Patisserie Tomoko

Patisserie Tomoko

Remember that post we did about the strawberry shortcake from Ogawaken in Tokyo, Japan? Well, we’ve found our home away from home dessert spot right here in our stomping grounds, Williamsburg. Located on Union Avenue between Richardson and Frost street and next to Re.Union, this little gem takes a more contemporary approach to Euro-Japanese dessert making. Chef Tomoko, who has worked in well-established restaurants across New York like Bouley, Le Bernadin, and the Russian Tea Room, brings her expertise and knowledge to her patisserie.

Patisserie Tomoko has a distinct bar-like feel with its U-shaped counter and seats surrounding an open kitchen area. It’s the perfect quiet spot for some tea and cake. The menu offerings range from an array of sweets displayed in the counter’s glass casing to two prix fixe dessert choices, the Standard ($12) which comes with two courses and the Premium ($16) with three courses for those with an extra sweet tooth. We went with the Standard prix fixe, where we chose a Zuzu Cheesecake (pictured) as our “main course” and a separate order of Berry Tart and green tea. First came the cheesecake and tart. Both were refined to the right amount of sweetness, as most Japanese desserts are—not too overpowering and not too bland. Hints of citrus cut through the creamy cheese filling, bringing an overall zestiness to the dish. The blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries on the tart were extremely fresh, and a dollop of whipped cream along with the crust and custard filling created a scrumptious spoonful. Finally, a plate of rose macaroon, coconut crisp, and black sesame caramel sandwich completed our course.

Between the two of us, this meal satiated our sweet cravings but did not leave us with that heaviness that extra sweet cupcakes or double layered chocolate cakes so often do. Next time you get the craving for something sugary and light, stop by Patisserie Tomoko for a pot of tea and your choice of dessert!

Rings: Lips Piercing Ring by Delfina Delettrez and Smiley Pearl Ring by Nectar de Stagni. Featuring Shodo nails by the amazing Lady Fancy Nails.

Patisserie Tomoko
68 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
www.patisserietomoko.com

Spot Dessert Bar

A sweet tooth? Well, we have just the right place for your sugary appetite, and the added bonus of delighting your visual senses. Spot Dessert Bar located right in the middle of St. Mark’s Place in New York is the perfect site for chocolaty goodness and light fluffy confections.

We had the pleasure of meeting one of the faces behind Spot Dessert Bar, Mark Lee, and got to choose three of our favorite picks from an amazing selection of incredible looking creations. The Chocolate Green Tea Lava Cake, which Naomi loved, was a cylindrical chocolate cake that when cut in half, oozed with a thick green tea ganache, melding perfectly with the cake and green tea ice cream.

Next came my favorite, The Harvest (pictured above). At first glance, this dish might be mistaken for a table plant. However, this cheeky dessert consists of layers of berries, creamy cheesecake, fluffy meringue, raspberry sorbet, and black rose milk tea with a sprinkle of chocolate crumble to mimic dirt. To top this all off, a few stalks of parsley are nestled into the “dirt” to look like a vibrant green plant. Each bite is a surprise to the senses with sweet, tangy, crunchy, and soft. Lastly, we tried the Golden Toast—something that resembles a sweet breakfast, and which happens to be one of the dishes Spot Dessert Bar is most known for. This dish features a piece of thick toast cut into six pieces, with a generous drizzle of honey. The toast is incredibly crunchy outside and has a fluffy, almost cloud like interior. Fresh strawberries, whipped cream, and of course, their specialty condensed milk ice cream are welcome sides to enjoy with this toast.

Spot Dessert Bar Saint Marks
13 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

Spot Dessert Bar Midtown
11 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001
spotdessertbar.com

Re.Union

Amongst the new luxury condos on Union Avenue in Williamsburg lies Re.union cafe. Re.union cafe believes in organic dining and supporting small businesses in the neighborhood. Read more about the owners and how it came about here.

I met my sister for brunch and some coffee on a Saturday afternoon. We ordered the Shakshouka, the one thing everybody on yelp was raving about. No surprise, it was delicious, a perfect combo of tomato, eggs, and a blend of seasonal vegetables. Along with the Shakshouka came slices of french bread. If you find yourself short of bread, don’t be shy to ask for some extra.

However, the true star of the show was the Nutella Panini. Naomi who normally has an almost non-existing craving for sweets was blown away by this sandwich. This is a sweet treat that comes with two slices of soft fluffy bread, and slathered between you’ll find nutella, sliced bananas, and fresh strawberries. It’s the thick slices of crisp, freshly toasted bread with a sprinkle of powdered sugar that sets it apart from any other Nutella sandwich out there. A perfect alternative to pancakes or french toast, if you are craving something sweet in the morning.

Re.Union
544 Union Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211
www.reunionyc.com

Ogawaken

Have you ever taken a bite out of a Japanese-style shortcake? What distinguishes Japanese shortcake from, let’s say, an English shortcake? While most English bakeries are known to use a biscuit base, Japanese bakeries often use a sponge cake base, which gives this dessert an extremely soft and delicate texture. Whether found in the food section of a department store, or in select cake shops and bakeries, you will most likely see them sold as wholes, or in other cases, in individually wrapped little triangular slices across Japan.

Japanese shortcake is our Grandmas favorite. So naturally, before dropping by her place to have lunch together, we stopped by Ogawaken, the famous Japanese patissier for three slices of their famous shortcake. Ogawaken has been around for over a century. Founded in 1905, it was originally a restaurant that served European lunches and dinners. However in the 1970s, they rebranded their company as a patissier, a little sweets boutique that only sold high quality desserts. Today, Ogawaken is known for their invention of the raisinwich, a sort of cookie sandwich with rum raisin cream filling.

After a delicious lunch of sushi, sweet black beans from a neighbor, our Grandma’s potato salad, and countless other mouthwatering dishes, we enjoyed our shortcakes for dessert with black coffee. The cake was soft, and the airy whipped cream had a light sweetness that was balanced out by the tangy strawberries. We recommend going early, around late morning or noon time, as cakes and other sweet treats tend to sell out VERY fast!

Ogawaken
2-6-14, Meguro-Honcho Meguro-ku
Tokyo Japan 152-0002
http://www.ogawaken.co.jp/en/

Dough

If you find yourself around Union Square or Flatiron District in New York, stop by Dough, the most recent doughnut sensation in town. Fany Gerson, owner and chef, opened her first store in the unassuming neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant. Soon after, word got around that there was a delicious doughnut shop that combined unexpected and unique flavors to create sweet delectable treats. Since then, Dough has been covered by the New York Times, the Gothamist, and many other renowned food networks, and has now opened a new store on 19th Street off Fifth Avenue.

From when I was little, I’ve always loved pink donuts (Naomi always got the chocolate). Whenever we went to Dunkin’ Donuts as kids I would always get a doughnut with pink icing and sprinkles. 20 years later, that craving has not gone anywhere. The first thing I ordered when I got to Dough was their, needless to say, pink hibiscus donut. It’s a shiny magenta pink, with tiny bits of dried hibiscus on the side. The tangy but sweet glaze goes perfectly with the dense chewy dough, and their coffee is just the perfect beverage to sip in between bites. We also recommend their Earl Grey donut, which is only available during certain days, so if you spot one, make sure to grab it!

Dough
14 W 19th St New York, NY 10011
www.doughbrooklyn.com/