Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese Cheesecake shop set to open first Metro Vancouver location on May 18

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      We have our fair share of dessert outlets around town that offer delicious cheesecake options, but some may find the treat too filling, too heavy, and too sweet.

      Luckily, there’s a lighter and fluffier alternative that’s coming to our city.

      Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese Cheesecake is gearing up to open its first Metro Vancouver location in Burnaby’s Metropolis at Metrotown (4700 Kingsway) this month.

      The global dessert chain is famous for its signature Japanese cheesecake ($13)—a seven-inch treat hand-baked to perfection, which possesses a cloud-like characteristic that melts in your mouth upon first bite.

      “It’s a combination of a New York-style cheesecake and a soufflé, which becomes a Japanese-style cheesecake,” Luca Settembrini, operations manager at Uncle Tetsu Canada, explained to the Straight by phone from Toronto. “It has very little sugar and it’s not dense. We like to think we are not only delicious, but also the healthy alternative when it comes to eating cheesecake.”

      Uncle Tetsu's rusk is like a cheese biscotti.
      Uncle Tetsu Canada

      Besides the main product, guests will also find honey madeleines (buttery cupcakes) and Uncle Tetsu’s rusk (cheese biscotti) at its Burnaby establishment. Its cheese tarts and angel hats (hat-shaped cheesecake) won’t be served, but they may be offered later on.

      “We’re hoping to expand [our menu] in the future,” said Settembrini. “Once we’re really heavily into the market, we use all local ingredients. We may adapt or create new recipes based on our surroundings.”

      The 1,000-square-foot space will be primarily used as a production kitchen and take-out counter—no seats will be available. But even with the grab-and-go system, cake lovers can expect to wait in line for the in-demand dessert.

      “We think it’s going to be very popular based on the demand from customers in Vancouver reaching out to us,” added Settembrini. “We do have a larger oven here than in Toronto. We will be able to produce 18 cakes every 15 minutes, rather than 12 minutes. But we still predict that there will be a little bit of a line-up.

      “At the beginning, if it’s very busy, we like making it as fair as possible. There will probably be a limit of one cake per person—it depends on how fast we can produce.”

      Uncle Tetsu at Metrotown is scheduled to open in May.
      Tammy Kwan

      Japanese cheesecake is not unheard of in Vancouver, there are smaller packaged options at Asian supermarkets and a mom-and-pop soufflé cheesecake outlet located inside downtown’s Damso Korean eatery—but none have garnered much attention in our sweets-obsessed town.

      “People tend to love us all over the world,” said Settembrini. “We’re offering an alternative that many people haven’t tried, and might be pleasantly surprised when they do try it.”

      Originally from Japan, Uncle Tetsu has been making its fan favourite products for over 25 years. It has expanded to various countries including China, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, and Australia. Its first shop outside of Asia opened in Toronto in 2015.

      Uncle Tetsu at Metrotown is slated to open on May 18.

      Follow Tammy Kwan on Twitter @ch0c0tam and Instagram @ch0c0tam.

      Places to go nearby

      Approx. 15 minutes away