Pockets of sunshine and rainbows.
A few months ago, we noted that we are making it our mission this year to try to seek out lesser known dessert spots in NYC. From a store specializing in milky tres leches cake, to two focusing on tofu pudding, a cafe offering a small selection of Filipino desserts, another with an array of sweet baked baos, two Georgian dessert spots, and today, two specialty mini tart shops! Have you tried Japanese cheese tarts or Portuguese egg tarts before?
Japanese Cheese Tarts
- Dessert destination: Pinklady Cheese Tart, 11 Mott Street, Chinatown, Manhattan.
- Budget: $2.75 each.
- Short and sweet story: Snuggled somewhere in the labyrinth of Chinatown sits Pinklady. It’s a specialty dessert shop, focusing entirely on Japanese Hokkaido-style cheese tarts. We previously encountered these tarts in Malaysia, and then again in Australia. They are essentially, a cheesecake in a tiny shortbread shell, albeit lighter and fluffier in texture than your typical American cheesecake. At Pinklady, you can try the somewhat oddly sour “original” flavour, the subtly richer chocolate one, the earthy green tea, or our favourite, the just-a-little-sweet ube. There’s also a black sesame and a blueberry, too. If you love cheesecake, you will love these tartlets. For us, we found one a little overwhelming still. Eat straightaway for the airiest bite, or refrigerate overnight for a little denser nibble.
Portuguese Egg Tarts
- Dessert destination: Joey Bats Cafe, 129 Allen Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan.
- Budget: $3 for each.
- Short and sweet story: Long-time readers of this dessert blog know that we lived in (and dessert-blogged) from HK for two years. We don’t miss it at all…except for the spell-binding hikes, the insane buffet-style high teas, and…easy access to steaming hot baos and egg tarts! Hong Kong egg tarts typically have a bright sunflower-yellow facade, and can be readily found throughout Chinatown — you may recall our round-up review of NYC’s best Chinatown bakery treats (see here). Portuguese egg tarts, by contrast, have a burnished brown surface and more pronounced caramel tones. We have particularly fond memories of sampling a range of such tarts on daytrips to Macau. If you find yourself with a craving of the latter while in NYC, look no further than Joey Bats, a little nook in the Lower East Side. Joey Bat’s egg tarts come hot, flakey and somewhat different to other egg tarts we have had before, with a dash of heart-warming cinnamon.