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Ube cheesecake at Kraken Congee. 

Cheesecake is all over town these days, including a couple of newish places with unusual versions.  

At Stateside, the Vietnamese sensation on Capitol Hill, the cheesecake one recent weekday was made of crème fraiche, whose creamy tang was layered between a shortbread crust and a flurry of lychee-flavored “snow”—a cold “ice” which disappeared to a smooth, almost custardlike consistency on the palate.  

At Pioneer Square's Kraken Congee, the version is Hood Famous Bakeshop’s ube cheesecake, wherein the purple yam ube shows up as a disc of ethereal cheesecake, over a graham cracker crust and a puddle of mango sauce. This one’s as vividly colorful as it is just jaw-droppingly fine—which is why it’s always on the menu. (Stateside’s rotates.)  

For more on the enchanting Kraken, see my review in October’s Seattle Met.

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