If there’s one trend that’s booming in the New York dining scene lately, it’s Asian fusion desserts spots. Instead of the traditional ice cream cone or piece of cake, these new dessert bars are adding some extra Asian influence to their sweets.
While some of these dessert bars such as Chickalicious and Momofuku Milk Bar only incorporate a tad of Asian flare to classic dessert dishes, Spot Dessert Bar redesigns their dishes with authentic Asian ingredients. They take pride in their ability to “re-imagine traditional confections and spike them with a healthy dose of Asian flare” by infusing their dishes with high quality Asian spices such as green tea, yuzu, kobacha, matcha ganache, and more.
Although their focus is dessert, Spot also serves as a hip hangout for young New Yorkers. Take a step down from the busy sidewalk of St. Mark’s Place and you see tables packed with lively customers getting their daily dose of sugar. Inside, wood tables and chairs surround the take away dessert counter, loud top 20 music plays through the speakers, and servers hustle to bring each table their orders. Like the atmosphere, the menu is also exciting with a variety of sections with cupcakes, macarons, cookies, portion cakes, ice cream and sorbet, and hot or cold drinks. However, the most popular section and best for dining in, is the dessert tapas.
Although they are “tapas,” these dishes are anything but small. There are ten tapas on the menu, and each serving is the same (maybe bigger) than a dessert you would order for yourself at a restaurant. Because I have no sense of portion size, I decided it would be a great idea to get the three tapas special (three tapas for $23.00) to share with my friend. Sometimes you just have to go big or go home.
We ordered the best selling chocolate green tea lava cake, the smoked coconut cheesecake, and the golden toast. When our dishes were brought to the table, I was stunned at the portion size but naturally very excited for the dining adventure ahead of me.
Unlike traditional chocolate molten cake which is usually served with vanilla ice cream, the chocolate green tea lava cake is filled with a mix of chocolate and bright green tea ganache and served with green tea ice cream and walnut soil. The cake was moist with a warm, gooey center where the matcha ganache added a burst of bold flavor. The ice cream was creamy and herbal and made for a good side dish to the rich center piece.
The smoked coconut cheesecake definitely lives up to its name. To give the cake its smoky flavor, the chef smoked it with a Thai aromatic candle. He then topped it with coconut shavings, citrus foam, and served it with a side of fruit and rich, creamy coconut ice cream. The texture of the cake was dense and creamy, but the smoky taste ended up being a bit too overpowering for an already rich dish. The coconut ice cream was a great side pairing and tasted fresh and light compared to the rich cake.
The golden toast was the most traditional of the dishes we ordered with honey buttered toast and a side of condensed milk ice cream, strawberries, and whipped cream. The toast had a sweet, buttery taste with a crisp exterior and spongy center, which was perfect for absorbing some melted condensed milk ice cream. Unlike the other two dishes, this one tasted best when all the ingredients are paired together. The sweet, milky ice cream blends well with the buttery toast and the strawberries add an extra fruity kick.
Although the tapas are the standout dishes on the menu, Spot also serves as a great place to go for a coffee or pick up a quick snack. They open at noon every day and stay open until midnight Monday through Wednesday, until 1:00 a.m. Thursday through Friday, and close at midnight on Sundays. The dishes are unique and delectable, and NYU students can get 10% off their order.
Address: 13 St. Mark’s Place, New York, NY 10003
Hours of Operation: Mon-Wed 12pm – 12 am, Thurs – Sat 12pm – 1am, Sun 12pm – 12am