Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dessert from Cafe Zaiya 04-29-2009

Location: 18 East 41st St.
Time: 6pm

Feelings: I stopped by at a popular Japanese convenience store/cafe, Cafe Zaiya to pick up some dessert. Since Zaiya and other Japanese cafes on this block become chaotic during lunch hours, I usually try to satisfy my Japanese patisserie cravings after 6pm. My job is stressful enough, and I don't need agony over my love of Japanese cake and bento boxes during my lunch hour.

As I got there, I noticed they still had quite long lines, but I also noticed their new product: chocolate covered mochi doughnut. Mochi donuts were one of my favorite things from our Osaka trip, so I was excited to try Zaiya's version. I took a bite into it with much anticipation. It tasted more like chocolate covered deep fried mochi molded into a donut shape than a mochi doughnut. It was extremely soft and chewy, and I wished it had been more crispy with less of a mochi texture. RB often makes his famous "nutella mochi," and this reminded me a lot of his mastery dish, which is warm mochi pan fried with a generous portion of nutella slathered on top. The lack of doughnutness from the mochi doughnut was quite a disappointment.

I also picked up my usual favorites, green tea cake and chocolate cake, and they are as delicious as usual. They are light, fluffy, not too sweet, which are the requirements of good Japanese cakes and pastries. Japanese chocolate cakes usually taste like cocoa instead of sugar, and just a little bite of it satisfies my chocolate cravings. I always hope their green tea cake to have more bitter green tea flavors, but it was delicious nonetheless. As I mentioned in my previous post, I am a pretty tough critic when it comes to matcha/green tea products.

As I was leaving the place, I noticed they now make Omu-Soba (yakisoba noodles wrapped in thin omelette), so I am determined to go back there soon and try this fantastic Japanese street dish.

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