Dessert bars are not a new thing in NYC, but finding a very good one can be difficult. This one comes from Chef Eunji Lee, who comes from renowned Jungsik. My partner did see the chef in the kitchen when we were there. We were able to make a reservation for this several weeks in advance surprisingly without any hassle. When you walk in, there is a floor level section and an upper level section.
Ambiance & Service
The upper level section is where you can walk-in and make purchases. They have all their desserts displayed out, so you can take a closer look at some of the fanciness in them.
The lower level is where diners that made reservations for a’la carte or signature tasting would sit. There are little circular tables for the 2-seaters, which are comfortable, quaint, but a little tight if you have jackets or other things with you. Otherwise, it’s fine. The host comes over to take your order, and is pretty easy to access.
The service is of course nothing out of this world since I’m betting most of the people serving you are training under the Chef, so I don’t have any high expectations there. When you pay, they bring out the card readers, and they calculate service fee prior to tax.
We pre-ordered the signature tasting menu via Tock which was $58.90. It comes with 1 Kouign Amann ($6.90), 1 Corn ($18), 1 Pear Tart ($17), and 1 Lysee ($17). By declaring the signature menu when you make your reservation, they guarantee you a “Lysee” and a “Corn” which are both very limited daily. When we were there at 3 PM, they ran out of not only the Lysee/Corn for walk-ins but also the Kouign Amann.
The Seasonal Juice (Sujungwa) ($10) came in its own bottle and tasted a bit too sweet for me, but my partner enjoyed it. It’s basically traditional cinnamon punch which has cinnamon, sugar (honey), water, and ginger. It had light ginger flavors to it, but it was so little that it didn’t bother my partner. It was really heavy on the cinnamon.
The Maemil Hot Chocolate ($11) came with house made vanilla marshmallow and was dairy free. The hot chocolate was very decadent and wasn’t too sweet at all. It actually was a good match to the desserts because not only did I not have to worry about dairy, but it offered a nice back/forth counter balance to the nutty sweetness of the desserts.
The Pear Tart came with honey cream, pear compote, yuja, fresh pears, and timut pepper. The pears were tasted similar to the Korean pears that you can find in the market. I was expecting it to be crunchy, but it actually came out to be very soft. The tart shell was quite good, and we liked this one a lot since we really enjoy the Korean pears.
The Corn was a corn sablé and mousse and came with grilled corn cream. This was simply beautiful to look at, so it pained for us to have to eat it too somewhat. The exterior looks like corn, but it’s actually very soft. It fascinates me the amount of skill and steady hand to craft this. The interior had some sweet crunch to it. My emotions led me to think of Milk Bar and some of their crack pies. You can definitely taste some of that corn cream. The corn husk was like some sort of chocolate-like candy, which they were able to decorate it to be paper thin. Unlike Milk Bar though, this dessert was not excessively sweet, and it was actually very nicely balanced.
The Kouign Amann was made with French AOP Isigny Butter. The best way to describe this is it’s basically a super fluffy croissant with some compote-like substance lightly scattered in it.
The Lysée came with Korean toasted brown rice mousse, Elliot Pecan, and Caramel. The texture caught me by surprise. I was expecting some sort of hardened exterior, but it actually was super soft and decadent. This was our favorite dessert of the tasting menu. It had a nice balance of crunch and sweet.
I would not be surprised in a few years if this starts to build even more notoriety, and something cool comes out of this. I keep thinking of Milk Bar and how that first started, so it will be interesting to see how this continues on. The desserts, albeit pricey, are all pretty good and worth the reservation if you can get one and don’t mind spending a bit.
Though I know technique here is what we pay for, I felt the flavors fell flat for me. They were desserts but they didn’t scream something new or different flavor wise.
The flavors are definitely subtle, but if you do come here, set your expectations that this is about the whole package (the flavor, the technique, and the appearance). There is almost no dessert on this planet that is going to be blow your mind.
I only tried one dessert from this place literally named “Lysee” after the shop but all I can say is it tasted like a really expensive upgrade of a granola bar sorry maybe I don’t have expensive taste but that was just my honest opinion of the dessert
This Elitist called out it was an expensive upgrade to a granola bar. I think of upscale foods as an experience with your senses, but it would be erroneous to expect the value of the foods to be proportionate to the dollar spent. So if you’re spending 2x what you normally spend, you should not expect it to be 2x delicious.
- Dec 31, 2022 - Initial revision.