By grace.g.yang ยท September 9, 2009
Under: Burgers,Chinatown,Cupcakes,Desserts,Dinner,Japanese,Midtown West,My Life,Prix-fixe

Over the weekend, my dad, brother, and I went to Kyotofu to try out some of their newly introduced savory items. You might remember Kyotofu from our Cupcake Cagematch back in August. While they weren’t a crowd favorite, they really impressed me with their delicious chocolate cupcake. Michael Brel, one of the co-owners, invited me to do a tasting and I couldn’t resist.

The space is small but efficient – the kitchen is on the right when you first walk in and you can watch the chefs prepare flights of desserts and small savory items. The dining area is in the back and almost seems like a club; a little dark, loudish music, and a couple of booths along the walls. We started off by trying some of their new items:


(Clockwise from the top left: red snapper, curry risotto with panko crust, chicken and tofu slider, and assortment of beans with yuzu sauce)

My favorite of the bunch was the assortment of beans with yuzu sauce, which (surprisingly) reminded me of a chicken dish from Sakagura. The red snapper was an okay choice (although I thought the rice was too flavorful and overpowered the snapper), the curried risotto was a little dry, and the chicken and tofu slider was okay, but not memorable. Next came the macaroni and cheese:


The macaroni and cheese was really tasty (gruyere and sharp cheeses topped with a panko crust) but a little oily and the macaroni was a tad overcooked. The salad was a nice refreshing side with the mac and cheese.

After our savory dishes, we ordered a tasting of the dessert menu, which is what Kyotofu is really known for. Have you ever eaten tofu for dessert? If you’re Chinese, you’ve probably had had something called tofu hua (a literal translation is tofu flower). It’s served at dim sum places and sold on the street by women scooping up freshly made tofu and pouring a special sweet ginger sauce on top. My mom really likes the dessert and we ate it quite a lot as kids; you can also add boiled peanuts, other beans, or just eat it as a savory dish. I haven’t had tofu hua in a while, but I went to dinner with my dad and brother at Kyotofu the other day and tried their signature tofu (part of the KAISEKI):


And my dad scooping some up:


The owners actually went to Japan to learn the art of tofu making from a family that has been doing it for generations. The signature tofu dessert was tender; the black topping on top of the tofu tasted kind of like a grass jelly drink but is actually kuromitsu, which is a black sugar syrup. The signature tofu dish was probably my favorite thing I ate at Kyotofu.

Next came our other desserts from the tasting:


(Front to back: strawberry-rhubarb cobbler, warm miso chocolate cake, and tofu cheesecake).

All of the second round of desserts were delicious, but my favorite was the warm miso chocolate cake, which was topped with a miso ganache. So many awesome desserts made with soy – quite an interesting concept.

Our last dessert was a sample of soft serve:


Ginger and chocolate – the ginger was very spicy and sweet.

I’m definitely returning to Kyotofu to try more of their desserts but will probably hold off on ordering savory items for a bit. The desserts were really delicious and are really interesting. Kyotofu also sells their stuff at Dean and Deluca (in New York) and also ships their stuff nationwide! I recommend the cupcakes!

Kyotofu on Urbanspoon

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