This post was inspired by a post about ramen from the blog Sakura Junction and I told the lovely Mutsumi that I would remember to visit Panya for her to see more of what this inexpensive little place in New York City has to offer.
In the East Village, in the middle of the bars, Asian restaurants, Karaoke spots and around the corner from my yoga class is a little gem. That gem is Panya Bakery, it’s a Japanese bakery that never lets me down. After yoga class, I’m always ravenous (sweaty, and funky but that’s to be expected) and since I’m always in the mood for sweets and soup, I can get all my cravings met.
Panya bakery is on 8 Stuyvesant street and is unassuming from the outside. But when you enter, all you see is shiny wood and tasty baked goods that I am only half-way through tasting. The shop is always busy because this is a neighborhood that has many college university dormitory buildings surrounding it, so I was surprised to get a table. I know it sounds hokey but it doesn’t feel like you’re in New York when you walk in and that’s fabulous! I’ve always wanted to visit Japan and until my pockets become deep enough, little shops like these are the closest I’m going to get anytime soon, unfortunately. So why not enjoy this little pocket of Japan in middle of Manhattan?
After trying to figure out what to have because everything was looking so good to me. I hadn’t eaten yet and my eyes are always bigger than my stomach. I finally decided on a bowl of Kitsune Soba (braised tofu skin in a flavorful vegetable broth with buckwheat noodles). It was so good! It really hit the spot and was presented beautifully.
After finishing my meal, I wanted to take some treats home for family and I wasn’t lacking for a choice of delicious pastries. In the end, I overdid it and got four. Take a look at what I had to choose from.
I went home and overdid it on the sweet stuff, obviously. My choice was the Japanese sweet potato mousse, it was airy and lightly sweet and I loved the addition of the steamed chestnuts. Everything came together to make a satisfying dessert. So do you have a favorite Japanese food or restaurant that you like to visit? As usual, you know, I really want to hear about it, and we’ll compare notes. Please tell me all the good stuff in the comments below!
Until our next rendezvous…