Best of East and Southeast Asian Desserts
From the far east to the southeast, the diverse culture of our little corner of the world makes for flavourful cuisine, which includes delectable desserts!
From desserts based on the variety of exotic local fruits, or fusion pastries with local ingredients but inspired by Western techniques, we are really fortunate to have such a wide array of desserts at our disposal all year round.
For those uniquely Asian flavours that we are lucky enough to know all too well, get your fix at any time by ordering on GemSpot!
Known for its high sugar content, it’s like mangoes want us to turn them into a dessert!
The iconic Thai mango sticky rice is a favourite for any southeast Asian person; served with glutinous rice and coconut milk, it’s a truly original dessert to our part of the continent with all locally sourced ingredients.
The Hong Kong mango pudding on the other hand is made with cream and gelatin, and comes with fresh fruit.
Extracted as the spongy, starchy pith from tropical palm stems, sago is perfect ingredient to build a dessert around, as its pearl-like appearance is both pretty to look at while also being a vessel for sweet flavours.
This Malaysian classic dessert is served chilled with coconut milk and palm sugar, also known as gula melaka.
Another cute sago dish is bubur cha-cha; but don’t let the word bubur (Malay for porridge) fool you because this dish is all dessert! Typically served in a sweetened base of sago with coconut milk (sometimes even infused with pandan), a serving of bubur cha-cha isn’t complete until it’s piled on with chunks of locally grown sweet potato, yam, and if you’re lucky even banana or plantain.
Perhaps one of the most epic local snacks beloved by all Malaysians, pisang goreng (banana fritters) offers natural fruit sweetness enveloped in a crispy fried batter.
And these two pisang goreng variations are served with another favourite fruit-based dessert ingredient: coconut – but, in different forms!
Best thing about pisang goreng: you can eat it on its own, or you could dress it up by pairing it with other local ingredients. Try the Pisang Goreng Berkelapa from Songket Restaurant, served with grated coconut and palm sugar; or if you’re looking for a hot and cold combo order the Banana Fritters with Coconut Ice Cream from Bijan Bar served laced with palm sugar, sesame seeds, and a scoop of coconut ice cream.
While known in our part of the world as the Macau egg tarts, these tarts are actually based on the Portuguese pasteis / pastel de nata, with Macau itself being a colony of the Portuguese empire for many years.
As a baked custard with a burnt top sitting in a tart base made of flaky pastry, the Macanese tarts have taken on an identity of their own, with the recipe diverging from egg tarts found in other countries.
And if creamy, eggy desserts are your thing, order yourself some Creamy Egg Yolk Custard Bao, promising a sweet molten centre within a fluffy steamed bun.
No Asian dessert list would be complete without the King of Fruits: the formidable durian!
Offering succulent flesh that is custard-like straight out of the fruit, durian is surprisingly versatile to be manipulated into pastries and baked goods.
Both these desserts feature durian in a French dessert; a crème brulée, which features D24 durian in a creamy custard with burnt sugar hard top, or a crepe cake featuring durian flesh and pastry cream between layers of fine crepes, topped with durian ganache and a sprinkle of croquettes.
This article got your sweet tooth tingling? Order any of the desserts you see here (and see even an wider menu on our app!) and enjoy 20% OFF when you apply with the promo code “GEM20”. Also, enjoy absolutely FREE delivery for orders on GemSpot all throughout the month of October, with no minimum spend and for distances of up to 25km!