Never one to pass up on dessert, ventured into Midtown to search for Kyotofu, the relatively new Japanese dessert bar getting a lot of positive buzz. It was a bit hard to find (if you're unsure of the address or cross streets, as I was), with only a small red-lined sign set against the whitewashed wall to indicate the wooden door entrance. A full-height glass window entices passers-by to peek inside at all the happy folk by the bar downing their desserts and sake. The simple, low-key, elegant design extends into the minimalist dining room which is lined with white cushions, combined with wooden panelling and recessed lighting.
My friend R. had been to Kyotofu a few times, and since she had a lot of recommended desserts I opted for the three-course Kaiseki dessert sampler ($15) with sake pairing (additional $12). No, I wasn't trying to get drunk :-D. The picture on the left is the signature sweet tofu served with kuromitsu black sugar sauce topped by candied apricot. Mmmm...simple yet delectably sweet! The sesame shochu (distilled Japanese liquor) on the rocks provided a complimentary strong, bright finish that jolted my taste buds.
Next up was the Japanese okayu rice pudding, made with ginger infused soymilk, seven spice tuile and candied ginger (I admit, I'm reading off the cardboard menu). It is not the one pictured to the right. That one was ordered by R., and is the warm raspberry mochi chocolate cake topped by green tea anko cream, almond nougatine and kinako gelee. Yet another sharply sweet fancy-schmancy concoction especially the raspberry inside the chocolate.
Last course were a couple of chewy green tea-dipped cookies with almonds and sesame seeds paired with plum sake, a lighter less sweet version of plum wine. Speaking of sake, due to a minor snafu with bringing out the sake pairings, Kyotofu management provided complementary glasses of Komekome (Happy Bride) seasonal sake to our table, which was easily the best among the ones I tasted. R. and E. agreed with my assessment as well. A lovely gesture on their part.
Kyotofu offers a dizzying array of cocktails (shochu caipirinha anyone?), sake, and appetizers (e.g. cheese, rice balls) as well. Perfect for a light snack or after-hours hangout.