Batch is a new asian-inspired bakery by pastry chef Pichet Ong, owner of P*ONG, the more upscale dessert establishment located next door. I have heard rumors about Batch floating around for awhile, and was very excited to hear that it finally opened this week.
Batch is my style of a bakery. It has a casual, take-out environment, and everything for sale is displayed nicely right at the counter. I also like their use of Asian ingredients and appreciate that it is something different than a traditional cupcake or pie shop. The walls are splatter-painted in bright colors, and they made chandeliers out of old pipes. I feel much more at home at Batch than I do at P*ONG.
We went to Batch on its first Saturday in operation, and it had all of the usual opening pains. The coffee machine wasn’t in (no warm drinks were available) and everything was running out. I actually found this bit of confusion endearing, and appreciated Gary (the counter man of the day) running around trying to get it all in order.
We got one of everything so we could try all of the different flavors and styles that Pichet Ong has become famous for. The small space doesn’t have much besides a window bench for seating, so we ate our treats off the side of the main counter. It was a bit crowded, but Queenie, Andrew and I did manage to try bites of the Mini Pineapple Cake, Ovaltine Crisp Chocolate Pudding, Thai Iced Tea Pudding, Green Tea Coconut Cupcake and Calamansi Cake. I took my Vietnamese coffee cake, peanut butter cookie and walnut cookie home, which I have been too full to eat yet.
The range of flavors and presentation of sweets were very interesting, and some of them won me over with their taste, while others did not. The Ovaltine pudding and mini pineapple cakes were my favorite. The pineapple cake had large chunky pieces of fruit, and the Ovaltine pudding was a nice combination of smooth chocolate with crispy rice. On the other hand, the green tea cupcake had a dry yellow cake base and was over-filled with an unnecessary raspberry coconut filling. The icing on the calamansi cake was also Magnolia-style sweet, which was a surprise from a pastry chef like Pichet Ong. The one thing I am still really looking forward to trying tomorrow for breakfast is the Vietnamese coffee cake. It was initially sold out when I arrived at the bakery, but they brought a new one out just before I left. I have high hopes that this will taste as good as it looks.
I am glad that Batch has opened, and plan to visit it whenever I’m in the West Village to see what new and interesting flavors are on the shelf for the day. I wish this adventurous bakery the best of luck.
150 West 10th Street (between Waverly Place and Greenwich Avenue)