Amaaaaazing desserts! Very creative, original and deliciously decadent. The staff is friendly, but the space is tight, and the menu is overpriced. GET THE CHOCOLATE GREEN TEA LAVA CAKE.
Number of visits: 4
13 St. Marks Pl. (Between 3rd & 4th Ave.)
I just had the hardest time trying to remember how I first got to try Spot Dessert Bar, but I'm really glad I did! So glad that I've already been here four times (and for me, that's a big deal).
So, on some random night (I think it was sometime in the winter), a friend and I stumbled into this place after having heard that they have good, unique desserts. I remember there being a long line for a table (it was on a weekend around 8 p.m., I think), which was kind of annoying but, at the same time, reassuring that this place must be legit.
After maybe about 20 minutes, we got seated at a very small table. This semi-underground space is pretty small, and because it draws in so many people, it's hard not to bump elbows with the customers sitting next to you. It's not too bad, but when I went most recently with three other friends, the tiny table was pretty uncomfortable.
The decor is just meh (but then again, who am I to judge? I have no eye for anything artistic and/or design-related), absolutely nothing special. Simple and clean, I guess? But also slightly boring.
That's not important, though. Who gives a crap about the interior if the food and drinks are awesome? Right as you're seated by the very friendly staff, you can see how extensive the menu is, ranging from their "dessert tapas," to coffee, milkshakes, cupcakes, macarons, etc. They're famous for their dessert tapas, which include dishes such as the chocolate green tea lava cake (more on this later), Kabocha brulee cake and Thai tea creme brulee.
Everybody was raving about the chocolate green tea lava cake, which is supposedly their #1 seller, so we decided to order that along with a second item, which we had trouble choosing. Curious to know what the second best seller was, my friend and I asked our server what he would recommend, who, after giving his input, asked all the other servers to chime in — I thought this was hilariously cute and thoughtful (although not too helpful as they all recommended different items)! I very much appreciated their willingness and enthusiasm to help out their customers (but seriously, they made the decision-making process all the more difficult). After long deliberation, because this was essentially a matter of life and death, we decided to go with the smoked coconut cheesecake.
Let's start with their most famous: chocolate green tea lava cake. This stuff ... is crack in cake form. I have nothing but praise for this dish — the combination of the dark chocolate and slightly sweet green tea is to die for! Not only is the cake itself baked to perfection (very slightly crunchy and crusty on the outside but incredibly moist and warm on the inside), but also, the chocolate-green tea ... goo (? for lack of a better word ...) has the perfect ratio of sweet and bitter. The green tea ice cream that accompanies the cake is great as well — creamy, soft and not overloaded with sugar. This dish certainly lives up to the hype; everybody I've shared this with loved it!
Chocolate green tea lava cake: I should tag this for NSFW because this is some intense food porn.
And then came our smoked coconut cheesecake. As awesome as it sounded in the menu description ("coconut cheesecake smoked with Thai aromatic candle, coconut ice cream with basil seeds"), I was a little disappointed. Maybe it was because the first dessert we tried was so amazing, but this one just didn't wow me as much. The cheesecake was fine — very soft yet rich and creamy with a subtle touch of sweetness from the coconut, topped with a thin layer of whipped cream, toasted shredded coconut and passion fruit foam (which, I have to note, was INTENSELY tart — like a-kick-in-the-crotch tart), all on top of what seemed like an Oreo cookie crust. This was another interesting medley of flavors, from sweet to even sweeter to very tart, but the flavors just didn't blend together as well as the green tea and chocolate did in the lava cake.
Smoked coconut cheesecake
As you can see, the cake came with a scoop of ice cream — which according to the description, was basil-flavored, but I didn't really taste basil in it at all —and a fruit cocktail-type mix. The accompaniments were fine too but, again, nothing special. As I said, the ice cream didn't have the basil flavor it was supposed to, so it was a bit bland and boring; it just tasted like a watered-down vanilla ice cream. And the fruit cocktail was just OK also. I mean, it's fruit cocktail — how good can that even get?
Aside from the food and space, there is one more thing I want to mention: the prices. Now, I'm a frugal person (if you put it in a good way, that is. Otherwise, I'm just a cheapskate), so I tend to be pretty picky about what is overpriced and/or worth the price. Spot's desserts are, indeed, quite overpriced. It costs about $8.75 for one dessert tapas, and with tip and tax, that already comes up to about $12 per person (I should mention that they do have a special, where you can get three dishes for a discounted price — I think it was around $23?). And as good as these desserts are, I don't think the price accurately reflects the quality and quantity of the product.
(For those wondering, coffee, floats and other drinks are around $3-4, cupcakes are $2.75 each, and macarons are $2.25, I believe.)
But obviously, I think they're still worth the price, since I've already been here four times. I'd definitely go here again, especially if I have any more visitors because Spot does have interesting and unique creations that you typically can't get elsewhere. Despite the cringe-worthy prices, I still love the Asian-fusion theme going on here; I think incorporating ingredients such as green tea, coconut and Thai basil is a wonderful idea.
P.S. You get 1,000 points if you understood/enjoyed the title of this post ;)