A dessert cafe with a world expedition in mind.
It’s no mystery that we love desserts. Many desserts, as attested by our frequent adventures to dessert bars. Maybe it is a love bordering on infatuation…addiction…obsession? Whatever, we wear that love wholeheartedly on our sleeve! So, when we heard of a new dessert-only cafe opening in NYC’s Williamsburg neighbourhood, we pranced asap to savour some new sweet delights. Originally an E-business selling baking kits, Kitsby recently opened a physical space on Grand Street, in the east side of Williamsburg. Minimalist in appearance, with an artificial turf backdrop lining the back wall, and marble-topped tables, Kitsby is designed to draw the millenial’s gaze.
Offering both to-go desserts and plated desserts, we visited Kitsby on two separate occasions to sample across the menu. First, we sampled the bite-sized sweets, including a deeply-flavoured, crumbly, matcha brownie, and two tiny cookies respectively bejewelled with strawberries and white chocolate, and s’mores and peanuts. We noticed that many tables seem to particularly be enamoured with Kitsby’s cream puffs. Not being fans of cream, we skipped this, but do note the variety here.
We also sampled three plated desserts. The first was the “Lady Grey,” a dark chocolate mound featuring the deconstructed tones of Earl Grey tea. Aside from the chocolate, there’s a light touch of bergamot, a drizzle of lemon syrup and sprinklings of little blue flowers. The second dessert was the “Emperor’s Treasure,” a curious-looking creation resembling a dragonfruit. It was a creative tower of turmeric mousse embedded with pebbles of carrot cake and crunchy coffee-flavoured bites, and perched on a coconut shortbread base. Somewhat of an acquired taste perhaps, but inventive dessert creativity ought to be applauded, nonetheless. The third dessert that we sampled from Kitsby would probably be our favourite – the so-called “Forbidden Treasure.” Inspired in part by the bombe alaska, this dessert was a spiky circle of torched meringue, hiding an inner heart of lychee mousse, cardamom cake, raspberry rose gelee, and a little chocolate cube. Exquisite.
On our visit, the staff at Kitsby explained to us that their brand logo had two meanings. A whisk inside a mixing bowl to symbolize the business’ origins as a baking E-business, and when turned upside down, a hot air balloon that travels around the world in its dessert quest. Indeed, Kitsby distinguishes itself from other casual dessert bars in New York by its use of spices and flavours not that commonly featured in more mainstream dessert fare — there’s matcha which is fairly ubiquitous in Asian desserts, but also the likes of turmeric and cardamom that one would perhaps encounter more so in savoury Middle Eastern or South Asian cooking, than in desserts per se. In a city that is as a cultural melting pot as New York is, Kitsby is a most welcome addition.
Dessert adventure checklist
- ☑ Dessert destination: Kitsby Dessert Bar and Cafe, 186 Grand Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York.
- ☑ Budget: $$.
- ☑ Sweet irresistibles: Cakes. Dessert Bar.
- ☑ Must-eat: The “Forbidden Fruit.”
- ☑ The short and sweet story: A dessert cafe with a world expedition in mind.