by Alexander Chang (’23) | March 10, 2023
Last week, an old friend of mine extended me an invitation to catch up over lunch—“Nothing fancy, just something nice nearby so we can chat.” It was an undoubtedly enticing offer, but concerns over where to eat and what to order swirled around in my mind. Perhaps burgers at Eureka!? Or maybe dim sum at Koi Palace!
The options were never-ending, and the time to make a decision was ever-decreasing. But my doom scrolling on Yelp finally yielded success—Amausaan Uji Matcha in Fremont. Its four star rating with nearly two hundred fifty reviews certainly spoke for itself, but it was the cherry blossom and matcha confections scattered all over its website that truly reeled me in—what better place to show my friend that I was “up with the times?” I was going to have my moment as the trendy food pageant queen, and you bet that I was going to coyly mention, “Oh, this place? I found it on Yelp in like two minutes.”
On arrival, I was greeted by a cheery and noticeably pink decor concept. A quaint cherry blossom tree sat in the corner, and aesthetically pleasing red lanterns dangled from the roof of the register. The cashier nonchalantly sat behind the counter and patiently waited while we decided on what to order.
I noticed a few main categories of desserts and libations on the menu: crêpe cakes, soft serve, parfaits, and teas. The crêpe cakes and teas varied in color and flavors, while the parfaits and soft serve were largely locked into matcha and cherry blossom flavor profiles. After much deliberation, we finally settled on a few quick bites—a salted egg yolk crêpe cake topped with pork floss, a warmed grapefruit tea, and a layered taro cream cake.
I was originally averse to the salty concoction that was the egg yolk crêpe cake, but faced with my friend’s subtle beckoning, I conceded. As much as I’d hate to admit it, I enjoyed the cake immensely. The smooth, velvety cream paired so well with the faint, salty taste of the egg yolk, creating the perfect amalgamation of sweet and salty. The closest common flavor that I can relate is to that of kettle corn, with its sweet glaze blending with corn’s buttery sheen.
Asian desserts have a reputation for being not-too-sweet and flavorful—prioritizing the natural aromas and tastes of their ingredients rather than adding more extracts and sugars. Which is why the taro layer cake was a massive disappointment. Its texture was grainy and dry, and that delicious taro flavor was noticeably absent. The cream that I had loved much from the crêpe cake barely came through, either from being buried in the cake’s unsatisfying textures or simply being different from the crêpe cream altogether.
However, the grapefruit tea was a reprieve. It was tart but not too sweet, and its warmth complemented its smoother mouthfeel—the perfect beverage to share and chat over on a cold and rainy Saturday morning.
After bidding farewell to our cashier, we took one last look at the cutesy decor of the location, absorbing the relatively satisfying experience we just shared. “I will definitely be visiting this establishment again,” I thought to myself.
And so, Amausaan Uji Matcha gave me and my friend a splendid location to meet on the weekend, and I’m certainly eager to continue exploring what other treasures lie on its menu. Consider dropping by if you’re ever in the East Bay, because I’m sure you won’t be disappointed—unless you get the taro layer cake.
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