Regarded as the Starbucks of Japan, Nana’s Green Tea recently opened its first North American store in Kerrisdale, Vancouver. Prior to its grand opening, I was lucky to tag along with Jason to its media event. Its minimalist and elegant interior design are paired with wooden chairs and tables. Though there is limited seating, it is not too packed. After the media tasting, I went back again on a weekend afternoon, and the line wasn’t too bad, as I only waited for 15 minutes.
We tried some signature desserts, drinks, and savory dishes in the media event.
Matcha Chocolate Latte, Azuki Strawberry Latte, and Hoji-cha Shiratama Float
Among the three sample drinks, my favorite was the Hoji-cha Shiratama Float. Hoji-cha is a roasted green tea, which I prefer more than matcha. Though it has a strong nutty and bitter flavor, I think overall it is smoother than matcha. The latte’s bitterness was balanced by the subtle sweetness from the hoji-cha ice cream. The shiratama dango (rice flour dumplings) added a chewy texture to its creaminess. The drink was unforgettable that I ordered again on my next visit, but I found the drink got sweeter this time. So there might be still some inconsistency in terms of flavor.
Fresh Tuna with Curry Tartar Sauce Donburi
There are four kinds of donburi serving in Nana’s Green Tea, and I fell in love with this one – Fresh Tuna with Curry Tartar Sauce. The donburi had a generous amount of raw tuna. The curry tartar sauce paired well with the tuna, but I found the onion was too strong that dominated the overall flavor. I also preferred to have less sauce, so it would not be too heavy. Each donburi set comes with a miso soup, which I found helpful to soothe the heaviness from the tartar sauce.
Matcha Shiratama Parfait
Matcha Shiratama Parfait is comprised of matcha pudding, vanilla soft serve, cereal, shiratama dango, azuki (red bean) paste, matcha ice cream, and topped with whipped cream and matcha syrup. I also tried the Hoji-cha Shiratama Parfait on my next visit, which it used hoji-cha pudding, kuromitsu (brown sugar syrup), hoji-cha azuki paste, and hoji-cha ice cream.
I preferred the matcha over the hoji-cha one for this time because the matcha parfait had a stronger tea flavor. Hoji-cha parfait was sweeter than I expected, and it was lack of the roasted hoji-cha’s bitterness in its toppings. Though the ingredients were of high quality, the parfaits were reasonably priced.
Matcha Roll Cake & Matcha Gateau Chocolat
For anyone who is fond of the bitterness from matcha, the Matcha Roll Cake would be to your liking. It looked simple, but the dark matcha paste in the center surprised me. The flavor was notably stronger than any matcha desserts I have tried in Vancouver. I did not like the bitterness, but I know many of my friends would fall for this one.
The Matcha Gateau Chocolat was more to my liking. It had a dense texture, and its bitterness was clearly more subtle. Unfortunately, I can barely taste any chocolate flavor.
Combining my experience from Nana’s Green Tea’s media tasting and my regular visit, there was no significant difference in its service and overall taste. I would definitely return to try more items, especially the Warabimochi Parfait that was sold out last time.
Taste: 4/5 • Service: 4.5/5 • Ambiance: 4/5 • Quality-Price: 4.5/5
ADDRESS: 2135 W 41st Ave, Vancouver, BC V6M 1Z6
HOURS: 11AM – 9PM | Mon, Tue, Thurs to Sun
Disclosure: Media Event