That day when we were done with lunch and were headed back from Thai Boat Noodle to our car, we passed by Uncle Tetsu’s Cheesecake and saw this:
Okay, well, there were a few people in the queue, but it wasn’t the usual 50 or 100 people. And we spotted a bunch of cakes fresh out of the oven. We went to the counter and asked if those cakes were for earlier orders and the cashier said no. Apa tunggu lagi (What are we waiting for)? Go and join the short queue lah!
Uncle Tetsu’s Cheesecake originated from Japan. You can read more about the story in their website here. Long story short, the cheesecake’s popularity began in Japan in 1985 and today has spread to many countries.
Those of you in KL would have already known how famous Uncle Tetsu’s Cheesecake is. Those of you in Singapore, Thailand, China, Taiwan and (of course) Japan would probably know of this brand too. This shop in Summerton is their first outlet in Penang and has just opened for business about two months ago.
I heard stories from those idiots who joined the early queues (madness) that their ovens have only a capacity of 30 cakes per every 45 minutes baking cycle, so they can only produce 300 cakes each day. Each person is only allowed to purchase 1 cake, you have to queue to get a numbered ticket and then come back later to collect your cake.
As far as I know, there is still a healthy queue ongoing everyday, so I guess maybe we were quite early that day (if 12 noon is considered early), or maybe we were extremely lucky to be able to get our hands on the cakes easily.
They do sell some other stuff, like the Angel Hat cheese zucotto and Cheesesticks, but the most popular item (by far) is still their Signature Cheesecake. The claim is that they use premium Australian cheese and Japanese butter to make these cakes, hence the cakes being so delicious. Do take note that Uncle Tetsu’s cheesecakes are Japanese cheesecakes, or some would call them cotton cheesecakes. They are extremely light and soft and fluffy, the opposite of those heavy and compact American style cheesecakes.
Anyway, so I got the cake. The cake is priced at RM 21 per cake. And I had a slice of it later that day during afternoon tea break. My verdict?
Is the cake nice? 好吃吗？好唔好食啊？
– Yes, very nice indeed. 真的还蛮好吃的。真系几好食嘅。
Is the cake really really, super duper, extraordinarily nice? 有没有好吃到爆？有无好食到比你飞起咁啊？
– No, not THAT nice. 那倒没有。咁又无咁犀利。
I don’t know. Since a few months ago, I heard so many bloggers rave on and on and on about how wonderful this cheesecake is. And then I’ve seen how crazy those queues are. And then I’ve even heard how so many of those stubborn Penangites acknowledged the wonderfulness of this cake.
Some say when you take a bite of this Uncle Tetsu’s Signature Cheesecake a fleet of Unicorns will immediately gallop past you in front of your eyes followed by a few Pegasuses flying over your head, and that when you finished an entire slice even the Earth’s magnetic poles would realign in such a way that the Aurora Borealis would dance in front of you instead of in the Arctics’ skies.
All I know is… none of these extraordinary things happened…
I’m still sober after even a few slices… I suppose it is a case of over-inflated expectations causing and underwhelming actual experience. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying this is a horrible cheesecake. It is a nice cheesecake, very nice indeed. Is it worth RM 21 per that small 16 cm cake? Absolutely, especially if what they claim to use to make these cakes is true. Will I want to buy this cake again? If circumstances permit, why, yes of course!
But, will I want to buy this cake again if it means having to queue up for an hour and then coming back again to collect later? No. Probably not…. I mean definitely not. Not in a million years!
I’m quite worried for this outlet here in Penang. I can actually foresee the novelty of this shop dying down in another couple more months time. If anything, I know very well how Penangites operate when it comes to new food experiences. They are totally a different breed compared to KLites. What works in KL long term will only work in Penang for a few months. That’s why most top rated KL based food franchises rarely bother with coming up here.
I hope I’m wrong though. I have been wrong before anyway… But if my prediction is correct and their business really do start to plummet, I believe they can probably do away with the lansi (arrogant) approach and start to practice free market options where customers are allowed buy more than 1 cake per person, and to have options to buy cake slices instead of a full cake…