NY Muffin is a cozy cafe serving vegan muffins made with ancient wheat. 日本語はこちらから。
|Type||Cafe (eat-in, takeout)|
|Pricing||Muffins (400 yen and up), sandwich (500 yen), veg plate (850 yen)|
|Favorite||★★★★☆ A rare find where you can enjoy delicious vegan muffins made with unique blends of 4 kinds of ancient wheat. Open only 3 days a week, it’s a slow, chill place with a homey feel.|
Vegan muffin shop in a classic shopping arcade
Walking from Shin-nakano station through the classic shopping arcade or shotengai, you go into a side street and it’s a quiet residential area. Well blended in the neighborhood, you will find NY Muffin, a cafe serving muffins free of eggs, dairy and white sugar.
Inside the cafe, there are counter seating and little Japanese tatami room in the back. The owner of the cafe did most of the renovation herself, including making the center-piece counter – no wonder why it feels so warm and homey inside! Owner’s affection for the neighborhood is shown in the name – NY stands for Nabeya Yokocho, the name of the shopping arcade (not New York!).
NY Muffin is open only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 12 o’clock then closes once all the muffins are sold out. The day I visited, it was around 3 o’clock in the afternoon and everything was sold out except for lemon puppy seed muffins so the owner was about to put more muffins in the oven.
Muffins with distinct flavors of ancient wheat
Bread, pasta and pastries we normally eat are made with wheat which has been modified over generations for improved productivity. Ancient wheat are varieties of wheat which have been in existence since long before such modifications occurred. “Emmer” originated 400,000 years ago, and “einkorn” arose 5 million to 7 million years ago.
Ancient wheat has hull castings, making it hard to mill, and unlike the modern wheat which has been modified to grow shorter to prevent falling over, it’s susceptible to falling over and getting fungal infection, so yields are much lower than the modern wheat. In recent years though, as people became more and more concerned of food safety and health, interest in ancient wheat grew as “super food” like quinoa and millet
Ancient wheat species have unique, distinct flavors and are rich with protein and minerals, making them more nutritious than the modern variety. The hull castings make it harder for insects to penetrate, so ancient wheat tends to grow well in pesticide-free or organic fields also.
Compared with the modern wheat, ancient wheat contains less gluten, and it’s said to be less likely to cause allergy.
At NY Muffin, four kinds of ancient wheat – spelt, einkorn, kamut and emmer – are blended in different ratios for each type of muffin. Lemon puppy seed muffins are made with a blend of spelt and einkorn, and have a fluffy texture. You can’t go wrong with the combination of aromatic lemon and puppy seed, but the muffin itself tastes just so good! It’s only mildly sweet so you can really taste the flavor of the wheat.
As I savored my lemon puppy seed muffin, sweet, irresistible smell of freshly baked muffins filled the cafe. I had to try the freshly baked banana muffin! It’s made with a blend of spelt, einkorn and kamut, which creates a stickier, more moist texture. Besides the cookie topping, no sweetener is added to the muffin itself, so it has just the natural sweetness of bananas and wheat – so delicious and healthy!
In addition to plain and regular menu muffins, NY Muffin also has seasonal muffins such as the cherry blossom muffin which was sold out on the day I visited. I will definitely have to come back to try their next seasonal muffin – mugwort muffin!
Enjoy delicious and healthy vegan muffins in NY of Nakano!
4-29-3 Honcho Nakano-ku Tokyo
Open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays