Thursday, April 23, 2015

Uncle Tetsu's Japanese Cheesecake... Worth the line?

Uncle Tetsu's Japanese Cheesecake shop is the first of its kind outside of Asia and opened at the corner of Bay and Dundas on March 15th with a couple hours' worth of lines all day, everyday since. I waited in line for an hour and half on a cold and windy Wednesday afternoon and this was my experience:

The Cake

In as simplest a form as possible, Uncle Tetsu's delivers a cheesecake that is delicious and aromatic without any frills or hidden surprises. There is no cookie bottom, nor is there a fruit centre and it is certainly not topped with any whipped cream. What it is, is firm enough to remind you that it's a cheesecake, light enough that you can finish the 6" cake by yourself and subtle enough with its flavours and aromas of cheese, eggs and butter that anybody can enjoy it.

I could eat this cake for breakfast, as an afternoon snack or as a dessert after dinner. I would even eat it with green eggs and ham. Many have added that the Uncle Tetsu cheesecake is better after its been refrigerated for a few hours. The cheese becomes a little more pronounced and the texture is a little firmer but I think it's also great fresh out of the oven. When fresh, the cake is feathery light, very fragrant and a bit spongy making it perfect with a glass of milk in the morning or in the middle of a weekend stroll, with coffee. After a few hours in the fridge, the cake is decadent but still light enough that you could fit it in after a three course meal. I would definitely return to Uncle Tetsu's again and again for this cake.

The Madelaines 
If you're not the type of person that will enjoy a slice of cake in the morning hours (you're weird), Uncle Tetsu's also offers madelaines. While they are a different shape than the traditional French madelaine, they're baked in more of a muffin shape than seashell, they're every bit as enjoyable as their counterparts. They taste of honey and eggs, firm and glazed on the outside, soft and spongy on the inside. They're perfect as a grab-and-go snack but they are also pretty filling so, best to share!

The Experience

The experience at Uncle Tetsu's is not much different from the cake itself - simple, charming and refined. Despite incessant line-ups that ensure the staff are occupied constantly, all the workers are very friendly, everybody is smiling. When you make your purchase, the cashier comes around the till to hand you your bag with both hands and a genuine smile. Every purchase, every customer. The madelaines are made in the corner, near the front and you can watch through the window as they pour out the mix (they'll wave to you through the glass). The cakes are made at the back, where three ovens churn out twelve cakes each, every forty-five minutes.

The Lineup
If it's warm and sunny out, you've got nothing better to do and you've got someone to hang out with, sure - the cakes are delicious. If it's cold and windy and wet and the line is out to the entrance of the Greyhound station, maybe come back another time. Bottom line, the product and the experience are great; long line ups are not.


P.S.  If you ever are wondering how long the line is at Uncle Tetsu's, follow: @tetsulineup

Uncle Tetsu's Japanese Cheesecake
595 Bay Street
Toronto, ON M5G 1M5 

Date Visited:  April 22, 2015

Uncle Tetsu Japanese Cheesecake on Urbanspoon

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