If you happen to be at Burnaby’s Metropolis at Metrotown on Friday, don’t be surprised to see a long line-up extending outside of the shopping mall’s Kingsway entrance—a few hundred people are expected to wait in line to get their hands on a coveted dessert.
Metro Vancouver’s first Uncle Tetsu (4700 Kingsway) opens its doors on Friday (May 18), and that’s when Vancouverites will get their first taste of the renowned chain’s signature treat: Japanese cheesecake.
The best way to describe the hand-baked dessert is that it’s a combination between a classic cheesecake and a soufflé—its light and fluffy texture melts in your mouth, and won’t leave you feeling like you have to immediately work off the calories.
Uncle Tetsu won’t be open until the mall opens at 10 a.m., but the shop will start baking the goods beginning at 5 a.m. There will be a strict limit of one cake ($13) per customer, and you’ll have a better chance of grabbing this seven-inch treat earlier in the day.
Other items will also be available on its opening-day menu, such as honey madeleines (buttery cupcakes) and rusk (cheese biscotti).
When the first Uncle Tetsu opened in Toronto, more than 200 people lined up outside the store. Roberto Settembrini, director of Uncle Tetsu Canada, told the Straight in an interview at the soon-to-open shop that Metrotown’s management and security team are concerned with the amount of dessert-lovers that will show up.
There won’t be any seats for you to enjoy your cake—the production kitchen and take-out counter occupy the entire 1,000-square-foot space. If you’re planning to pay with cash and coins, no one from the team will be handling your money. Instead, a bill and coin receiver system has been installed, which will save time and keep things sanitary behind the counter.
When will this cheesecake store open up another brick-and-mortar shop in the city? “We’re looking to possibly open some other locations in Vancouver, but we want to focus on Uncle Tetsu Metrotown right now,” said Settembrini.
Originally from Japan, Uncle Tetsu has been creating its well-loved products for more than 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, and it will be opening up in Montreal later this year.
Scroll through the photos below for your first look inside Metrotown’s Uncle Tetsu.