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Kyotofu, a “hip, upscale Japanese dessert bar” will be opening in Hell’s Kitchen this Friday, November 6. I have been waiting for this established Japanese cafe to open its first US branch, and am excited that something so unique will be coming to New York. With reported menu items like Kuromame black bean coffee cake, white chocolate tofu brownies and saffron-sake-pear tartlets, there is certainly nothing else like it in the city. It also promises to use ingredients like Kabocha Squash, lychee, green tea, soy beans and many more traditional Japanese flavors. This list of ingredients is unfamiliar to most Americans, even many world-traveling New Yorkers, and I hope Kyotofu keeps their prices reasonable and presentation simple, encouraging more people to explore their offerings.

The shop will be “sleek and bright”, with white upholstered seating and tables for two. Designed by Hiro Tsuruta, the same architect who deigned Jewel Bako and Momofuku, I expect it to have a modern, yet welcoming feel. I only hope it doesn’t take the the “hip” element too far, keeping the atmosphere more like a cafe than a bar. I look forward to finding out myself this weekend.

705 Ninth Avenue (between 48th and 49th)
New York, NY 10019
Subway: C/E to 50th Street
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Kristin says on October 30th, 2006 at 10:53 am:

I really like those bowls!

Malini says on October 31st, 2006 at 12:37 am:

Hi Kelli, Do you think a tea spiced fruit cake for christmas would work?

Kelli Bernard says on October 31st, 2006 at 8:30 am:

Hi Malini– Sure, that could definitely work! The hardest part about using tea in a recipe is grinding it fine enough to be nice to eat. I use a powerful food processor and let it run for about 5-7 minutes, and then sift out the big pieces. You could also soak the fruit pieces in tea to get the flavor infused, then drain the tea and add the fruit to the recipe. Good luck and let me know how it turns out!

Candace says on November 2nd, 2006 at 6:55 am:

It’s open for business! Went there last night and had
a great time. The deserts were tasty and unique and
the saki and Japanese cocktail menu was extensive.
The place is hip but very pleasant, with
great lighting and seating.You could go in with one person or several and feel comfortable. It’s so nice to have a
place like this in the neighborhood..

Lauren B says on November 3rd, 2006 at 11:59 am:

I visited Kyotofu last night. The desserts were delicious!!! As were the cocktails, all made with shochu, japanese style vodka. I agree with Candace, the space is warm and hip – it’s good for a large or small group. Try the warm chocolate chestnut mochi cake and the sour cherry okayu rice pudding!

MasPinaSarap says on November 3rd, 2006 at 2:05 pm:

I love to see Japanese dessert shops open up in NYC, it makes me feel like I have a little escape back to my childhood, when my mom would take me downtown in Misawa, and buy me sweets. It creates a real sense of calmness for me. :)
Can’t wait to check it out!

Laurie says on November 8th, 2006 at 10:03 pm:

I have to say that the sound of the decor intrigues me. I hope to hear what you thought of that atmosphere. I think the surroundings are such an important part of the experience.

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Lovescool is the documentation of a journey to discover what sweet things are out there, why people love them so much, and perhaps what it takes to start something new.

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An interest, that turned into a blog, that turned into a career. Kelli Bernard is now the owner and baker of Amai Tea & Bake House.

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