As part of Columbia Business School’s orientation, Dave and I (along with our friend Maria, the wife of a CBS student in Dave’s class) took a group of incoming students’ spouses and partners out to lunch. We decided on Kyotofu, a place we have been wanting to try for a while. Owned by a friend of Dave’s cousin, the small restaurant built its reputation serving dessert and has since expanded its savory menu. The menu focuses on the use of fresh, organic ingredients and many dishes (especially the desserts) contain tofu.
Most lunch dishes come with the choice of soup or salad. I went with the salad and was very happy when it arrived filled with mizuna, my favorite green of the moment. The dressing was light and refreshing. Dave went with the soup, carrot-miso.
Dave ordered the chicken and tofu burger which came with a side of purple potato chips. He proclaimed, “it tastes better than it sounds.”
I went with the barbequed unagi, pieces of eel wrapped in phyllo dough. When I read this dish on the menu I was excited as it sounded like my favorite dish on the menu at Matsuri, my go-to Japanese restaurants for special occasions. The portion was smaller than I was expecting, but that was fine as it left me with more room for dessert…
To say that the desserts at Kyotofu are good is a huge understatement. They are beautifully presented, delicious, and the portions are quite generous. What more could you ask for in a dessert. Above is the passionfruit tofu cheesecake ordered by one of the women at the lunch.
Dave went with their signature dessert, the chocolate souffle cupcake, voted best cupcake by New York Magazine. (They even printed the recipe. I have it saved at home but have yet to try making them.) The cupcake, which also comes in chocolate green tea, comes with a dollop of cream on top and a side of mixed berry compote. On their own, the cupcakes are delicious, with the cream and compote, outstanding.
I had the soymilk soft ice cream sundae which comes with the compote as well as pieces of mochi and some sweetened cream. This dessert satisfied the frozen dessert lover in me and then some. The ice cream was cold, creamy, and paired superbly with the compote. If I had one complaint it was that the mochi was too gelatinous and not at all the right texture.
Someone else ordered the sorbet trio which was a sampling of various tropical flavors. It came with some okara cookies.
Kyotofu is worth the trip to Hell’s Kitchen. Have lunch or dinner, whichever you prefer, but make sure that you save the bulk of your stomach for dessert.