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Let’s see Hangawi Come

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Sorry, Matchbox Twenty, for butchering your song title.

Much of my most-recent vacation was spent visiting relatives in the northeast. I was lucky enough, however, to steal a few trips to the NYC. One such trip included a dinner stopover at Hangawi, a favored restaurant not only for the food, but also for the ambiance.  Upon arriving at Hangawi, diners are asked to leave their shoes– and their worries– on the doorstep as they enter a peaceful, spa-like oasis, which paints a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of the surrounding city.

Mr. Handsome Dinner Date and I arrived at Hangawi after a grueling day of walking under the unforgiving city sun (hey, at least it didn’t rain!). Therefore, Hangawi’s calming music, dim lighting, and refreshing zen atmosphere were quite welcome.  We seated ourselves on the tatami mats and prepared for what we hoped would be a delicious dining experience.

Hangawi did not disappoint.Two soothing cups of Ginger Tea accompanied us as we perused the menu. Normally the tea comes with honey, but the server graciously left it out of mine. (I’m unsure where I stand on the “veganism and honey” issue. More bugs probably die in the making of my organic kale or broccoli! So I don’t go out of my way to eat foods with honey, but I also won’t flip out if I happen to consume it accidentally.)

The tea was chock-full of real ginger strands. For his main course, Dad decided on the Tofu and Mix Vegetables with Brown Sauce and a side of multigrain rice. I’m assuming he liked it, as he polished off every last bite, save for his archnemesis zucchini (I magnanimously took those offending zucchini pieces off his hands).


I went with a specially-prepared Mushroom and Garlic Medley for my Hangawi dinner. One of my special requests? Lots of garlic! (Another request was for extra broccoli. Broccoli Girl must be satisfied!)

hangawi dinner

And then there was dessert. I’ve talked before about my distaste for sugary foods. Oreo-bottomed double- caramel chocolate-chip sprinkle cake with extra whipped cream? Not so much.  However, this girl still loves a good slice of velvety, melt-in-your-mouth cheesecake. And that’s exactly the kind of cheesecake one can find at Hangawi. Please, Hangawi, open a location in Texas!

We ordered two slices of Hangawi’s vegan cheesecake to go: one for me, and one for my adventurous dad. Now, I’d planned on eating my cheesecake the next day at snacktime.  But… when I came in the next morning after my run and saw Daddy Dearest devouring his cake for breakfast, there was nothing else to do but join him!

hangawi vegan cheesecake

Dad: “This vegan cheesecake tastes exactly like real cheesecake!”

vegan cheesecake

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. Coconutgal says:

    Yummm!! Cute photos Katie, sounds so fun!!

    Ok maybe I’m too observant– but how come your dad’s piece of cake is on a white plate, yours on a blue, and then the one he’s eating is on a black plate? Did he sneak 2 pieces!?!

  2. LOL no he didn’t sneak two pieces. I put his piece on a plate the night we got home, to take a picture. Looking back, that was ridiculous– I could’ve just left it in the box. Sometimes I get a little obsessive with feeling the need to make my pictures “blog-worthy”. But admitting you have a problem is the first step to getting better, no? 😉

    Anyway, I changed the post up so it’s less confusing haha!

  3. Amanda says:

    i’m with you on the SUPER sugary stuff, although i do love desserts. they just don’t need to be sweet over sweet over sweet!

    i had this huge cupcake hangover after i had eaten two store bought ones the night before. i felt soooo sick, and it really was a breaking point. i realized my body didn’t want to consume that much sugar! i went on a major detox after that.

  4. *Andrea* says:

    pretty pictures!!! the food/tea sounds great – delicious and calming :)

  5. Erin says:

    Sounds wonderful!! My Dad is adventurous with foods too, I love eating out with him!

  6. brandi says:

    that cheesecake looks awesome! and ginger strands in the tea? Yum. I love fresh ginger.

  7. Cecilia says:

    omg I want to visit NYC so badly!!! I must get a list of “to visit places” when I (eventually) get there 😀

    Oh I love your pick for din din!! Whilst I was in Thailand, I had a MAD craving for broccoli! I went to the nearest grocery store, bought A HEAD of broccoli, and boil it up in the kettle in our hotel room 😀 AHHHhhh craving satisfied!!

  8. Anne K. says:

    That place looks great. And YUM, that cheesecake! I’m such a huge cheesecake fan, and that looks delicious 😀 I’m glad you had a good time!

  9. Vic says:

    I really like the black and white photos. Nice post! I cant wait to travel. I grew up in Maine and love the Northeast.

  10. Katherine says:

    Everything looks delicious and I will definitely have to check out the restaurant! I just moved to NYC a few months ago, so let me know if you have other restaurant/grocery suggestions! :)

    I love the editing of the pictures – food in color, you in B/W – such a cool effect!

  11. FoodsThatFit says:

    Vegan Cheesecake! I want a piece of that. I bet if more people saw some of the yummy things that you can make and eat within a vegan diet, they wouldn’t be so scared of it.

    Looks like a fun evening with your Dad and it cracks me up that you caught him eating his slice for breakfast! I would do the same (if I hadn’t polished it off the night before already)!

