Oct 8, 2016

A Look at The First Mainland Uncle Tetsu Cheesecake Location

In partnership with Panda Express, Japanese bakery chain Uncle Tetsu recently made landfall here in the continental United States in a mall here in Southern California, bringing with them their signature Japanese cheesecake.

The location is part of a new food alley concept they're trying out in one of the exit wings of the mall.

The cheesecakes differ from traditional cheesecake and from the cheesecake you might find at an Asian bakery as well. They're made on-location and baked throughout the day in small batches. Each cake comes branded (with a hot metal brand) with the chain's logo on top so you can be sure where they come from.

Since the location opened, there's been a long line that stretches into the main thoroughfare like this:

But I got to check it out during a preview so that it looked more like this:

I got to sample their original cheesecake as well as their coffee-flavored one. It's like a cross between a cake and cheesecake with a delicate, moist spongy texture that literally melts in your mouth like a figurative cloud (not a literal one though because that would be like trying to eat fog).

In taste, it's definitely like traditional cheesecake but less sweet and tangy and more mild and creamy. It's worth a try if you find normal cheesecakes too heavy or rich. The coffee version added a very light but pleasant coffee flavor.

In addition to cheesecake, the location also offers milk tea drinks and other baked goods, including cookies and madeleines.

Beside sampling the signature cheesecake and having a look around, I asked a couple questions regarding Uncle Tetsu's US plans:

Q - Regarding the mainland arrival of Uncle Tetsu, are there any U.S. exclusive items for the expansion?

A - "We hope to expand Uncle Tetsu’s offerings in the U.S. by introducing exclusive cheesecake flavors and items that align with the local tastes. For example, the Honolulu location carries coffee flavored cheesecake while the Arcadia location currently offers Asian-inspired beverages such as teas and cookies—it truly depends on the demand of the location and the flavors native to the region the Uncle Tetsu unit is located in."

Q - Looking to the future, will any Uncle Tetsu items be carried at Panda Express locations?

A - "At this time, we cannot confirm whether Uncle Tetsu items will be carried at Panda Express locations, but what excites us about this partnership is the high flexibility around the project – the possibilities are endless and we are thrilled to be a part of the team as Uncle Tetsu expands in the United States."

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