In my experience, you don't really go to an Asian restaurant with dreams of magnificent desserts at the end of your meal.
Photo from rubberduckee Ais Kakang is a popular dessert in Malaysia and at Malaysian restaurants here in Houston.
I happen to love fortune cookies, so I'm always pleased to find those at Chinese restaurants. In Korea, I ate a lot of jelly candy and sweet rice cakes, but they didn't satisfy me the way a slice of pie or an ice cream sundae might. At Japanese restaurants, desserts often mean sweet iterations of rice and beans or variations on dumplings. Some restaurants even claim to make authentic fried ice cream, though the authenticity of fried ice cream in Asian cuisine is debatable.
The desserts at Mamak Malaysian Restaurant, the subject of this week's cafe review, are an interesting mix of sweet sensibilities from all over southeast Asia, much like the rest of the food at Mamak. Malaysian food in general is informed by the cultures and cuisines that surround the country, and the influence of Thai, Chinese and Indian food is evident in even a brief glance at the menu.
I wasn't surprised to see Thai-style curries or Chinese stir-fries at Mamak, though. It was the desserts that really surprised me.More »