Each episode is named after a Japanese dessert and features a real life Tokyo restaurant that serves its highest expression. (Foodies, take note.) Within a few episodes, Kantaro’s basic formula becomes apparent: A sales call in a part of Tokyo, a local dessert shop, a wacky, hyperbolic daydream and a reckoning with an authoritarian figure. The climactic encounter with each dessert is introduced with a brief critique of the establishment’s interior decor—asserting that good design makes food taste better.

“When they all mix in perfection in your mouth, our face will surely turn to heaven,” says Kantaro’s love interest savoring the gloriously syrupy savarin cake in the “relaxing” French-themed Yokohama patisserie, Café Recherche.

Feels like heaven.
Feels like heaven.
Image: Netflix

The series offers plenty of aphorisms about modern life: “If you do your job properly, you can play hookey properly,” Kantaro advises an underperforming colleague. “It’s important to be kind and sweet to yourself sometimes too,” he says to his fitness obsessed arch nemesis to coax him inside Tokyo’s bean-to-bar chocolate shop, Minimal.

At times, Kantaro turns dark and uncomfortably sensual. Describing a revealing episode centered around Kantaro’s mom, blogger PDX Food Dude, “It’s so perfectly wrong, everyone in my living room was shrieking, cringing and laughing all at the same time…Watch it with friends, and keep a pile of desserts on hand.”

Kantaro is a caloric, heady, high-caliber farce worth binging on.

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