  12. Christina says:

    Props to you for waiting til the next day to eat that cheesecake, It’d be gone that night if it were mine!

    I can’t to see where else you went in NYC. I’m always on the hunt for new vegetarian restaurants to try :)

  13. justine says:

    Katie, Sounds like a blastie!!!So jealous of your trip. I have never been to NY!! :(


  14. Krista says:

    I love how you manipulated your photographs in this post! Wicked!

    The cheesecake does look mighty fine…;)

  15. Jessica says:

    NYC is a great city, and it’s awesome how much vegan food you can find there! That cheesecake looks great…

  16. Marianne says:

    Sounds like a great meal out with your dad, and really, how can you go wrong with cheesecake for breakfast? I don’t think it’s possible!

    I so need to get to NYC one of these days…

  17. Shelby says:

    LOVELY! That cake looks marvelous!

  18. jd says:

    I LOVE how you refer to your dad as your “handsome dinner date.” That’s sooo cute!

    And I have to say, I agree, he’s definitely adorable :)

    Also, those are great pics, Katie! I love what you did with the colors… very cool stuff!

  19. Erin says:

    I love how you edited the post with all the colors! It’s awesome!
    Nice to hear your thoughts on honey – I don’t know how I feel about it at this point either, esp after watching Bee Movie! 😉

  20. CurlyTop says:


    Darlin, you and your daddy look so much alike! The same exact eyes on the both of you. Too cute. 😀 Do you look more like your papa or your mom?

    That resteraunt looks fabulous. I can’t wait to live near NY and sample all of those amazing dishes.

    Have a gorgeous night sweetie!

    With Love,


  21. Bibis says:

    Sounds like a fun dinner date !! there are not many vegetarian options in my city, it’s so bad :(

  22. ttfn300 says:

    looks like a fantastic meal!!! and that cheesecake :) love that you guys had it for breakfast!

  23. Erin says:

    LOL, your dad is such a trooper! I can only imagine my father, king of grilled meats and potatoes, eating tofu at a (fabulous) restaurant like that! Woot CCK’s Dad!

    That ccake looks TOO good. And I also despise ruining it with sauce of any kind. Plain is best.

  24. Diann says:

    You ordered perfectly! The mushrooms with broccoli look incredible. The cheesecake looks pretty amazing as well!

  25. JB says:

    that cheesecake looks so smooth and creamy! and you and your dad are so cute! i always love reading your posts. i just created a wordpress blog today, and your blog is the first one i subscribed to. :)

  26. Becky says:

    That cheesecake looks amazing….I’m going to look your recipe up. Your “dinner date” looks so cute. I love your pictures-the black & white with some color :)

  27. broccolihut says:

    Everything looks fantabulous! I laughed at your comment about the zucchini–I am known as the family’s “veggie garbage dispose-all.” I gladly take any unwanted veggies off my fellow diners’ plates:)

  28. vegancowgirl says:

    Looks like a great spot for goodies!!!!

  29. Gina says:

    I went to Hangawi recently!! It was kind of random, we totally didn’t plan it, but I went with my dad and brother. I talked about it on my blog too, I loved the ambiance!

    I would definitely go back, there is something so unique about it :)

  30. Ricki says:

    I love how you adjusted the photos! And yes, that cheesecake certainly LOOKS exactly like the “real” thing. . .!! Sounds like you BOTH had adorable dinner dates!

  31. elise says:

    im not sure you should be allowed to call yourself chocolate covered katie if you dont like sweets!!

  32. Robin says:

    I share your feelings of being “unsure where [you] stand on the ‘veganism and honey’ issue.” I was glad/relieved to know that I’m not alone in my ambivalence about it. Personally, I still use honey–sometimes I use it without too much guilt, other times I worry that I’m being a “bad vegan” when I use it. Anyway…just wanted to say that, as always, your honesty, compassion, and level-headedness are greatly appreciated…as is your wonderful sense of humor! You rock, Katie. 😀

  33. Meg Wolff says:

    I had the ginger tea too, but didn’t know it had honey. The spot we sat in was so dark it was difficult to read the menu. Other than that the food, atmosphere and waiter were fantastic. I agree that if one is eating in NYC Hangawi is a must.

  34. indiechic927 says:

    Mmmmmm. Vegan cheesecake. I love vegan food… :)

  35. Leah says:

    no brown rice for you…hmm a dinner of purely vegetables is exactly what someone who exercises so much needs. why dont you try and eat some more carbohydrates so that people will stop making comments. a sugar-free diet is very healthy so i support you there but what about eating bread and rice and pasta? if you want to go carb-free that is fine too, but every cell in your body has a bilipid layer – lipid meaning fat – therefore you MUST feed your body enough fat to nourish your cells. as a vegan who cares so much for their health surely you should have done your research and discovered this. your body will shut-down if you continue the way you are going. exercise + no sugar + no fat + very low carbs. its not healthy.

    1. Hi Leah,
      Please don’t base your judgment of me on one post, especially one that was posted years ago! (Also, I can’t say I remember, but I’m sure my meal probably came with rice.) If you read all of my posts, instead of making a snap judgment, you will see I eat plenty of carbs and fats.