Have you ever eaten a cat before? No? Well, just go to Japan. No, this isn’t one of those stories whereby one visits an Asian country and legitimately eats one of America’s most beloved household pets. Instead, this is as much a cat as a gummy bear is a bear. Except the innards of this feline is… donut.
Japan, or perhaps Asian, in general, has a real soft spot when it comes to cats. And no, I don’t just mean in the donut variety soft spot. Instead, I mean they have cat decor in a lot of places from tea mugs to shirts to Maneki-neko, the good fortune cat (whose paw waves) and to the magical cartoon cat Doraemon. (Awesome cartoon, by the way. I watched this growing up. A lot.)
Doraemon, the cat with the magical pouch (and talks… and is magical himself)
Maneki-neko cats can sometimes be found with its arm waving back and forth
No surprise then to have stumbled on a donut “factory” with cute little cat right Maneki-neko-smack in the middle of a donut hole. To get to the middle like Tootsie Pop, this donut requires a little jaw stretch / unhinge (read: it’s a tall one). The dough is very un-American dough-like. It’s vanilla-tasting but with a certain cakey-ness that has a certain taste I can’t put a finger on it. It’s a light in sweetness but, yes, cakey.
Once you finally get to the middle to find cute little cat, you can’t help but feel like a giant monster about to devour the cat. No doubt you’ll want to start with the head. (Don’t we always start with the head when eating anything that has one?) Once you bite in you, you’ll realize that this cat is not solid chocolate. In fact, it’s just dough like the rest of the donut covered in chocolate.
The taste of the donut and with its cat figurine in the middle made this whole pastry taste more like a cake than a donut. It was… okay. In the world of donuts, the taste was nothing to rave about or even remember. Instead, you’ll just remember this donut for its decorative looks only.
If you’re a donut aficionado like me, have young kids, or just want to feel like a giant cat-eating monster, check it out. Otherwise, there are other donuts that are less difficult to get to in Tokyo.