I was downtown this afternoon for some meetings and had time to be like a pigeon and navigate around Chinatown. I decided it was time to investigate where my favourite snack shop moved to. No pigeon navigation was required for Sweet-n-Tart. It was on Mott street just below Canal. Nearby on the corner is where you can buy some of Chinatown’s finest produce. Though hunting the interior is a worthwhile adventure. Around the corner the lady who makes those delicious hot and fresh eggy cakes was late setting up which gave me a minor panic. But she was there when I walked by after tea and snacks with a friend. I bought two baggies.
So, sadly Sweet-n-Tart is indeed no more. The location near Canal became an egg custard bakery many moons ago. I sprang for a 411 inquiry for an alternate location. 20 Mott Street. My hopes were soon dashed when I walked up and found it closed. A fella across the street kindly told me they had to make major repairs in order to renew their lease. He said there might be a location in Queens. But I possess no pigeon navigation whatsoever for that borough.
I spent the next half hour or so scanning menus for places to replace my favourite snacks. Happy Time Café on Bayard serves hot and cold coconut milk with taro and tapioca pearl. I’m planning an afternoon—hopefully on a sunny day—to taste test congees. I loved the strings of ginger in Sweet-n-Tart’s congee.
For snacks with my friend I opted for another trusty spot, Shanghai cuisine, also on Bayard. A new era must be rising; I’m finally figuring out specific coordinates of places in Chinatown. But not until insisting to my friend calling for directions I was sipping tea there at the corner of Elizabeth. Poor dear. It’s not. Shanghai cuisine is on the corner of Mulberry and Bayard. I am certain of this now—I have a crib sheet (business card) with a handy map on the flip side.
The soup dumplings weren’t especially soupy today. Seems the soup leaked out. The scallion pancakes are no replacement for Sweet-n-Tart’s, and the sticky rice with red bean wasn’t sticky enough. But I didn’t want to insult my friend and use too much chili paste or dumpling sauce. Though they use my favourite stringy ginger in their dumpling sauce. Overall, it was a fine and rainy, four teapot afternoon.
I could tell you a funny story about my friend and me. Unbeknownst to us, or rather to me, today was indeed a chance, albeit planned encounter. But I won’t tap that here. Someday I’ll lie and you can read all the lies in my book, but I did give myself a good laugh writing it elsewhere. If you’re an editor, reader or book agent, feel free to drop me a line.
A moment of silence for Sweet-n-Tart..