Photo: Tess Nichol

Metro Recommends: A Hokkaido baked cheese tart

Metro Recommends is a regular recommendation of food we love, whether it's an unsung hero we want to share with the world, or a crowd favourite we can't help but sing the praises of.

Last week: Cafe Mocha's $2.50 egg and chicken sandwich

I absolutely love a treat. I am in fact almost powerless to resist a treat, even when I am very, very full and I know, for sure, that eating a treat will make me feel sick.

The best kind of treat is a treat which makes you feel a little fancy. I often indulge in a Snickers from the vending machine, but this is a treat of low quality and value, and also the vending machine is really cold inside I guess to stop all the treats from melting or something. Point being it's usually too hard when I eat it because as I said, I'm incapable of resisting a treat so I never wait for it to reach room temperature.  

To conclude, a Snickers does not make me feel fancy. But when I eat a Hokkaido baked cheese tart? Well, I feel like a fancy little boy in a sailor suit with a big lollypop and ringlet curls. I feel like someone in a Jane Austen novel (I've only read about ten pages of Sense and Sensibility before I got bored but everyone in it seemed very fancy!). I feel like the female protagonist in a late 90s/ early 2000s movie when she takes her glasses off and lets her hair loose and we realise she was hot (fancy) all along. 

The Hokkaido baked cheese tarts are a masterclass in textural decadence. The pastry shell is light and buttery and crispy, a perfect receptacle for the astonishingly creamy baked cheese filling. That cheese filling, oh man. A Snickers is trash in comparison. The filling is not too sweet, with a cream-cheese bite, and silky nearly (but, crucially, not entirely) to the point of runniness.

The baked aspect means the top is like a skin on a tomato soup if you leave it to sit too long, like in that Simpsons episode where Lisa is mad and won't come down to eat her dinner and so Homer leans over and eats the skin himself. I'm Homer in this situation (in this situation we also work on the presumption the skin is good and not yuck) - I can't get enough of that cheese tart skin. 

Since discovering the pleasures of the baked cheese tart, I have been back enough times that when I finally found out you could get a stamp card with a buy nine get one free deal, the woman let me backdate a few stamps because "Oh yes, I remember you from yesterday". I went after gobbling up an entire chicken roti canai from Uncle Man's even though I knew I was already too full, and I did feel sick but it was worth it.

Quick note - don't bother with the blueberry, original is where it's at. 

Hokkaido baked cheese tarts, $4.50,  5/350 Queen St

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