Monday, July 5, 2010

Mangoes + coconuts + milk (許留山)

Mango/coconut dessert

Known in Asia as 楊枝金撈 or 'yang zhi jin lao,' that thing you see above is in essence, the illegitimate love child of fresh mango, chilled coconut milk, condensed milk, and tapioca bubbles. It's everything good in the world, combined together into a miniature bowl that has you begging for more. All exaggerations aside, this might be one of the things that I miss most about Hong Kong. At 26 HKD (~$3.25) it seems like kind of a ripoff compared to Taiwan pricing of shaved ice (which HK does a craptacular job at replicating btw), so it might seem stupid that I'd fly to there to have cold mango desserts... right?

Well yes. Normally that'd be really dumb, but that's only the mindset you'd possess before trying it. In the face of overwhelming heat and humidity, this is like an oasis. A mango-coconut flavored oasis. The chilled mangoes dominate the flavor, while the thick coconut milk adds a secondary element of flavor just subtle enough to act as a complementary piece. Condensed milk (which seems obligatory in everything there) provides an appropriate sweetness to remind you that it's a dessert. Then there's the clear miniature tapioca balls. I'm pretty sure they're just there for fun. Ripoff? No. Not at all. Plus if you've ever seen the Taiwanese take on this dish at dim sum places... you'll find yourself staring at a pool of orange liquid with 2 or 3 pieces of canned mango in it. I'll gladly pay that premium for this.

Mango juice with mango jelly (許留山)

Almost forgot to mention, they also make pimptastic drinks. With every combination of mango, coconut, and 龜靈膏 (something similar to grass jelly, but isn't), you end up with something like 20 different varieties. I ended up just getting a mango juice thing with mango flavored jellies (yes, I am awesome at remembering names). I was under the impression it was supposed to be a slushie, and at some point it probably was, but after a few minutes in 35 degree weather, I ended up with what you see above. I think ultimately it made me appreciate it more.


Anonymous said...

yo nick just stopping by. great photos and stop making me drool.

Nicholas said...

Ditto Wilfred, that's why I was sad when I thought Rooftopsuperstar was done with after your road trip!

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