While nothing can replace the original flavour of traditional Malay kuihs and desserts (is there anything better than cendol or ais kacang?); culinary geeks are now playing with these local flavours and giving them a reincarnation with a modern twist.
Don't be surprised if you come across pâtisseries serving croissants with kaya or if your crème brûlée comes with gula melaka and pandan. Although most of us still crave for our steamed red bean pao with our afternoon kopi-o; there is something about these fusion desserts that are at once both intriguing and delicious.
For those of you who are experimenting with local flavours, or just simply adore desserts; here’s our pick of 5 delectable fusion desserts to get you started with.
Nasi Lemak Gelato @ Cielo Dolci
Nasi Lemak is the local equivalent of comfort food at any time of the day. What makes it better, is being served as a gelato! Yes, you read it right. The artisan gelato shop, Cielo Dolci; is making its patrons go crazy with this cool icy treat. Their gelato version of nasi lemak comes with house-churned coconut ice cream along with bits of roasted peanuts, a topping of fried anchovies and a sprinkling of red chilli flakes. Now that’s taking an everyday staple meal to a whole new level. Click here, for more details on this one.
Chocolate Durian Cake @ Just Heavenly
Talking about local desserts, we cannot go any further without mentioning the king of all local fruits — the durian. While many share a love or hate relationship with this fruit, there is only one relationship you can have with the Chocolate Durian Cake from Just Heavenly; that of sheer lust. Gaining fame as one of their signature desserts, the chocolate durian cake comes with velvety layers of durian and cream enveloped with a rich covering of chocolate ganache, that balances the pungent aroma of the durian and creates a bomb of flavours. For your escape to heaven, click here.
Mangosteen Cake @ Swich Café
Along with the durian we also have a wide range of tropical fruits to boast about and Swich Café, at Publika, understands that well. It therefore comes as no surprise that one of their seasonal hot-picks is the decadent Mangosteen Cake. Prepared freshly without the addition of any artificial flavourings, the cake has an airy, melt-in-the-mouth texture and comes with a mangosteen flavoured frosting, topping of fresh fruit and a subtle hint of pomegranate. While this one is only available in certain seasons, the café also serves other unique cakes such as cempedak, jackfruit and avocado. Check-out their cakes menu here.
Peter Pandan @ Wicked Pancake Parlour
An important ingredient in Malay and Thai cooking, pandan, can be found in both savoury delights and Malay kuihs. But if glutinous rice treats aren’t your cup of tea, try the Peter Pandan at Wicked Pancake Parlour. This delicious treat comes with three fluffy pandan flavoured pancakes, fresh and caramelised jackfruit, a topping of salted caramel ice-cream and a side of gula melaka sauce to drizzle as per your liking. For all their other wicked pancake creations, bite (we mean click) here.
Coconut Cendol Cheesecake @ Kompassion
Taking the popular local dessert, cendol, a notch higher is Kompassion; a Thai fusion restaurant that does authentic Thai food with modern twists. Despite being uniquely Thai, the dessert menu comprises a creamy coconut cendol cheesecake that is making diners ask for more. The coconut cream cheese base is blended well with cendol and is topped with roasted coconuts, more cendol and a naughty drizzle of gula melaka to tie it all together. Couple up the cheesecake with a refreshing iced drink to beat the afternoon heat. For a closer look at their fusion delights, click here.
Love local food? Pay a visit to one of these 5 restaurants for a true taste of Malay food such as rusuk panggang and sup lambok.