Last year, my good friend wanted to treat me to a beautiful Japanese teahouse as a birthday present. But nature played a trick on me with a thunderstorm, so I never got a chance to try this place until today.
Cha-An is a beautiful Japanese teahouse in Soho, New York. You've to walk up a narrow, wooden staircase in order to enter into this calm, bamboo-decorated room on the second floor of a building. As a teahouse, of course its specialty would be tea. All the teas are brewed from fresh tea leaves, so you know you're getting the real deal. Additionally, there's a dessert chef in the house and it's also famous for its Japanese-Western fusion desserts, such as black sesame brulee, early grey mochi, and chocolate roll cake, which was what we had today.
The roll cake is the special of the day and it was so beautifully plated and mastered. Not too sweet and a great balance of cream and cake. The portion is just perfect - you get to indulge in something sweet without giving you an over the top fullness.
But the top reason I love this place because it makes me feel like I'm back in Japan again. The serenity of the atmosphere, the great customer service, and the wooden furniture all give me an escape from the busting city life. The menu items aren't cheap per se, but whenever I need some 'me' time or want to have a nice conversation with a friend, I'll definitely return again.