A coffee shop only on account of coffee to go, tiny New Kam Hing specializes in sponge cake. The flavor evokes an eggy angel food cake; the lightness and springy texture also hint that it is steamed rather than baked. (Ovens were not so common in traditional Chinese kitchens.)
When the elderly owner retired, this shop might well have closed in the absence of a younger generation willing to take on the workload. May May, once of Pell St., is a case in point. But at New Kam Hing, a longtime Mexican-born employee took the reins; he speaks not only English and Spanish but also sufficient Cantonese to manage a multicultural staff and fill orders from loyal customers. The roster of sponge-cake flavors, however, may be up for review and expansion. This one ($1), a special on the day I stopped in, is chocolate chip.
New Kam Hing Coffee Shop
119 Baxter St. (Canal-Hester Sts.), Manhattan