Dessert First

Japanese Green Tea Cheesecake at Sens

Tired of discovering a restaurant's delectable desserts after stuffing ourselves full of appetizers and entrees, we're on a mission to find the places where diners should order dessert first. After all, chicken roulade and lamb vindaloo make excellent leftovers. But ice cream made in-house? Not a chance.

Asian tapas-style restaurant Sens is a favorite downtown spot for fusion fare and house-infused sake and shochu. Thanks to their purposefully small portions, you can enjoy a few bites of bacon-wrapped okra or almond-crusted white fish, call it dinner, and move right on to dessert.

It's tough to pick between the Japanese Green Tea Cheesecake and Sweet Wontons, which are stuffed with cream cheese, goat cheese, and served with peach puree, but the cheesecake won out for sounding both familiar and slightly exotic. Cheesecake might be easy to make, but it's tough to get all of the elements properly aligned. So, how does Sens' version stack up?

Find out after the jump...

The green tea flavor -- delicate, smooth, and sweet -- naturally works very well for cheesecake. I kept finding myself thinking, "Why haven't I had this before?" Surprisingly, the cheesecake isn't heavy at all, matching the lightness of the green tea. It's creamy, soft, and neither too moist or too dry.

On top of the Japanese Green Tea Cheesecake are lychee slices and black sesame seeds, and the plate is drizzled with a passion fruit sauce. This adds a little complexity to the simple flavors of the cheesecake. Lychee has a truly unique flavor that's similar to a white wine grape but with a subtle muskiness. The sesame seeds add a little pop of savory flavor, and the sauce works as a background player to tie everything together.

For $6, you can't go wrong with this cheesecake, and for an extra special treat, pair it with one of Sens' deliciously addictive saketinis.

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Dominique Chatterjee