Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sorry Kyotofu, I Still Love Chikalicious

I love Chikalicious, the most decadent dessert tasting joint in NYC. So I was curious when a similar joint called Kyotofu opened in Hell's Kitchen a few years ago. I finally went to check it out recently. The outcome? ChikaLicious is still by far the best!!!

It all started off very promising. I stepped into Kyotofu...smelled the wonderful aroma of baked goods and loved the clean modern decor. I was excited to open their menu - they have a wide variety of cocktails, extensive list of sake, and an inventive list of desserts. I order their three course dessert tasting, which our server described in such yummy details. Please pardon the photos to come - I did the best I could in the dark restaurant.

The three course tasting started off relatively strong with a plate of chocolate cake and their signature sweet tofu. The chocolate cake was topped off with a green tea cream, which I thought was inventive. However, I would have preferred the cake served warm because it was rather dense when served in room temperature. The menu also described the cake as having miso; I didn't get a hint of it - maybe that was a good thing, considering how well the other Kyotofu desserts fared in my review.

As for the sweet tofu, it was served with black sugar syrup, which made the dessert look very suspicious. Don't let it fool you. It was the best dessert of the bunch we had that night. It was very much like the Chinese sweet tofu, which is basically tofu with a light sugar syrup. The tofu was creamy, and the sugar gave it a much needed (and perfect) sweetness.

Then the rest of the night came crumbling down...The second plate was yuzu & blackberry anmitsu and genmai tofu cheesecake. I don't know which one was worst. The anmitsu had in it jelly, Japanese yuzu citrus and a Japanese peach of some sort. I don't know how to describe it - I did not understand it at all. It had jelly, a hint of citrus, something pasty on the bottom of the bowl that included crunchy black sesame seeds. They did not go well together. Needless to say, I was confused.

The tofu cheesecake...what can I say? First off, description - it had roasted brown rice, lychee pudding and kabocha squash caramel in it. I liked the crust, but the rest I did not understand either. The cheesecake had a bit of saltiness to it. It wasn't good. I gave up trying to figure it out.

By this point of the meal, I was pretty much speechless. I thought the ice cream, the 3rd and final plate, would save the day, but it didn't. It only got worse. We were served a chocolate and wasabi ice cream, topped with a berry sauce. My fiance cleverly figured out that they were trying to do something similar to the Mexican chocolate with chile powder. It could perhaps work if they used fresh wasabi, but wasabi powder doesn't have the natural sweetness from the fresh version and is probably more potent. It overwhelmed the ice cream.

The idea and presentation were good, but I wouldn't go out of my way to Kyotofu to have their sweet tofu. Save your time & calories and go to ChikaLicious instead.

No comments: