[Photo: Kathy Chan]

New at Cafe Zaiya is the Marble Cake, sold by the slice for $1.95. The cake is most curious, intriguing, but not particularly delicious. A soggy "pie crust" binds together slices, and hunks of vanilla and chocolate sponge cake. A bit of almond cream nestled here and there, the faintest hint of rum. It's as if all the birthday party leftovers were unlovingly crammed into a rectangular box—bound with pie crust gone soggy, then sliced and sold by the piece.

But it gets better, after the jump.


Cafe Zaiya's Castella Cake ($3.50 for a small loaf, $6.95 for a large) is, however, worth noting. This Japanese sponge cake is a favorite of mine, but not commonly found baked in-house at Japanese bakeries in New York. Their version is a little too generous with the honey, and the crumb could be a bit more tender; it is currently on the coarse, rougher side. Regardless, bonus points to Cafe Zaiya for opting to bake in-house. I like to buy a whole loaf, eat half, then slice and freeze the other half—the frozen slices make killer ice cream sandwiches, with matcha ice cream tucked in the middle.

Cafe Zaiya

69 Cooper Square, New York NY 10008 (map)


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