Sadly, this amazing place is now closed :(.
This is without a shadow of a doubt Colombo's best Japanese bakery. It is also Colombo's only Japanese bakery. In absolute bakery terms this is a good place to go for cakes and general sweetness. It is a really well appointed space - cute, clean and just easy to be in. Walking down Flower Road on a hot day and stumbling into this air-conditioned, wonderland, on the corner where Flower Road meets Green Path(opposite Mango Tree/Rize), with its stacks of Japanese magazines and eye-poppingly attractive cakes was pure bliss.
It's run by a fastidious Japanese woman who likes baking, so obviously it looks good, but the question is does it taste good? We were just passing through so only had time to pick up a blueberry tarte (Rs. 480) and cream bun (Rs. 180). Both were very good.
The tarte was yummy with a generous layer of blueberries on top of creme patissiere and a soft but sufficiently crunchy base. The cream bun was the closest thing to the one true cream puff chain (Beard Papas
) available in Colombo. The vanilla cream filling was Tokyo cream puff quality but the exterior was a bit too soft, still good.
From our little taste this definitely slots straight into the top tier of Colombo bakers but the issue is cost - Esmerelda is not cheap and while prices elsewhere have risen, Rs. 180 for a cream bun and Rs 400 for a slice of cake is close to budget breaking for most Colombars.
To justify those price it really has to be consistently excellent- we'll go back and try one of their cakes at some point. Maybe get something more distinctly Japanese like a black sesame cheese cake, or green tea chiffon cake, but from our initial reconnaissance this is a pretty good place to park yourself on an afternoon- and probably worth seeking out if you're really into good cake.