There are not many Japanese restaurants in NYC that make mochi in-house—the sort of fresh, plush, and just chewy enough mochi that I crave. So I often find myself visiting Cha-An when said craving strikes. Their mochi is made fresh daily and comes by the set of three for $9. They offer a classic red bean version and black sesame; I prefer the latter. The soft mochi skin, dusted with potato starch, is pulled tight around a filling of ground black sesame seeds and sugar. The seeds are ground fine enough to become a thick paste, each bite with the tiniest bit of a crunch. And if you're a real black sesame fan, don't forget that Cha-An also does a worthy black sesame crème brûlée and ice cream.
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