Today, I ate one of the best desserts I’ve ever had in my entire life. No kidding. But unfortunately, it was, again, one of those moments when I just completely forgot to take a snapshot of the plate of food (I had my camera with me for a reason). Good thing, I still live to tell the tale of that divine dessert…
I was happy to be invited by Arva to the menu tasting lunch of Mahjong, a barely open Chinese restaurant at Dubai Internet City. I’ve heard awful, awful reviews of the quality of the Chinese food here; hence, I was even happier to know that I tasted plate after plate of the real thing: chicken siomai (which was so meaty that I swear it tasted like pork), hot and sour soup, peking duck pancake rolls, sweet and sour chicken and more. The food was certified authentic Chinese, at least by my palate, which was trained by years of eating since childhood through the one too many food trips in Manila’s Chinatown.
I discreetly did some tummy stretching, maneuvering on my seat, to give some space for dessert. I had to have dessert even if I had one to many bites of yummy Chinese food. I was so stuffed, waaaaay beyond my limit. But one always has dessert, right?
When the servers set down the dessert plate in front of me, the first thing I noticed was the bowl of water with iced cubes bobbing up and down, placed beside the actual dessert. Such an oddity. What the heck was this bowl of icy water doing on our dessert plates? I realized that I wasn’t the only one who had the bowl on the dessert plate. All three of us had the same bowl with the same curious look on our faces.
“What is this for?” we then asked the servers.
“You’re supposed to dip the dessert in it to cool it down. It’s too hot.”
Okay. Burning question answered. So my eyes shifted its attention to the actual dessert.
Sitting on the plate, beside the icy water bowl, were three deep fried, breaded balls in delicate amber caramel crystal shell with specks of white and black sesame seeds. Beneath it was a dollop of already melting toffee ice cream.
I’ve definitely seen this before, I said to myself in my head. So I dipped a deep fried, breaded ball into its icy bath, then bit into it. My teeth broke into the caramel crystal shell without any hitches. No caramel crystal shards sticking to the roof of my mouth or between my teeth. It also didn’t have the burnt sugar taste, as Goldilocks would’ve said “It was just right.”
And inside was a steaming (They were right about it being HOT!) hunk of a chunk of pineapple! I thought I would be chomping through a banana, but I got a pineapple instead. It was such a refreshing change! The acidity of the pineapple actually cut through the sweetness from the caramel crystal shell, cleansing my palate for the dessert finale.
Yes, dessert wasn’t over just yet. I finally cooled down the steam from the deep fried, breaded pineapple with a teeny scoop of the granular toffee ice cream (which looked and tasted hand churned to me) to satisfy my need for a certain creaminess in my dessert.
Perfect. Simply perfect. Crunchy, sugary, fruity, creamy, hot and cold all in one plate. I told you I was already full, but somehow, I got to gobble up not just one, but all three perfect dessert balls. I can still feel those flavors dancing inside of my mouth. Damn. Delicious footprints, or rather foodprints, definitely left in my mouth. I am scarred for life.
Thank you Mahjong for this wonderful dessert! I would DEFINITELY come back for it. Let me know when your doors finally open to the public, okay? 🙂
UPDATE: Mahjong is located on the ground floor of the BBC News Building in Dubai Internet City (DIC). It’s the building across the Du Office. For commuters like me, it is a pleasant walk from the DIC metro stop 🙂
Daydreaming about that dessert,
Disclosure: Mahjong treated me to this wonderful menu tasting, but I paid for tips. This is an unsolicited post because we were only asked to give the owners feedback before the resto’s grand opening. But the dessert was just too divine for me not to write about!