Uncle Tetsu

The world's most coveted Japanese cheesecakes are available right here in Sydney.
Erina Starkey
Published on August 18, 2016
Updated on August 04, 2021


Everyone's favourite uncle has moved to Sydney — and what's more, he bought cake. With over 70 stores worldwide, Australia has finally made the cut for the world famous, best-selling Uncle Tetsu's Japanese cheesecakes. So stick a spoon in your back pocket, fashion yourself a paper napkin pocket square and get in line for a slice of the action.

The queue, of course, is long. Stupid long. There are crowd control barriers set up and dedicated staff with clipboards managing the flow. Sounds like overkill, but the precautions are necessary. People can do crazy things when made to wait for cake. On my first visit, I'm invited to join a pre-line a few doors down. A line to join the line? Sydney, take a good look at yourself.

Ordering is straightforward. There are just two items on the menu: the famous Uncle Tetsu cheesecake ($17.99) and the honey madeleines ($4). If you had planned to stock up wartime-style on cheesecakes, think again — these babies are strictly limited to one per person.

Like all serious foodies should — and if you've just waiting in two lines, chances are you're dead serious — we take our box immediately to the park to enjoy a still-warm slice. We carefully free the cake from its sheath of protective paper — inside is a snow-white cake with a golden burnished top, branded with the signature Uncle Tetsu stamp. We gasp. We clap.

The cake is revealed to be incredibly light and fluffy. There is no biscuit base, as the style dictates, and having been baked in a water bath, the sides are moist like pudding. As for the taste, it's eggy and pancakey, with little sweetness. Resist the temptation to eat it all at once. When you cool it in the fridge it grows denser and crumbly, with a soft, sweet cheese flavour. In my humble opinion, it improves.

One thing that will strike you is how overwhelmingly understated it is. It's refined and pure — a real backlash to the more is more, over-the-top desserts that Sydney has grown accustomed to (*cough* cronut *cough*). Butter, milk and eggs become distinct and delicious flavours, while complexity is delivered in the form of its ethereal lighter-than-air cotton consistency. Uncle Tetsu, methinks you're going to need another store.

Image: Ryan La


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