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.
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