Nuffnang

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Marriage of cheese and matcha from Otaru - LeTAO's double fromage matcha cheesecake

To be honest, it is tough to be a fan of anything Japanese. You have to pay a premium for anything imported from there to here unless you head to the country itself and bring back the things yourself. Much as you understand the quality and effort put into their products and the costs involved in bringing these items from Japan to Singapore thus justifying the higher price tag, it can sometimes be deterring to shell out so much money to get the real deal. This is why it took me so long to get LeTAO's double fromage cheesecake even though it has already entered Singapore some time ago. For those who are not familiar with LeTAO, this company from Otaru, Hokkaido, is famous for their cheesecakes which have been in production since 1998. They currently have a counter at Orchard Ion's Level B1.

Honestly speaking, the size in relation to the price was the biggest reason why I held back. I have no doubts that the quality of the cheesecake will be quite good especially after hearing rave reviews about it everywhere. However, the common grouse was also that the cheesecake was not available in single slices and that the whole cake was small at just 12cm wide and weighing 330 grams but cost SGD 28. Of course, I've come across more costly cakes than this but the size was still an issue for me. And since there was no option of buying single slices to test the flavour, it was even riskier to buy the entire cake while not knowing if I would like how it tastes.

What got me to "take the plunge" literally into unknown territory was the magical word - matcha. I am a big lover of anything matcha and the sight of this matcha version which is only available for a limited period only and has only 30 pieces per day was really tempting. Still, it took a fair bit of deliberation even up to the last minute when I was right in front of their counter before I finally decided to get the cake.

First of all, the taste is really as good as the reviews say. I don't really like cheesecakes with a very dense texture but this version which is made from Hokkaido cream cheese and Italian mascarpone cheese was so light on the palate. The green tea layer made from matcha from Kyoto was already so aromatic before eating and upon tasting, it did not taste as heavy as I imagined it to be from the matcha scent. As such, don't be surprised to find that you are able to eat more than what you usually can because the light sensation will have you craving for more. The sole disappointment was the appearance of the cheesecake though because the matcha powder on top was sort of "flaking" and you could see patches of white here and there which wasn't how it was featured in the promotional materials. I didn't take a long time to get home after buying this nor applied a lot of movement to the package which could possibly "shake off" the powder. As such, my hunch for this happening could be that I bought the chilled version which is most likely defrosted from the frozen version thus the matcha powder did not stay onto the top surface as it should have been. Alternatively, it could be that this issue doesn't arise for the original cheesecake and chocolate flavours because their topping is not in powdery form like matcha powder? Perhaps I need to buy the regular cheesecake or chocolate frozen versions next time to test my hypothesis?

Note though that the matcha version is pricier ($35) than the regular versions selling at $28 but since it's a limited edition item and daily quantities are limited, I guess that explains the price discrepancy. Another thing to be aware is that these cakes should be consumed within two days after you open the packaging. On a related note, I noticed that there is a slight difference in the taste when you eat it on the day of purchase compared to the following day which I attribute to the cool air from the fridge being in contact with the cake.

Much as I didn't regret my purchase this time, I still have this lingering thought that the deal would have been sweeter for me if the price was lesser. Guess there is no such thing called perfection after all.

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