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New York

Get jiggly with it: Japanese cheesecake craze bounces into Koreatown

Keki Modern Cakes has brought its airy Japanese cheesecakes and Taiwanese sponge cakes to Koreatown. Located at 315 5th Ave. (at 32nd St.), the new arrival follows the success of the Chinatown bakery, which just marked its one-year anniversary.

Featured on "The Chew" and "New York Live," Keki's "Original" is a bouncy, Osaka-style cheesecake made with organic milk, free-range eggs and Amish cream cheese. Less sweet than a traditional cheesecake, the secret to the fluffy texture is the meringue tucked inside. It sells for $13.75.

Feeling fancy? The green tea, Thai tea and strawberry "fancy" cheesecakes consist of two layers of cheese and a third made with crème fraîche, and cost $40. Other offerings include cheese tarts and the castella, a rectangular sponge cake that's stamped with the Keki logo.

Founders Moul Kim and Lawrence Wai found inspiration for their first tiny bakery in the pastries and cakes they discovered in their travels across Asia, Keki's website explains. They then teamed up with executive chef Kevin Kim, and Keki Modern Cakes was born. 

The new bakery has gotten an enthusiastic response thus far, with a 4.5-star rating out of eight reviews on Yelp.

Bogum K., who was among the first Yelpers to review the new spot on March 27th, said, "My new favorite Korean cake to get. Cheesecake was smooth and not too sweet—perfect for my sweet tooth cravings and it's under $20. My favorite by far is the castella, so soft and rich but at the same time not too sweet: it's $9.75."

    Yelper Mai Y. added, "I'm beyond excited that they have a new location in Koreatown now! The cakes are super fluffy and bouncy just the way cheesecake should be! They taste great, too, and are just the perfect amount of sweetness."

    Interested? Stop by to welcome the new business to the neighborhood. Keki Modern Cakes is open Monday–Thursday from 10am–8pm, and Friday–Sunday from 10am–9pm.