If you’d hear the words “Uncle Tetsu’s” mentioned at anytime, it was probably followed by “line-up”.
Why? Because the cheesecakes (originating in Japan) have gained in popularity over the past 25 years. Added the excitement here in the city, Toronto became the first location outside of Asia to have one of the popular Japanese cheesecake shops. The cheesecakes are made in small batches – 12 at a time – so once that dozen runs out, there goes more waiting!
Unless of course you happen to be walking by one fateful Monday morning and are lucky enough to walk right through the door like I did. Sweet! Mind you, there was definitely some confusion as another customer and I looked at each other like: “Where is the line? Is it open or…..? So we just walk in?”. When I walked in, there were only 2 people already waiting and I entered the shop in time to hear: “next batch in 4 minutes!”. Uhhhh yah considering I’ve heard that people have lined up for upwards of and over an hour – I think I can deal with that.
The cheesecakes cost $10 and you are limited to one cheesecake per person. And with having only three ovens and a very careful method that goes into making then baking each one for 45 minutes, I can see why. Let’s first of all dwell on how adorable the logo is:
Each six-inch cheesecake is baked to perfection: light golden top, no crust and the Uncle Tetsu logo stamped in the centre. Each cheesecake is packaged in a lined personal box. Once a batch is done, the lined up bags are filled and the next thing you know, you’re paying and being handed a smell of freshly baked heaven then marching out the door feeling victorious.
Now, let’s talk about the cheesecake itself. I didn’t eat mine until hours later (remember, I bought it at 10:30am – not quite cheesecake time) – but trust me when I say the time didn’t matter. When it is fresh out the oven, you are overcome with a smell of eggs and just freshly baked awesomeness. After a night in the fridge, the cheesecake just seemed to continue to improve in taste.
What I love about the cheesecake is how unpretentious it is – not only in appearance but taste. It has a consistency of a very fresh and fluffy sponge-cake and isn’t sweet at all. It is made with simple ingredients, and I could taste the eggs, cheese and milk fuse to this simple and wonderful dessert. It almost melted on my tongue with each bite and was so enjoyable that you wouldn’t even notice that you’ve been indulging in bite after bite. But what’s weird is that at the same time, it is satisfying only after a few bites. My cheesecake lasted me for quite a few days; in the long run, I more than got my $10 worth.
When I walked by a couple hours later on that same day, the line had started to form again and I thanked my lucky stars for my timing. Uncle Tetsu’s is located at 598 Bay St. and the recently opened Uncle Tetsu’s Matcha Cafe is right next door at 596 Bay St.