Snacking on sweet and sour varieties has always been an essential part of Asian culture. There is an endearing quote in our folklore: “If you don’t snack, you are not a girl.” In Vietnam, snacks are sold every where on the streets, at the open markets, in front of school gates where students would hang out after school. The act itself is not just a culinary pleasure but it’s a social activity that bonds friends, and cements many great childhood memories.
As your unbiased Explorers of the GTA hotspots, we promise to deliver a candid review. For our very first edition of the Thoi Bao’s Explorer Series, we visited The Dessert Kitchen, founded in 2005 and originated in Hong Kong. Today, they are a globally recognized, cuisine-award winning dessert restaurant with over 30 locations world-wide. Their presence is in the USA, Australia, China, and now Canada.
We were excited to try The Dessert Kitchen since their very first Canadian location opened in downtown Toronto earlier in 2018. There are tons of amazing dessert spots in the core of downtown Toronto, but Asian desserts definitely take the cake, and The Dessert Kitchen offers some of the best desserts in the city with their huge selections! There is definitely something on the menu for everyone! What we found fascinating, that may separate them amongst many other Asian desserts shops in the city – is that The Dessert Kitchen creates their desserts and beverages with low sugar in mind, and all in-house made desserts.
Located at 73 Harbord Street in Toronto, it offers nutritious and delicious desserts varying from ice creams to specialty drinks, claiming to provide sweet delights that are suitable for the health conscious.
“SNACKING itself is not just a culinary pleasure but it’s a social activity that bonds friends, and cements many great childhood memories. “
We tried some of these selections:
“Hong Kong Style Milk Tea ($5.99)” imports tea leaves from Hong Kong, to provide authentic Chinese milk tea flavour, and served with an adorable marshmallow kitty, which is made in-house. The beverage was very adorable with the marshmallow decor, but the tea was a bit bland for our taste. Since The Dessert Kitchen aims for low sugar, we can understand the bitterness and recommend for you to request more sugar on the side and add if that’s better.
The signature award-winning dessert, “Purple in Love” ($8.99), consists of fresh grape shaved ice, topped with taro mochi ice cream and Japanese Kyoho grape seaweed balls, alongside with mini rice balls and delicious grapes. This dish would be ideal for literally grape lovers, and can be a bit on the sweet side! Great for two people to share as the portion is quite bigger.
We absolutely love matcha. “Matcha Serradura” ($7.99) is a subtle buttercream dessert, layered with crushed biscuits and topped off with fresh fruit, such as kiwis, mangoes, and various berries. The serradura also comes in vanilla or mango flavours, to ensure all palettes are met. Very authentic and true to the matcha flavours, this dish did not disappoint. The fruits add some acidity and sweetness back into the dish.
Based on our research, social media buzz, and sneaking glances at what others around us ordered at The Dessert Kitchen, their matcha layered sundae, taro soft serve ice cream, mochi wrapped desserts look delightful, and their Japadog dish, which is like a hot dog wrapped around a bubble egg waffle sprinkled with seaweed nori.
The Dessert Kitchen offers an array of specialty delights, including new seasonal and winter specials, from “Purple Sweet Potato Ginger Soup” to “Ice Stream Ramen,” therefore creating a dynamic menu to attract new customers throughout the year. We are looking forward to their spring/summer menu offerings. The innovation, creativity, and huge selection of flavours and menu items have got us excited!
Jennifer Dao & Natasha Dao