As the saying goes, there is always room for dessert. And let's be honest we eat our meals just to get to the dessert. Or if you prefer, just skip the meal and go straight to it. Here is a list of delicious and beautifully made treats to try out in London. All are Asian, so take a flavour tour around the continent and delight all your senses with the sight and taste of this wide region. With a variety of treats, vibrant in colour, full of flavours and cute in design, they are guaranteed a good shout to enjoy with others.
Mamasons Dirty Ice Cream ££
Chinatown and Kentish Town Road, London
First stop is the Philippines for their famous dirty ice cream. The term ‘dirty ice cream’ is the colloquial expression used in the streets of Manila for their ice cream, as it is made rustically in a steel pot with ice and salt, sold by the road side. But despite this term, these peddlers bring joy to those they serve, as they lovingly prepare their cool treats. And this love and service is a cultural experience Mamasons replicates in their ice cream parlour. The best treat here is made from the celebrated Ube; a yam with a distinctive purple colour that adds a bright violet colour to the ice creams. So it literally looks good enough to eat. There are also other flavours, which can be had in different ways, hot or cold, so you will be spoilt for choice. And for a winter warm-up, their Milo Coco hot chocolate, named one of the best in London, will satisfy every chocolate cravings.
Fuwa Fuwa ££
Russell Square, Unit 8, Brunswick Centre, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1AE
Our next stop is Japan for their soft soufflé pancakes. I am not exaggerating when I say it is like eating a cloud! Japan has perfected the recipe for making fluffy, light as air pancakes. It requires less flour and separates the egg whites form the egg yolks, adding a meringue mix to the batter which creates that pillow-like soft cloud texture. The final result is pancakes that are delicate, soft and delectable. And you can try it here in central London. Made on site at the counter at the front, you can see the fluffy batter mixture being scoped out on to a flat plate and watch how they jiggly as they are turned over. You can have them with different toppings, so there is something for everyone. And on special occasions, there are themed toppings which makes the experience even more exciting.
Soho, 47 Greek St, Soho, London W1D 4EE
Next we travel to Korea for Bingsu. Bingsu is cup of shaved ice with different sweet toppings. It originally began with it just shaved ice and red bean but now in this contemporary culture, new flavours have been introduces with fruits being a popular choice, and now there is introduction of chocolate. Bingsu is always served with a tiny jug of milk, which is to be poured over the whole thing, slightly melting the ice and combining all the flavours together for a great taste. If you prefer something warm, there is also waffles on the menu and sweet toast. There are some savoury options too, with the popular Korean street food Tteokbokki for that unique Korean experience. And of course, K-Pop is also played with special events being occasionally held, so you can indulge in your K-Pop craze while enjoying a sweet treat.
9 Wardour St, Chinatown, London W1D 6PF
Just as you enter Chinatown, you will see this small bakery serving sweet bake goods as well as the popular Taiyaki ice cream, served in a fish-shaped cone. For this treat, the ice cream come in only two flavours vanilla and green tea. Most opt for the green tea, or a mixture of both, to have a full flavour experience. There are also colour full cakes and biscuits that delights the eyes and taste buds. The bakery has a large selection of treats from all over the East Asia, so you can have a flavour trip in just this one place. And they don’t just sell sweet stuff, they have an assortment of savoury buns with different fillings, making a good grab and go meal. Everything is at an affordable price, so you can really treat yourself even on a budget.
Candy Café £
First Floor, 3 Macclesfield St, West End, London W1D 6AU
Tucked away in Chinatown, up a flight of stairs on the first floor, is this cosy café serving delicious and fresh Asian desserts. Candy Café serves up Taiwanese Ai-yu jelly which can be had with fresh fruits and different sweet toppings. There is also hot desserts, in the form of sweet soups in several flavours for a great winter warm up. You can also customise your dessert with the mix and match option, choosing your own base and up to three toppings. And there is a variety of options for a drink, with fruit ice teas of different tropical flavours, specialised coffee from Malaysia and Hong Kong and of course the popular bubble tea. The café is a bit hidden away, which makes it all the more exciting when you stumble across it, and the wooden interior makes a cubby and snug place to enjoy a sweet time with friends.
Photo credits: Kopnu Mung