By Jennifer Wright
Tofu, for all its health benefits, often has an unfortunate tendency to taste like tofu, which is why it’s so shocking that the tofu and soy-based deserts at Kyotofu, the Japanese desert bar in Hell’s Kitchen, taste so heavenly.
Chefs Sam Mason and Pichet Ong may have struck some sort of Faustian pact, as each of their deserts, from the black sesame sweet tofu to the mini miso chocolate cake, subtly incorporate delicate Japanese flavors while still being accessible enough to appeal to an American palate raised on Hostess cakes. It’s no wonder New York magazine voted them “Best Cupcake of 2007.” However, in addition to their cupcakes, the recently released autumn menu also features the best sake liqueur tofu cheesecake you’re likely to find anywhere, even if the odds of finding other sake liqueur tofu cheesecakes wasn’t such a daunting prospect. At about $10 per desert the prices make Kyotofu an affordable indulgence. And, since all the deserts are tofu and soy based, and at least somewhat healthier than the average chocolate based desert, you can have all of the gluttony, none of the guilt (or at least, much less of the guilt).
For those looking for something a smidge more decadent, Kyotofu also has an extensive beverage list including cocktails concocted from sochu – a Japanese distilled liquor. They have hosted some delightful sake tasting events in the past and will hopefully do so again in the near future. For those less familiar with Japanese beverages, which incidentally prove every bit as exotic and delicious as the deserts, the waiters are more than happy to offer suggestions about which cocktail will best compliment your meal. So hurry on down to Hell’s Kitchen today. With deserts this good, it would be a sin not to.
705 Ninth Avenue (between 48th and 49th Streets)
*Closed on Mondays for private parties and sake tastings