One of my favorite restaurants for excellent steak closed last year, I was quite upset, but hopeful that another restaurant would fill that void. It hasn’t yet. Now another of my favorites has closed its doors for good, Le Baker café in Shunyi. Not only did they serve some of the best croissants and bagels in Beijing, their cakes were excellent too. The Taiwanese pastry chef had learnt his fine skills in France, and he consistently baked authentic éclairs and beautiful tarts. The dessert that I will miss most is Le Baker’s perfect cheesecake. It was light, fluffy, with a hint of vanilla, a subtle taste of lemon, and a proper biscuit base. Not a sponge layer to hold it up, not a soft and limp biscuit bottom, but a proper crumbly cheesecake base. The chef’s secret was in the type of cheese he used which made it so light. I’m hopeful that I will find an alternative to fill this cheesecake void. Here are a few suggestions I’ve received from other cheesecake lovers.
Sweet Tooth bakery offers up a fantastic flavor selection of cheesecakes. Enjoy their mini bite-size Oreo cheesecakes, or indulge in the full size chocolate version. Other cheesecake flavors include New York baked, Tim Tam, vanilla bean, or blueberry. The highlight of the menu is their lemon curd cheesecake. Smooth, creamy and set over a digestive crust, topped with a refreshingly tangy lemon curd. One of the reasons they were voted “Outstanding” in the category Best Cakes, Cookies, and Pastries in the Beijinger’s 2015 Reader Restaurant Awards. To order (150 1121 7173, firstname.lastname@example.org) www.sweettoothbeijing.com
Kempi Deli at the Kempinski Hotel serves up slices of cheesecake in the deli café or you can order a whole cake. Flavors include classic baked and baked with mango. Their stand-out cheesecake is the macadamia version. Light, fluffy, and with a generous topping of crunchy macadamia nuts. No wonder they came out on top for Best Cakes, Cookies, and Pastries in the Beijinger’s 2015 Reader Restaurant Awards.
Divina Cakes has an amazing selection of cakes. Their cheesecakes come in a range of sizes and include mango, raspberry, marble, wild berries, and the classic, which comes baked or un-baked. The classic is slightly tangy with a hint of lemon, and with a smooth but crispy base. To order call 400 656 1128 or visit their website www.divinacakes.com
At Comptoirs de France you can order a whole New York style cheesecake, with flaked almonds and decorated with fruit. Their individual cheesecake flavors include strawberry, chocolate, and a delightful durian version. Comptoirs was voted “Outstanding” in the Best Café category, in the Beijinger’s 2015 Reader Restaurant Awards. Boulangerie Nanda at Cathay View Plaza, bakes a pretty good cheesecake. A pleasant soft texture with a nice lemon flavor, although the base could be thicker with a little more crumb. Jamaica Blue has two flavors to choose from, chocolate cheesecake or a baked cheesecake. The texture is quite dense on both, but with good flavor, and thick biscuit base. Branches in Shunyi include Beijing Riviera Country Club and Yosemite Villas.
beijingkids Shunyi Correspondent Sally Wilson moved to Beijing in 2010 from the UK with her husband and son. Her daughter was born here in 2011 and both her kids keep her happily busy. In her spare time, Sally loves to stroll through Beijing’s hutongs and parks. She is a (most of the time) keen runner and loves reading: books, magazines, news, and celeb websites – anything really. Sally is also a bit of a foodie and loves trying out new restaurants.
Photos: courtesy of Sweet Tooth, Divina, Comptoirs de France