Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cha-An Tea House

A few years ago, my friend Emilie took me to this GREAT Japanese "tea house/cafe" called Cha-An in the East Village where we had the most delicious dessert. What was this amazing dessert, you ask? TOAST! Doesn't sound too exciting but you're going to have to read on if you're not impressed.

Emilie and I had plans to meet up so I naturally requested to go back to Cha-an. It's on 230 East 9th Street (at Second Ave). It's on the second floor and once you enter, it's a whole different atmosphere from the hustle and bustle of the street. Calming and rather Zen-like. I would've snapped photos but I literally ran down the block and up the stairs because I was so ridiculously, rudely late! Note to self - don't ever think you can get a cab in Union Square on Saturday afternoon in the rain.


We both picked the unagi donburi (cooked eel on top of a bed of rice) which was a lunch special for $9.99! It came with this great genmaicha which is a brown rice tea.

And here is the hearty and delicious meal!

The rice was barley and brown rice, I think...or was it just brown because of the sauce...(Emilie, you have to enlighten us). Clearly I am not a very good food blogger because even looking at the picture doesn't remind me of what I actually ate. There was a good-sized portion of the unagi and also cooked egg on top. Yum! On the side we have pickled veggies and then a broth with Chinese cabbage.

All of it was super yummy!

On second thought, this picture makes me think it might have just been white rice...

Anyway, the highlight of the meal was definitely dessert!

This is what I have been dreaming about for the last four years! It's thickly cut white toast with azuki and whipped cream - and dusted with confectioner sugar, of course. Sigh.

The bread was really fresh and tasted slightly sweet. Although the toppings look rich and decadent, because there's a lot of bread to go with it, it was the perfect balance. We split this dessert and it was PLENTY.

The service is also really great there and for that alone, it's worth it. The Japanese waitresses are super nice and patient and didn't rush us out the door but just kept refilling our tea until we were ready to leave. Love it!

Definitely make your way over to Cha-an if you're in the East Village.

1 comment:

  1. I am sooooo going here this week I am in NYC. I got in last night and will review your email of limited meet up times. LOL. I did check out the sites you sent... yours will be much prettier. tty soon.