Written by Wu Jinjing
We’ve all stumbled along the inside of South Gate, full of bars and cafes. And we’ve wandered along the strip of bar restaurants in the west wall park. But does anyone know what the southwest corner of the wall has to offer? You’ve probably never been there. But, my dear friends, what’s hiding inside that humble corner is DESSERT. Lots and lots of dessert. Tucked away inside the south west corner of the walled city is a row of restaurants and the newly opened Dessert Kitchen. (甜品工房).
On an otherwise dim street, the glowing restaurant lured us in. The restaurant is crisp and clean, fit with modern chairs, bench seats, and couches for groups big or small. Floor to ceiling windows, an open kitchen area, and simple decorations make this one sophisticated and chic dessert place. We opened the menu and knew we were going to have one classy dessert experience.
I asked one of the many employees who spoke excellent English if Chinese cuisine has a culture of desserts and she said no. The Dessert Kitchen is from Hong Kong; the small chain of desert restaurants offers a mouthwatering array of Japanese, Taiwanese, and Hong Kongese desserts. Some were sweets we recognized: pudding, sundaes, parfaits, and waffles (Actually, I always thought it was breakfast. But hey, whatever, I guess its dessert now.) Others were dessert concoctions we had never heard of.
My sweet tooth made my first choice easy: brownies, Japanese style, bite-size chocolate delights wrapped in a fondant-like skin. Delicious, but I just wish I had a whole pan full instead of four bites worth. Javier, a trained barista, started with a hot mug of mocha that happily met his standards. He prefers main dishes to dessert so his interest was piqued by the kanten, clear jelly that looks like noodles. We enjoyed the kanten with peach sauce and mixed fruit. The waffle itself was a bit boring but the ice cream and strawberry sauce with it were delicious. Javier was quiet for most of the meal—while I was savoring every bite of my meal he had already finished the milky hot Sesame Rice Ball in Coconut. At this point, I was full but the gold medal on the Purple in Love desert convinced me I had to trying this award-winning dessert.
As we toddled away, stuffed with way more dessert than we should admit to, I realized that these East Asian desserts, like Purple in Love are very far from the cookies, cakes, and fudge I grew up on in the West. They weren’t overly sweet. This desert had seaweed, grapes, shaved ice, tapioca, and mocha balls. Weird, I know, but delicious. I didn’t have that nasty film of palm oil in my mouth or a belly ache from processed sugar. The desserts at The Dessert Kitchen are subtlety sweet and dare I say, even healthy. So go ahead, indulge!
Pro: A culinary adventure. So many unique desserts to try.
Con: Very pricey for dessert and a little difficult to find.
Recommendation: The sundaes are worth your money! Delicious!
Average Price per person/人均消费: 40 RMB
10a, Nan Ma Dao Xiang, inside Han Guang Gate.
( 含光门里南马道巷10a )
Tel /电话: 029-8763 8810
Hours /时间: 11:00am – 11:00pm