Kobeya afternoon tea

My mission: to find a cheap afternoon tea in Tokyo. The request was for under 3000yen. That was going to be a hard challenge.

I had plans a few weeks back to meet with a couple of ladies from my Namie NESS days.
We usually meet for coffee/lunch etc. They wanted to do afternoon tea but had set a budget for 3000yen or less.
The starting price for afternoon tea at most places in Tokyo is 3500yen.
And the consumption tax rate in Japan has recently risen as well (that’s been a huge pain!).
This was not going to be an easy task. And I wanted to throw in the extra personal challenge of choosing a venue that I have not yet been to.

I put my research skills to the test and came up with an afternoon tea venue for under 1500yen! Total score.
Not the best afternoon tea I’ve had in terms of food quality, but it made for a pleasant afternoon nonetheless.

The venue was Kobeya at the Tokyo International Forum (TIF) in Yurakucho. Points gained for location.
Kobeya is actually a really nice bakery chain. Some of their bakeries have extended into cafe dining restaurants where you can actually order main meals etc. The only place I know where the afternoon tea set is available is the Yurakucho branch of Kobeya. It’s kind of a “gentei” thing, which means it’s limited to so many servings a day. And they don’t take bookings so you’ve just got to turn up and try your luck that they haven’t reached the limit for the day. Luckily, it’s not heavily advertised and most people don’t know about it. You’ll need to ask for the Tea Time menu. And it’s only available between 2-6pm.

The afternoon tea is simple and no frills.
A pot of tea is included. One tea selection only (but you can ask for hot water refill, but the tea did not taste so good after we did this). I think I went with the UVA tea but they also had a couple of other options as well as an organic tea which is technically the tea that comes with the set.
I liked the little touches such as the timer and the teapot cover.

From Kobeya afternoon tea
From Kobeya afternoon tea

The 3-tier set is light and sufficient, but no so tasty. More skewed to Japanese tastebuds.

From Kobeya afternoon tea
From Kobeya afternoon tea
From Kobeya afternoon tea

I enjoyed all of the sandwiches, except one. There was a mentaiko sandwich. And mentaiko is the roe of pollock and cod (basically fish ovaries).

From Kobeya afternoon tea
From Kobeya afternoon tea

The other sandwiches were perfectly fine.

The second tier was essentially the pastry course: a chocolate chip scone, a green tea (matcha) pastry and a berry pastry.

From Kobeya afternoon tea
From Kobeya afternoon tea

Not enough savoury morsels for your liking? They threw in some olives as well.

Clearly, these items are just from the bakery section of their store.

From Kobeya afternoon tea
From Kobeya afternoon tea

I don’t like matcha flavoured stuff, so I didn’t really enjoy this much. Also the jam doesn’t really go well with a choc chip scone.

The last dish was heavy on the grapefruit theme. Again, not a huge fan of grapefruit, so this afternoon tea wasn’t really to my liking. But I wasn’t here for the food. I was here for the company, to catch up with some friends over language exchange.

From Kobeya afternoon tea
From Kobeya afternoon tea

There was a cheesecake which was quite nice. Can’t go wrong there.

From Kobeya afternoon tea

The afternoon set is 1300yen plus tax. Food items will vary as it will be seasonal. I think I must have gone during grapefruit season.

If you go on a weeked to TIF, you might also be in time for the regular antique market that they have there. Great antiques and knick knacks, but not cheap.

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