those dishes that I will remember fondly on my death bed as a dining highlight.
I tried Dan’s Banana and Caramel French Toast and even had some banana, my most hated fruit – erky bleached snot pooh haha. But caramel makes everything better and the Guzu Guzu French Toast is on another level.
The bread in Japan is a lot thicker – nearly three times as thick as to what we are used to. Most loaves only have about six slices in them. As you can imagine this makes their French toast like eating clouds of gooey joy. Having the kitchen not add the ingredients on top saves them from getting soggy. But when I poured my cinnamon, baked apple, vanilla ice cream and cream on top the toast went to that same alternate reality as the babies! Let’s call it the Ecstasy Realm haha. This was a true winter dish eaten in the most winter of environments.
While you will most likely leave GUZU GUZU so stuffed walking may be an issue I highly recommend you take some Danishes and other pastries with you for later-on food. Unless you can get back here every day for brunch during their odd opening hours this one visit could be your only and you will want nothing more than to savour it for as long as you can. Visit Guzu Guzu for the soul purpose of entering another plane of existence while devouring their famous Dutch Babies and French Toast.
Guzu Guzu Bakery and Cafe Deets:
PH: (Japanese only) 0136-21-4855
66-3 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0081, Japan
The hours vary daily – it is generally 11am – 4pm. They post the opening times on their front door and it can change randomly.
LOCAL DELIVERY: No
VEGETARIAN OPTIONS: Yes
GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS: Unsure
KID FRIENDLY: Most definitely
PLEASE NOTE – CASH ONLY
*** This meal was paid for ***