It's hard sometimes to convey the value of a product that isn't available to the majority of your readers and Tops brand cakes are something you have to have experienced to understand their (relative) value. Most of the cheesecake in Japan does not resemble New York cheesecake. It is either chiffon cake which is made with cream cheese, baked cheesecake, or some bizarre bastard off-spring of sour cream, whipped cream, and cream cheese which lacks the heft and luxurious feel of cheesecake.
The real deal, in all of its fattening glory.
The steady exception to the unpredictable and strange "cheesecake" offerings is Tops. Their shops are in some stations and in department stores and they sell the only cheesecake that I will be sad to say goodbye to when I finally pack my bags and quit this land. It's dense, rich, covered with a light frosting, and has a nice base.
This yogurt had a lot to live up to, and I know that I had to adjust my expectations. This is yogurt, not expensive cheesecake from a select shop. That being said, if they're going to slap the Tops name on the label, they'd better give me something. You can't put out a lure like that and not let me reel in a big fish.
When I first peeled back the foil, I was presented with the smell of regular yogurt and a very thick, white offering. Digging your spoon into it shows that it has the same textural quality as warmed cream cheese. The first bite is very much that of yogurt, but by the third bite, it takes on more of a cream cheese dense cheesecake sense to it. By the end, it was definitely carrying the essence of a Tops brand cheesecake both in richness and general flavor.
It's important to keep in mind that this is yogurt, and it's not going to fill the space of a really rich slice of cheesecake. That being said, this is an interesting experience and will remind you of the real deal. At 109 calories for 90 grams (3.17 oz), and at a cost of only about 100 yen ($1.20) when a small real Tops cake is considerably more expensive and exponentially more calorific, this is a chance to experience the fringes of decadence for a fraction of the cost.