Food is trending just as much as fashion these days, and things we’d never heard of back before Kim K went blonde, we’re now suddenly eating all the time. We know it’s hard to imagine a day when you weren’t eating avocado toast for breakfast, but back in 2012 you probably weren’t (unless you’re Australian). And uni? That coveted piece of sushi (because you’re like, exotic and worldly) turned pizza topping and pasta dish? It’s kid stuff now, but back when Bieber was still a teen no New Yorker was topping their slice with sea urchin. And don’t even get us started on queueing up for a bowl of ramen which has become a weekly ritual. Now you see what we’re talking about….
The latest food trend taking over NYC is another Japanese classic (noticing a trend within a trend here), this time of the drinking variety. It’s matcha, and it’s everywhere. Entire establishments have popped up serving only matcha drinks. Matcha ice cream is more common than mint chocolate chip. The matcha latte is now available at Starbucks. We’re not even sure if anyone really understands what it is, but apparently it’s good for us so we’re down to follow along.
And if you’re on board with the trendiest green drink of 2015, here’s a list of spots where you can find it in its most unique and delicious forms.
All right you caught us. Part of why we wanted to write this article was to tell you about the new spring cocktail menu at The Garret where our very own Cyndi Ramirez is The First Lady. The new menu will be full of light and bright drinks to complement the warm weather, but the one in particular you want to know about is the matcha/basil/lime concoction inspired by and named after The (& our) First Lady herself.
Another match-tail in the West Village can be found at Cafe Clover, and it’s the Harajuku Gimlet. We’re not all that surprised, really, that Cafe Clover is into matcha, as their whole menu focuses on delicious food that’s actually good for you. It’s still alcohol, yes, but it’s healthy alcohol.
Angel’s Share is about as hidden a cocktail bar as they come, and perhaps their biggest secret is that they’ve had matcha on their menu since like, forever. It’s a Japanese cocktail bar so for them matcha is standard, and after you’ve had your #dailymatcha in the form of their Speak Low drink be sure to try something involving soy milk, yuzu, or wasabi. At the rate we’re going, one of those will probably be the next big thing anyway.
Even a king of French pastry can’t fight the matcha madness, and our dear Mr. Ansel brings us matcha in two forms. If you really, really, REALLY need a cronut, make it a matcha golden pineapple cronut and your level of food trendiness will hit a new level. But if you’re a little cronut-ed out (they’re so Miley Cyrus circa 2013 anyway), then go for the Matcha Passion Fruit Blanc Manger. It’s essentially a green tea pudding with a green tea cookie. The choice is yours but we’re going pudding.
As it’s a whole institution for sit down, order-off-a-menu dessert dining, you can bet that Spot Dessert Bar has the matcha trend covered. We’re partial to the Green Tea-ramisu (pictured above) for its clever name, presentation in a sake box, and maximum deliciousness, but we’re yet to try their new Chocolate Green Tea Lava Cake. If you try it before we do let us know how it goes.
It’s no surprise that this Japanese soba noodle den knows how handle their matcha, and we’re thrilled that they’ve chosen to make an affogato with it. If you don’t know, a traditional affogato is a shot of espresso with a scoop of vanilla gelato, so naturally this matcha version is paired with mega-size green tea ice cream sundae. Get it.
Again this one’s no surprise, as we’d fully expect matcha creations from a long standing traditional Japanese tea house. If you’re a true matcha fiend make this your next destination pronto, as you can have yourself and entire spread of matcha delights. From green tea mochi to a green tea parfait to matcha short cake to a matcha float, you can have it all. Or you can just get the Zen Zai – a bowl of matcha soup topped with mochi and sake ice cream and jellies and a cookie – aka the monster of matcha.
For a more refined matcha experience look no further than The Musket Room in Nolita. This Michelin Starred resto serves primarily dishes from New Zealand with the addition of one beautiful matcha dessert. On the menu this dish is simply called Lemongrass custard | Apple | Yoghurt – but between those lines there’s green tea custard and matcha crumbles.