Cover The original Basque cheesecake at La Viña in Hong Kong (Photo: Courtesy of La Viña)

The new dessert brand in Central pays homage to the San Sebastian original

Four months ago, we noticed a burgeoning obsession with Basque cheesecake, with nearly a dozen venues all coming out with their own take on the cake—with its distinctive burnt and caramelised top—at the same time. With a swath of the dining scene suddenly showcasing the once-obscure dessert, from Spanish restaurants such as Pica Pica to contemporary cafes such as Jomo Coffee & Cakes, one name kept popping up over and over: La Viña, the famous pintxo bar in Spain’s San Sebastian that is widely credited with coming up with the original burnt cheesecake recipe.

Well, La Viña has finally arrived in Hong Kong—but it has nothing to do with the Spanish original, though it's taken the same name and also promotes Basque burnt cheesecake as its hero product. The brand is actually a follow-up by the team behind The Cupping Room and Doubleshot cafes in Central, the latter being one of the venues that have introduced the cheesecake to their menus earlier in the year.

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“Basque cheesecake is an enigma,” goes their spiel. “Ugly, yet alluring; burnt, yet undercooked; and easy to make, yet almost impossible to perfect.”

Having based their recipe at Doubleshot on the Spanish La Viña original, it sounds as though they’re confident that they’ve perfected their version with this standalone brand, with the shop located in Central’s Graham Street. In addition to the original, the team have introduced new variations with a “very soft centre” version, an earl grey version, and a chocolate and rum version. The mini three-inch original is HK$42 while the flavoured varieties are HK$46.

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While San Sebastien's La Viña is most closely associated with cheesecakes, wine and pintxos, this Hong Kong namesake is actually targeting a wider spectrum of dessert lovers: its loaf cakes are marketed as another signature, with flavours ranging from lemon poppyseed to matcha and adzuki to Valrhona chocolate and salted caramel. It’s the earl grey and floral rose that’s been appearing on our Instagram feeds most frequently, thanks to its pretty pink frosting and smattering of fresh raspberries and pistachio crumble. There are also cookies, little tiramisu boxes, muffins, scones, brown butter madeleines, kouign amann, danishes and croissants. It’s almost like they know how much we all need a comforting sweet treat to get through the year.

La Viña is open daily between 10:00am and 6:00pm, with island-wide deliveries and in-store pick-up also available.

La Viña, Shop 3, MyCentral, 23 Graham Street, Central, Hong Kong; +852 9612 0988

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