Exploring curious modern Chinese desserts in the East Village.
As the pandemic came to an end, we made it our mission to seek out lesser known dessert spots in NYC. We have covered special dessert stores with a singular direction, such as one focusing on tres leches cake, two tofu pudding stops, and an array of stores offering sweet baked baos, Japanese cheese tarts, Portuguese custard tarts, Malaysian/Singaporean kuih, Indonesian murtabak, Thai desserts, Vietnamese bakery treats, Filipino cakes, and even Georgian desserts. Today, we feature Ando Patisserie, a small dessert spot nestled in the East Village.
Ando Patisserie reminded us very much of the type of trendy cafes you might find in Asia — it’s tiny, unassuming yet with a sleek aesthetic. It serves a short menu of desserts ($12-$18) that are infused with Chinese flavours. Somewhat oddly, Ando doesn’t have a countertop, so you order from drawings of the desserts, but you don’t otherwise have a chance to see the desserts until you receive your box or bag. Also, it is more of a take-away place, than a sit-down place. Over several visits, we tried the following:
- Osmanthus basque cheesecake ($15 per slice) – this is our favourite dessert from Ando. The chrysanthemum tones are beautiful amid the silky spoonful of cheesecake.
- Coconut latte basque cheesecake ($15 per slice) – if you love coffee-flavoured desserts, you will love this cheesecake. We loved more, the silky coconut jelly cubes and shredded coconut that embellished this cheesecake.
- Earl Grey bubble tea egg tarts ($12 for 2) – Ando’s bubble tea egg tarts are our second favourite dessert from this little dessert store. Unlike many bubble tea desserts that we have had in the past, Ando’s tarts were not saccharine at all. They are actually, savoury, but for the tapioca balls.
- Mojito Tiramisu ($15) – this was a box lined with lady finger sponge cake, and layered with thick cream and sliced grapes. We didn’t detect any particular mojito tones.
- Durian Pairfait ($18) – you should only order this if you love durian. It is exceedingly pungent in both flavour and fragrance in this very creamy concoction.
- Sea salt cheese cream sponge cake ($15 for 3) – covered in pork floss and seaweed flakes, and more savoury than sweet, this cream puff is a great afternoon pick-me-up. Note however, that this is likely a love or hate dessert.
- Black sesame crepe roll cake ($18) – at first glance, this pitch black dessert does not look particularly appealing. The crepes are very soft, and wraps around a very generous cream filling. It’s intensely black sesame in flavour, offset slightly by a dusting of powdered peanut.
- Taro egg cream puff ($16 for 3) – these puffs featured a curious interplay of flavours, from salted egg, to creamy, crunchy seaweed and the dry mouthfeel of pork floss.
Overall, there’s nothing in the city that we can think of with a similar flavour profile to Ando’s desserts. If you are looking for unique savoury-leaning desserts, Ando is worth a visit.
Dessert adventure checklist
- ☑ Dessert destination: Ando Patisserie, 214 East 10th Street, East Village, Manhattan.
- ☑ Budget: $$.
- ☑ Sweet irresistibles: Modern Chinese desserts.
- ☑ Must-eat: Osmanthus cheesecake.
- ☑ The short and sweet story: Exploring Modern Chinese desserts in the East Village.