A little bakery with big ambitions

    An offshoot of the original and famed Sawamura in Karuizawa, Sawamura Hiroo has snuck into the hearts of discerning Tokyoites as a favored breakfast/lunch/dinner spot. Although Sawamura Hiroo is up there with the best bakeries in Tokyo, it has yet to be over-run with outsiders and draws mostly well-heeled locals with the time to leisurely sip coffee or wine while perusing the paper.

    Downstairs, Sawamura looks like a typical bakery with pillowy loaves of fresh baked bread, well curated coffee menu and sweet + savory items. But the head chef at the bakery is encouraged to experiment with his own creations which has led to intriguing concoctions such as croissants filled with anchovy filling, liver-filled pie and a Black Buddha favorite, curry bread that was more like a curry bomb, filled with rich, perfectly spiced curried ground meat with the ideal ratio of curry to bread.

    If you still have room after gorging yourself with carbs in the bakery, head upstairs where you’ll find a totally different vibe. The European tapas style restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and has its own distinct personality that bares little resemblance to the quiet bakery below other than the presence of a killer bread basket. The menu includes inventive items such as a charcoal-grilled Caesar Salad (tastes better than it sounds), Shrimp Ajilo with Lotus Root, and Green Onion Cold Soup with Fish Fritter.

    The only bad part about visiting Sawamura is choosing between the two levels. It’s got a split
    personality but that’s the way we like it.