You Can Sample Japanese-Inspired Desserts at “The Little One” on East Broadway

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A new dessert spot from a local husband-wife team with serious culinary credentials is starting to get noticed beyond the Lower East Side.

AM New York today profiles The Little One, a small bakery at 150 East Broadway, which debuted last month with a menu of traditional Japanese confections. It’s operated by Eddie Zheng and Olivia Leung:

The Chinatown natives attended the Institute of Culinary Education together, with Zheng, 25, going on to work at wd~50, The Elm, Café Clover and La Sirena, while Leung, 26, has worked with Dominique Ansel and at South Korean bakery Tous Les Jours. The Little One was inspired by their travels through Asia. “What we really liked about Asia is that they have a lot of different types of ingredients that we could play with,” Zheng said. “There’s not many people in New York that are introduced to it yet, other than going to a fine-dining restaurant.”

Eater ran a feature on the dessert shop just before the new year:

The Little One’s nine-item menu currently reads entirely Japanese. One will find kakigori, Japanese shaved ice drizzled with hojicha (a type of roasted green tea) caramel and lime zest, plus a matcha rendition with white chocolate espuma. Dorayaki, a common Japanese dessert that resembles a mini pancake sandwich, comes filled with confit honeycrisp apples and mascarpone, or sweet potato cake and a spiced cream. Monaka — an unflavored rice wafer shell typically stuffed with red bean and/or ice cream — is filled here with soba-cha (toasted buckwheat) ice cream and chocolate fudge or parsnip ice cream with burned honey caramel.

The Little One also offers an interesting selection of teas and malted hot chocolate with cardamom. Zheng said The Little One should not be thought of as a Japanese bakery. In the future, they may offer cakes and tarts using non-Asian ingredients. Zheng and Leung are planning to install an oven in the space, which will allow them to offer new menu items.