When there's so much to see and do in Sendai, it might not even cross your mind to explore side-streets. And if you do, a cookie shop might not seem very appealing when you've come all the way to Japan to enjoy the local cuisine. But as with many foods, the Japanese also have their own take on cookies, and this is what Kent has to offer.
There are two stores in Sendai – the main store in Komegafukuro and another in Ichibancho. The former is a bit out of the way and also closed on Wednesdays, but the latter is perfect for dropping into while shopping in central Sendai. It's not far from the south exits of Kotodaikoen subway station. Look out for a side street opposite Lotteria.
It really is small, so don't walk past it! Upon opening the sliding door, you'll be faced with Cookie Monster heaven. A myriad of jars, each containing a different flavor, from basic chocolate to cheese, coffee, kabocha (Japanese pumpkin), darjeeling or macadamia and garlic, stand two deep. There must be at least 20 flavors out at once, but the full range is 68 different types. The labels are written in English and Japanese, so finding your favorite flavor is easy. The cookies come in packs of 5 and will keep a few days after opening if stored in a bag or airtight container (if they last that long...).
There is a 'menu' with a full list of the flavors, also in two languages; seasonal ones are highlighted. Ones that contain egg are also conveniently marked with a little egg-shaped symbol. All of the cookies contain wheat flour and butter.
I've found that the staff can come across as a little severe-looking, but don't let that put you off. These cookies are so delicious they're moreish. In comparison to a lot of Japanese sweets, they aren't overly sweet either. The garlic and macadamia ones were truly savoury, and I can imagine that if I drank beer, they would have tasted great as per the claim. They look good too - each one has a cute little design imprinted into the top, to match the flavor; the apple ones had little apple shapes on top.
If you're looking for something with a Japanese twist to take back to fussy family members, these cookies could make the perfect souvenir, as they're also easy to carry. And it gives you the perfect excuse to 'taste test' a few!