In the past, I haven’t been a fan of Japanese desserts because I always found them to be bland. What I’m realizing lately is that the blandness is actually subtlety, and subtlety is a good thing. Kyotofu offers up small, light and delectable tofu-based desserts and appetizers. The ambience is very modern, and the presentation of each dish was beautiful.
We started with the tofu and chicken tsukune meatballs. The combo of tofu and chicken sounds a bit odd, but the tofu made the meatballs soft and smooth, and they were delicious.
The otsumami, the chef’s selection of appetizers was next. Tonight’s selection was steamed veggies, a tofu quiche, namasu (pickled daikon/carrot salad), and steamed tofu. The standouts here were the tofu quiche and the namasu. I seriously could’ve eaten a bowl of the namasu.
The four-course Kyotofu dessert KAISEKI tasting menu featured their signature sweet tofu topped with Japanese black sugar syrup and a piece of dried apricot, which was creamy like panna cotta (excellent); ginger-infused japanese rice okayu, a rice pudding with sour cherries, kuromitsu whipped cream and ginger candy (excellent), a creamy toasted walnut tahitian vanilla parfait (good), and a tofu-based warm chocolate cake that was rich and light and so good my wife ate most of it. There was also a serving of kinako cream, which was like peanut butter smeared on the plate (very good).
My wife ordered the ichigo strawberry anmitsu, which was a lot like Japanese halo-halo. It had gelatin, strawberry mochi bits, strawberries and azuki (red bean) sauce and a quarter-sized dorayaki pancake. This was so refreshing, especially after all of our other food.
Next up were two miniature cookies…kuro goma (black sesame) and an okara cookie dipped in green tea frosting. I think overall, food with black sesame looks cool, but the flavor is just okay, and that’s how I feel about the kuro goma cookie. Okara is a high-fiber byproduct of tofu or soymilk and is used as the base for the cookie. I didn’t think you could really taste it, but the green tea “frosting” was really nice.
As a palate cleanser, they brought us lychee jelly cubes to end our meal.
Now this might sound like a lot of food, but the portions are really, really small. Considering all the eating we had done throughout the day, it was actually a perfect place to end day one of our NY vacation/eating excursion.
705 9th Ave
(between 48th St & 49th St)
New York, NY 10019
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