TCHS Rampage

Temple City High School


September 26, 2016

Cheesecake lineup worth the wait


It is not difficult to spot Uncle Tetsu Japanese Cheesecake at the Santa Anita Mall. Simply search for a long, stretching line near the Nordstrom’s entrance on the second floor, and you’ll find it: the rich, creamy and soft cheesecake at Uncle Tetsu.
The design of the bakery is cute, clean and modern, with a lot of space for customers to wait in line. As I waited for an hour, I watched in awe and disbelief, as the line gradually became longer and longer. Within 15 minutes of waiting, I had moved 15 inches closer to the front of the bakery.
Since they just opened this month, the menu consists of the famous original Japanese cheesecake, each for $8.75, and drinks. We’ll have to wait for the other items, but their website advertises coffee flavored cheesecake, cookies, madeleines and more, but those pastries are currently unavailable.
Their drinks include classic milk tea, Thai milk tea, raspberry fruit tea, coffee, green or oolong tea and classic tea lemonade. Prices range from $2.25‒$4.00 for a regular size, with additional options to upgrade sizes and add toppings for 50 cents. Their selection for toppings are quite limited, offering tapioca pearls, chia seeds and lychee jelly.
Customers are limited to one cheesecake per person, which is given immediately after the customer pays. When the bakery runs out of the dessert, the line does not move, and customers must wait until the next batch finishes baking. For my first visit, there was only one employee at the cash register, which made their process even more inefficient and slow.
A bit frustrated, I was determined to remain patient, although I began to question whether the wait was worth it.
I ordered the original cheesecake and the classic green milk tea. Stamped with the drawing of Uncle Tetsu, the cheesecakes surface appeared smooth and shiny, like a perfect pearl. As I cut into the dessert, I noticed how soft it was. The pastry melted into my mouth, tasting buttery and creamy, with a slight taste of egg underneath the cheesy flavor. The inside was still warm, and I could detect the freshness. It was quite small for the cost, but the cake was still shareable.
As for the tea, I thought the price was pretty standard, in comparison to any basic tea shop. I was extremely impressed with their green milk tea. It was creamy and rich, with just the right amount of sweetness. As I sipped my drink, I tasted a slight bitterness from the tea, which balanced out the sugar perfectly.
Despite the pain I began to feel in my feet, the satisfaction and excitement I received after holding the warm pastry in my hand was inexpressible.
Available only in Japan, Canada and Hawaii, this is Uncle Tetsu’s first bakery in the U.S. mainland. Despite the tedious wait, it is definitely worthwhile. I can say that I’ve tried one of the most famous cheesecakes in the world.

About the Author

Emily Hsu



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