Letao’s cheesecakes are a thing of wonder. Exceptionally fluffy, stocked up with rich Hokkaido milk and sent frozen from Japan. Yep, everything on offer at Letao Down Under – in its Aussie OG in Melbourne and its second store in Sydney – is flown in specially.

Letao has been making creamy waves since 1988, when it first opened a store in Hokkaido. And today, a cake is sold every 10 seconds. “We don’t make any cake in Australia, every cake is from Japan,” Letao Sydney’s manager Alex Sim tells Broadsheet. “Cakes are flown in once a month; we are scheduling cake orders three months before. They’re all handmade, so it takes quite a lot of time to make each one.”

This made-in-Japan model extends to every product at Letao, “to ensure quality”. In Japan, the vanilla-like Hokkaido milk is churned into the range of treats for Australia: the signature Fromage Double cheesecakes, with their rough biscuit crumb; perfect slices of cream-filled Swiss rolls; cheesy, buttery cookies; mascarpone crème brûlée tarts; and soft serve, which you can have swirled into a cone or in a Letao sundae (the only way to get your mitts on just a slice of the cake).

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Sim’s favourite flavour is the classic Fromage Double. “‘Fromage’ is the cheese and ‘double’ is the two-layer. We use Italian mascarpone cheese in the base and the top is Australian cream cheese and we add Hokkaido milk.” Because all the cakes are frozen, you can choose the texture by deciding how long to let it defrost. The Letao team always go frozen for a silky texture, but if you’re after something a bit closer to ice-cream, one or two hours out of the freezer will do it. “In three to four hours, it’s going to be soft and creamy – so Letao is quite a different concept to other cake shops.”

Two cheesecakes are available all the time – Fromage Double and Chocolate Double – and three are seasonal, changed every two to three months. Currently in Sydney there’s the Marron Double (Italian sweet chestnut), the Niagara Double (showcasing Niagara grapes from Yoichi Hokkaido) and the Neige Blanc (a creamy mix of honey and camembert).

The fit-out is futuristic and slick, set up more as a gallery or museum than a cake shop. The menu is a row of bespoke shokuhin sampuru sitting prettily in the window, and more often than not a line of people snakes out the door. The spectacular space was designed by K Holland – the studio behind Minamishima’s fit-out in Melbourne – and centres around two concrete counters. Don’t let a line scare you off – you can start your order as you browse, with Letao staff wandering around with tablets.

If the city’s a bit of a hike, fret not. Letao delivers across Sydney and Canberra, and you can get it the next day if you order before 4pm – and there’s free delivery if you spend more than $50.

Letao
501 George Street, Sydney
0404 761 888

Hours:
Daily midday–10pm

letaoaustralia.com
@letao_australia