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6 Asian Treats You Need to Try at Your Local Cafe this Summer



With so many cafes and sweets popping up in every major metropolitan area, sometimes choosing what to curb those sweet-tooth cravings with can be difficult. The tyranny of choice begins to set in, and you’re hopelessly locked between thirteen different desserts that all sound so good you just can’t choose.

To help you narrow down your options, we’ve decided to curate a list of some of the best sweet treats you should munch on this summer if you haven’t already tried them.

1. Jolly Pong Shake

First up, we have a crunchy specialty drink based off of the highly popular Korean puffed rice cereal snack Jolly Pong. Like its simple name suggests, the drink consists of a milkshake (typically vanilla) topped with the Jolly Pong cereal. Yet, its simplicity does not take away from its refreshing creaminess, making it the perfect treat on a hot summer’s day.

However, I admit this shake may be a bit hard to find since it’s only carried at specific cafes and isn’t as widely available as drinks like bubble tea. Luckily enough, the recipe is quite easy to replicate at home; you can watch this YouTube video below for guidance and get right to work.

2. Mochi Donuts

Airy and sweet, mochi donuts are a Japanese-Hawaiian fusion with a long origin story overlapping cultures and tracing back generations. In a simplification of their complex history, mochi donuts take on the “pon de ring” style, borrowed from the popular Japanese chain Mister Donut, forming a circle of dough balls made from rice or tapioca flour. The donuts are also topped with a glaze and other toppings like sesame seeds or even Fruity Pebbles.

These gluten-free bundles of deliciousness are a creative spin on one of the most beloved American pastries, and they truly do taste as good as they look.

Elaine Wu | KQED

3. Bingsu

Bingsu, alternatively spelled as ‘bingsoo,’ is a traditional Korean dessert comprised of pure shaved ice and topped with anything from red beans, condensed milk, fresh fruit, ice cream, almond shavings, and more. With the shaved ice providing the perfect coolant to stave off the July and August heat, bingsu is a must-have in the summer. Just be warned: the portions are usually quite large, so it may be advisable to share one with a friend!

Image courtesy of Paris Morning Bakery

4. Cheese Tea

Yes, you read that right, but it’s probably not what you’re thinking. Before you wrinkle your nose in disgust and scroll past this section, let me be quick to reassure you that it is not tea blended from cheese or a hunk of cheese sitting in a perfectly good cup of Earl grey or whatever other culinary monstrosity you may be imagining.

Cheese tea refers to an Asian (especially popular in China, Thailand and Malaysia) delicacy that is a cold tea—typically green or black— topped with a cold cheese foam made from cream cheese, milk and whipping cream and finished with a small garnish of sea salt. Though the salty-sweet combo may sound off-putting at first, the two opposing flavors somehow work well together, allowing you to taste an initial burst of sweetness before ending with a flourish of savory.

Theerawan Bangpran | Getty Images | iStockphoto

5. Puffle Ice Cream

Potentially the most Instagrammable dessert on this list, puffle ice cream is a Hong Kong-inspired take on a traditional ice cream cone. Rather than use a standard crunchy waffle cone, this treat features a soft, airy puffle (think puffy waffle) inspired by Hong Kong’s egg cakes (gai daan jai in Cantonese). The egg-based puffle holds scoops of ice cream as well as any other sauces and toppings such as Pocky sticks and/or cereal flakes—yum! Disclaimer: eating one of these may send you into a food coma, but it’s so worth it.

Image courtesy of @wejdansview on Instagram

6. Rolled Ice Cream

This last one is an oldie but a goodie. As you may remember, rolled ice cream was a major trend a few years back with videos of people magically turning liquid batter into solid ice cream rolls flooding every timeline and feed. Well, it wasn’t actually magic—rolled ice cream, originating from Thailand, is made by pouring sweet milk onto a below freezing (-30 degrees Celsius) metal plate. As the base is rapidly cooling, metal spatulas are then utilized to chop up and mix toppings like chocolate or strawberries into the liquid mixture. When the mixture has fully solidified, it can be scraped up into thin rolls and placed vertically into a cup to be eaten as ice cream. Since it’s been a while since rolled ice cream has been in the spotlight, you might want to treat your tastebuds to this classic treat—just because the trend died down doesn’t detract from the tastiness of this dessert, and you should support the many cafes that still make rolled ice cream!

Image courtesy of ICMonster

Since it’s been a while since rolled ice cream has been in the spotlight, you might want to treat your tastebuds to this classic treat—just because the trend died down doesn’t detract from the tastiness of this dessert, and you should support the many cafes that still make rolled ice cream!

Now that you’ve read through this entire list, all you’ve got to do is get out there and fill your stomach with some—or all—of these desserts! If you do end up getting inspired to try one of these treats, be sure to tag us on Instagram @asianfeed. Enjoy!


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