Address: 198 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Dish: royal milk tea, matcha with barley, strawberry shortcake
Thoughts: This cute Japanese café serves a little bit of everything but the tea and the cakes are the highlights. Went with Sohee on my first visit two hours before they closed and a few things stood out.
1) Everyone there was Asian. Not even like American Asian but like straight up Japanese and Korean.
2) It was as quiet as a library. No music. No noise except for the occasional clattering of silverware scraping the remaining crumbs of the cake. No talking really…..in fact, Sohee and I were whispering in hushed tones the entire time.
3) A great place to study or read in peace while sipping on your tea.
I ordered a cup of royal milk tea, perfectly creamy and slightly sweet. She ordered the opposite, a matcha with barley that was more astringent and earthy, an effective foil against the slice of strawberry shortcake we enjoyed. Strawberry shortcake is probably my favorite dessert and the best I’ve had is at Mad Hatter’s in North Carolina near the Duke campus. Harbs version is very clean and I wish it was just a tad sweeter.