"I have the simplest tastes. I am simply satisfied with the best." - Oscar Wilde

"I came, I saw, I ate." - Au Gourmand

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Kam Hing Coffee Shop - December 28, 2010

Why do they bother calling themselves a coffee shop? Their coffee is only an afterthought or a preventive forethought – take your pick – provided for customers who cannot wait to swallow a dozen sponge cakes until they get to a safe haven; in either case, it is a mere convenient lubricant to facilitate the transfer of their criminally addictive sponge cakes from their plastic Target containers to people’s extending and expanding holiday girths.

Their sponge cakes are truly spongy. You can begin examining the physics of those oval devils after you have consumed a couple because you just cannot stop with one and your brain is not properly functioning when you are wolfing them down – the cakes are so wolfable. Break off a piece: The cross-section looks exactly like a sponge, with small air holes and light corn yellow coloring. Going further in the examination, now squeeze the sides a little and watch how the cake gradually and steadily bounces back. You can do this several times without turning the cakes into a failed clay project of your three-year old nephew. This is exactly why New Kam Hing can pack their sponge cakes into plastic containers and not worry whether the cakes would get all squished and squashed. I have discovered in my experiment, however, that squeezing top-down is not recommended. Conclusion: Certified as a true sponge cake.

That was for the texture. Moving on to the taste – eggs, eggs, eggs and sugar: This is the impression that will race through your mind when you bury your head into the plastic bag. Eggs are interesting: When boiled, they can release such unpleasant odors and yet when baked into little sponge cakes at New Kam Hing, the aroma is so tempting and tantalizing and just thoroughly bewitching. Perhaps such mesmerizing effect is partially caused by the sugar: The sweetness in the cakes is like the moment when you snuggle into bed on a cold winter night; it is like the comforting murmuring voice of your grandfather in the kitchen when you were little; it is like the cream on your birthday cake – in short, it represents all the goodness in life.

I think I do not need to waste any words as to the effect of combining such killer texture, aroma and taste. I first tried one cake in the store then I proceeded to order three more. After debating while grocery shopping in Chinatown, I went back to get four more.

I stored some cakes in my own plastic container overnight – grudgingly released from my own clutching hands and wrestled away from the hands of other addicts – for breakfast the next day. When the well-perfumed air in the container, condensed for twelve hours, unleashed its power mercilessly the next morning, my nervous system went into a rapturous shock. The cakes were still as delicious the next day.

Epilogue: Two days later, I went back and got a dozen.

New Kam Hing Coffee Shop
Address: 119 Baxter Street, New York, NY 10013
Phone:  (212) 925-0425

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