Happy first week of spring and here’s a favorite from We8that to kick off the warm weather to come!
We found a place in Nolita that specializes in oolong tea flavored treats that we think we’ll be frequenting regularly during the upcoming months. Bar Pa Tea is a bubble tea place that strives to create more healthful alternatives to the beverage without compromising its original taste. This bubble tea shop offers a variety of tea flavors, but their true signatures include the oolong bubble tea and oolong soft serve. Like many tea places, you can customize the sugar levels. Just note that “not too sweet” is more like zero sweetness, so we recommend going up a notch. Although the bubble tea was very good, we had to give our biggest approval to the oolong soft serve. Sweetness of the base doesn’t overpower this cold treat. The flavor is elegantly floral, a little bit toasty with a hint of bitterness.
Growing up, oolong tea was a staple at our house, we always had a big bottle or two stocked in our fridge. For those unfamiliar with oolong, it’s a traditional Chinese tea with a wide range of flavors depending on the process of production: floral, grassy, sweet or toasty. And for those interested in the nutritional and health benefits, oolong is rich in antioxidants and also contains a variety of essential vitamins and minerals like calcium, copper, vitamin A, B, C, E, and K. Which all translates to benefits like decreasing inflammation in the body, lowers the risk of heart disease, and can aid metabolism.
Make sure to give some love to Bar Pa Tea over the spring and summer and stay tuned for more warm-weather eats!
Bar Pa Tea
85 Kenmare Street, New York, NY 10012
365日 (365 Days) is a high-end bakery located on the west side of Yoyogi Park in Tokyo, Japan. Spearheaded by chef Sugitaki Shigetada, 365日 focuses on creating small-sized pastries, allowing the customer to enjoy not just one but a few – without getting full on one entree.
Featuring a beautiful wood-themed interior, this stylish bakery also carries a series of condiments like jam, nut butters, and syrups you can enjoy with their bread. We headed over just before the lunch crowd hit and selected 3 items. The first was a curry-stuffed bread which featured just the right ratio of paste and lightly fried dough, following a crostini topped with crispy kale covered in melted cheese. The star of the show (pictured) was a citrus custard filled bread, encrusted with crunchy white chocolate balls. If you’re a foodie looking to enjoy a variety of high-quality, unique Japanese-style pastries while still leaving room for more delicious eats around Tokyo, head over to 365日.
2017 is finally here and we decided to celebrate the new year with a traditional Japanese dish, mochi. Mochi can be eaten all year round in many different forms, but it plays a huge role especially during New Year’s Day. On this special day, kagami mochi decorations are put on display at homes all across Japan. These ornaments comprise of two flattened circular mochi patties stacked on top of the other, and finished off with a mandarin orange at the very top. We also cook a special clear broth soup called ozoni that includes toasted mochi. Unfortunately, we did not decorate our apartments with kagami mochi nor did we cook ozoni. Rather, we headed over to Domo Williamsburg for a different kind of mochi that you don’t usually eat on New Year’s Day, but is equally as delicious.
Domo Williamsburg located on the corner of Jackson Street and Manhattan Avenue is a small Japanese eatery/grocery store that stocks everything from candy to cup ramen, and of course, a menu consisting of homemade rice balls, sandwiches, an array of teas, and dangos. For those who are not familiar, dango are little mochi balls that are usually served with wood or bamboo skewers. At this particular eatery, you can order from a variety of red bean paste, sesame, and mitarashi (soy sauce flavor). We had to go with two orders of the mitarashi dango, because as little girls we had fond memories of this sweet and savory snacks. Originating from Kamo Mitarashi Tea House in Kyoto, Japan, the mitarashi dango is made with a thick, sweet soy sauce glaze that also has a deep toasted flavor. Often times, a sheet of nori seaweed is carefully wrapped around the dango, providing a little bit of texture and enhancing that toasty quality of the dish. At Domo Williamsburg, the dangos come in nice paper coverings and served on a beautiful wooden platter.
If you love dangos as much as we do or have never eaten one and want to try out some traditional dangos, we highly recommend dropping by Domo Williamsburg. While you’re there, make sure to pick up a few snacks for later!
Although fall is in full swing, we couldn’t resist posting about this cold treat. Taiyaki NYC is the newest dessert place that has everyone, including us, talking. Located on Baxter Street between Hester and Canal Street, this sweet joint brings an exceptionally unique take on the traditional Japanese (also Korean) fish-shaped cake, known as taiyaki. The shop specializes in soft serve with taiyaki “cones” with their distinct twist being the fish’s mouth is stretched an inch or two to accommodate a variety of ice cream flavors. There’s topping and filling options too, from mochi to fresh strawberries, custard to red bean paste. Since it was our first time, we decided to go with The Classic ($7), complete with vanilla soft serve, custard filling, fresh strawberries, wafer sticks, and chocolate drizzle. The soft serve was a welcomed addition to the often times plain treat, although midway through, we did start to panic as the upper half threatened to topple over. So our recommendation, do not take your time eating this…you won’t regret it!
You may or may not have heard by now, but Pintrill has teamed up with Shake Shack to bring some super cute pins to their already extensive roster. To commemorate this exciting collaboration, a release party was held at on May 24th at the Shake Shack on 1 Old Fulton Street in Dumbo, Brooklyn. There was of course the burger joint’s amazing menu items, (Naomi got the Shack Burger and I got the Shack Stack) but there was also a special dessert that we all were looking forward to. In honor of Pintrill, Shake Shack created a custom Concrete consisting of their chocolate custard ice cream, gooey caramel, and bits of honeycomb all swirled together to form a deliciously sweet and crunchy treat. If you didn’t know, Pintrill’s colors are black and gold, hence the chocolate ice cream with the golden honeycomb. Close enough!
Check out Pintrill’s Shake Shack pins here and make sure to stop by any of the Shake Shack location for some amazing burgers.