hogetsu bakery / chula vista, ca
I heard of Hogetsu Bakery awhile ago – after all, this place has been around for decades – but I didn’t get around to visiting until this past weekend. Hogetsu specialized in Japanese tea cakes (mochi and the like) and is run by a husband and wife team.
We almost passed right by it – it’s in a nondescript strip mall with a bunch of other plain looking buildings. Nothing really stood out here and I have a feeling it looks exactly as it did decades ago.
Inside the shop is very small. There’s a glass counter with a register in the middle. There are trays of various desserts – all a little different from the tray next to it. Most are mochi-related desserts with either a red bean or white bean filling. We just pointed at various things that looked pretty to us. On the other wall there were various Japanese snacks to choose from. I was too shy to take photos inside.
Our choices were placed into a box with a the name hand written on the front and tied with a string. The pieces were all just over a $1 each (varying in price starting at $1.35).
Our box. There’s two of the same one since S picked that one out after I did and Jake just said he could get it again.
This one looked like it got branded! It had a thin cake wrapped around the mochi inside. I’m sure this has some other name but I couldn’t figure out what it was. There seems to be multiple names for these treats, depending on the filling, the size, etc.
I liked this one with the thin cake on it, it gave it a slightly different texture than the other ones. None of these were super sweet.
This brightly colored one kind of looked like sushi to me. This one didn’t have any filling and it was super soft with a chewy elastically texture. Jake thought it was a lot like eating a marshmallow in texture/chew (but a lot less sweet) and so he didn’t really dig it… but I loved it! I liked how tender and soft it was.
I was able to find out that this one is called Kimishigure. It has a smooth red bean paste in the middle and then a mixture of white bean paste, eggs, and rice powder wraps around it and is steamed. It was kind of like a steamed dumpling with the red bean filling, a much different texture than the other items we had. It was more dense and kind of reminded me of the Filipino steamed rice cake called puto, but with red bean filling. I loved the pink/yellow crackle on top of this one!
This one was shaped and looked like a little peach with the colors and little leaf on top. It had a smooth white bean filling.
This one was shaped like a pretty pink flower and also had a white bean filling.
I picked this one since it was green, but I should have known… it was green tea flavored on the outside with a chunky red bean paste. This was my least favorite as the green tea flavor was quite strong and I do not like things that are green tea flavored (I only like it in it’s liquid form!). The filling was chunky which I didn’t like either. Luckily the other items made up for it and I ended up eating more of the rainbow colored one just to get rid of the taste of this one from my mouth. Ugh.
The kids enjoyed the treats as well, A liking the kimishigure one the best (I’m not sure what S’s favorite was and Jake wasn’t really into these).
The mochi here is different than what you get in the store… freshly prepared makes a big difference as these were more “melt-in-your-mouth” than other mochi I’ve had. They were so tender and fresh and I loved the texture of them and how soft they were. I’d come back to try other varieties for sure! I had no idea there were multiple types of mochi – next time I’ll have to ask for the “official” names of all of the pieces.
1210 3rd Ave.
Chula Vista, CA 91911