Uncle Tetsu – Arcadia

Would you wait 45 minutes for a freshly baked Japanese cheesecake, warm out of the oven? I didn’t think I would either, but curiosity got the best of me after walking by Uncle Tetsu’s twice and seeing their long line grow even longer.


At Uncle Tetsu, there are six ovens, all in various stages of baking. The cheesecakes take 45 minutes to bake so there’s a sign warning those standing in line about how long the estimated wait time is, much like a ride at Disneyland.


You will wait as long as a ride at Disneyland, too. Once the timer has gone off, one of the workers will remove the cheesecakes from the oven, then take them out of their water bath and wipe them down, brand them with the Uncle Tetsu logo, wrap them in cheesecloth and place them in a box.

dsc02572Each customer is only allowed to buy one cheesecake. Each oven holds 12 cheesecakes –  with every batch, 12 lucky people in line get to buy a cheesecake.


We were eager to see if the wait was worth it…


The branding on ours was a bit off, with bits of the cheesecake coming off on the cheesecloth. If you’ve never had Japanese cheesecake before, you’re in for a treat. Uncle Tetsu’s cheesecake is simply heavenly, light like a soufflé and not too sweet.


Uncle Tetsu sells other items like madeleines, in honey and green tea, and cookies. Compared to the cheesecake, they’re nothing special, possibly owing their sales to people who feel like they have to justify their wait time by buying something else in addition to the single cheesecake.

Would I wait in line again for a cheesecake? Only if I saw an extremely short line that guaranteed my getting a cheesecake in the next batch out of the oven. The cheesecake was sublime though, and unlike a Disneyland ride that is seemingly over in seconds, you’ll be rewarded with a longer experience of enjoyment.


Location – Westfield Santa Anita – 400 S. Baldwin, Arcadia, 91007. Additional location in Honolulu, HI.
Website – http://uncletetsu-us.com
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – No
Vegetarian Friendly – Yes
Vegan/Gluten-Free Options – No

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