The Dessert Club by ChikaLicious

ChikaLicious opened up a new dessert bar in the West Village on Beford Street called The Dessert Club by ChikaLicious. I met up with a friend for tea, cake and some great conversation.

Like the original ChikaLicious dessert bar in the East Village, there's seating at the counter where you can watch your dessert being prepared. However at this location, Chika herself isn't preparing the sweets behind the counter. 

There's one menu with beverages, and another with desserts. 

I ordered the Experimental Black tea from Taiwan, which was described as having "hint of peach with notes of morning mist and yellow cake." I'm not so sure I tasted the morning mist, but it was very good.

I like desserts with bananas (with the Banana Mille-feuille from Lady M being my favorite), so I was drawn to the very descriptive Valrhona Chocolate Cream Layered Banana Cake with Lemon-Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Frosted Pistachio. 

There are 12 seats around the counter and counter service is only available during certain days and times. The to-go desserts are available all day.

It's a sweet little spot for an afternoon tea break.

INFO: The Dessert Club by ChikaLicious | 27 Bedford Street | New York, NY 10014 | 212.691.2426
COUNTER HOURS: Wednesday & Thursday, 6PM - Midnight | Friday - Sunday, 3PM - Midnight 

Tasting Menu Lunch at Bouley

Bouley is a one star Michelin star restaurant in Tribeca and they have a five course tasting menu lunch for $55. Barb and I enjoyed a lovely two hour lunch and here's everything I ate...

1/ Starting off with warm bread! Both the mini baguette and roll were excellent and made even better with the bottomless silver pot of butter.

2/ Amuse bouche of salmon and mustard. Light and flavorful.

3/ There were four options for the first course and I went with the Malibu Sea Urchin with green apple and Oscetra caviar which had a $13 supplement.

4/ Behold the bread cart! More than 10 breads to choose from. 

5/ Four options to choose from the second course and I got the Organic Connecticut Farm Egg with Serrano ham, steamed polenta, artichoke, sunchoke, and coconut garlic broth.

6/ Third course had six options. This is the Organic Long Island Duck cooked perfectly to medium rare. Delicious.

7/ Fourth course. Choice of two soups and this is the Spiced Clementine Soup with Elderflower sorbet. There was a tiny misstep with service when the plates were placed on the table without an explanation what it was.

8/ Tea before the last course. Green tea with a two-tiered stand with a selection of sugars.

9/ Two options for dessert and I got the Hot Caramelized Anjou Pear served with Huckleberry and Tahitian vanilla ice cream.

10/ A tower of small dessert bites! (This multi-tiered tray reminded me of the dessert course at the Mandarin Oriental Paris afternoon tea.)

INFO: Bouley | 163 Duane Street | New York, NY 10013 | 212.964.2525
COST: Lunch Tasting Menu, $55 

Posted on March 23, 2015 .

Mini Matcha (Green Tea) Panna Cotta

Queenie and I are back to collaborating on recipes after taking a few months off since Queenie was super busy with work. Once we come up with an idea, Queenie goes and works her magic to develop the recipe. 

I like working on simple recipes, something that doesn't involve hours in the kitchen, and this Mini Matcha (Green Tea) Panna Cotta delivers. It's easy, super tasty, and involves just a few ingredients.

We worked in Queenie's new apartment and tried to work quickly to get the best light. 

Here's pour shot #1. Milk mixture and sifted matcha.

Pour shot #2. We used tiny Weck jars which were just the right portion size. 

Serve with fresh berries if you wish, but these mini matcha panna cottas are just as delicious as is.

Recipe by Queenie Fok for Oh, How Civilized

Makes six mini jars (2.7 oz Weck jars)

2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon matcha
1 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin

1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt

Sprinkle gelatin over 2 tablespoons water, set aside. 

Pour milk, sugar, and salt into a small pot and bring to a low simmer. In a bowl, sift matcha with a strainer then add 23 tablespoons of the warm milk and mix well. Place the strainer on the pot with the warm milk and pour the matcha milk mixture back into the pot. 

Add gelatin into the matcha milk and stir until completely melted.

Pour the mixture into six mini jars. Let cool to room temperature before moving them to the fridge. It'll take 45 hours to set.

Optional: Serve with fresh berries.

» » »
See All Matcha Recipes

Posted on March 19, 2015 .

10 Places to Drink Matcha in New York City

Looking for a good cup of matcha? Here are 10 places I like to frequent in New York City, in no particular order.

1/ Ippodo
Not to be confused with the ramen spot Ippudo, Ippodo is an excellent source for matcha. You can only get their drinks to go, but it's worth a visit since they have multiple grades and types of authentic Japanese matcha beverages. They have a matcha latte which is really an au lait (made with warm milk instead of steamed milk) that's whisked and made right in front of you. Not at all sweetened, this place is for hardcore matcha lovers.

2/ Bibble & Sip
This Midtown West cafe puts a twist on a matcha latte by adding in jasmine syrup (made in-house) with their signature Matcha Jasmine Latte. Not overly sweet, it makes for an excellent tea break especially with their tasty matcha cream puff.

3/ Chalait
A recently opened cafe in the West Village that specializes in matcha-based drinks. All their matcha drinks are Instagram worthy.

4/ Hi-Collar
The matcha au lait isn't on the menu, but you can request it, although there's no guarantee they'll make it for you since it all depends on who's behind the counter.

5/ Cha-An
This Japanese tea house in the East Village makes the best matcha latte (which is really an au lait since the milk isn't steamed). At $7.50, it's also the most expensive but you can really taste the high-grade matcha, As a surprise, stir the sweet red beans at the bottom to sweeten the beverage. 

6/ Cup & Cup
Located in Midtown East, Cup & Cup makes a pretty matcha latte. Their version is sweeter, but not cloyingly so.

7/ Rose Bakery
Their matcha cappuccino isn't on the menu, but you can request it. It was pretty good, until I got to the bottom and there were some clumps of matcha bits. Double up on the matcha with a slice of their matcha cake.

8/ Takahachi Bakery
A very good matcha latte can be found at this Tribeca Japanese bakery. I especially love theirs iced in the summer.

9/ Matcha Cafe Wabi
Made with a heavy cream base (!), the matcha latte here is excellent. Creamy and full-bodied, it's pretty darn tasty.

10/ Grace Street
Like the matcha latte at Cup & Cup, Grace Street's Matcha Honey Latte is fairly sweet, but not overly so, unlike the other matcha beverages found on 32nd street in Koreatown.

Arcade Bakery's Laminated Baguette

What do you get when you cover a baguette with croissant dough? You get this beautiful laminated baguette.

Laminated dough is layered, buttery dough that's used to make croissants. Arcade Bakery takes that dough and wraps it around their baguette dough and bakes it to create this flaky crust goodness. 

Note the paper sleeve the baguette comes in blotted with butter from the laminated dough.

Perfect for sandwiches but just as good ripped off and eaten piece by piece.