05/11/18 10:19am

A Quest for Little House’s Elusive Taro Cake

Behold: Elmhurst’s most elusive Malaysian layer cake.

A few weeks ago on the Voyages of Tim Vetter podcast I posited Instagram has replaced Chowhound, particularly when it comes to hyperlocal culinary exploration. Case in point, Little House Cafe. Had I not been seen my dear friends Food & Footprints posting about this Elmhurst bakery/cafe I’d never have known about its giant Singaporean style chicken curry bun and top-notch char kway teow. Nor would I have ever tried the elusive and epic taro pudding cake.

My friends and I first spotted the multilayer creation lined up in the pastry case and didn’t have the appetite for it because we’d just dispatched the aforementioned giant curry chicken bun along with several pieces of Malaysian brown sugar sponge cake and other goodies. When it was described as layers of coffee jelly, pudding, taro cake, and sponge cake we were all quite curious.

A week or so later I returned with a mighty appetite, but there was no taro pudding cake to be had. Two days later there were plenty of yù jiàn nǐ in the case but I was full. I could have taken one to go, but I’ve always had problems delaying gratification.

One Thursday a couple of weeks ago Chef Helen’s son told me his mother would be making taro pudding cake that Saturday. Despite the fact that I led a food tour of downtown Flushing’s bustling Chinatown that day, I made it my business to be at Little House that afternoon to find a good half dozen of the treats in the case.

The multilayer cake—slippery coffee jelly, sweet creamy pudding, purple taro, and golden sponge cake—was quite nice with a cup of strong iced coffee. It also provided a cooling counterpoint to a spicy bowl of curry mee with young tao fu.

Incidentally yù jiàn nǐ translates roughly to “taro meet you,” but I am told that it’s a play on words as the phrase also means “until we meet again.” It’s a perfect sentiment for this elusive and delicious dessert.

Little House Cafe, 90-19 Corona Ave., Elmhurst, 718-592-0888


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One Comment

  • Instagram can’t replace Chowhound like-for-like unless they adopt a really smarmy attitude and hire a bunch a militant douchebag “editors” to delete posts … there’s a reason Chowhound went from hero to zero virtually overnight … and only half of it was due to the poor leadership & under-investment of Jim Leff.