Berlin is not reputed for its desserts, but Asian desserts used to be totally off the radar here. That was before Si An Truong, a restaurateur with a sweet tooth, opened, right next door to his restaurant, a real Vietnamese patisserie. His broad mix of homemade sweets, jams, cakes and cookies should please the fussiest gourmet: here, Asian ingredients meet French savoir-faire in a feast for the eyes, palate and stomach alike. His cakes are also perfect for picky constitutions. Vegans, gluten and dairy-intolerants rejoice! Most of the treats are made from rice flour, soy beans, black sesame or baby banana and soy or coconut milk (with the exception of the mini cookies and a delicious Asian take on the New York cheesecake – green-tea cream cheese on the top of a biscuit-pastry crust). The mouth-watering panna cottas are made exclusively from soy milk. And there’s more: unwrap the shiny Banh Me Den from its bamboo-leaf parcel – and you’ll experience the soft, sticky texture of black sesame filled with sticky-rice paste. Or try the gorgeous pistachio-green (no artificial colouring!) Banh Bo, an airy-spongy dough deliciously drenched in coconut cream and topped with roasted peanuts.
One of our favourites is Xoi Xoai, a creamy dessert that perfectly allies velvety coconut milk with the subtle bitterness of coarse black sticky-rice, and is topped with fresh mango and a touch of roasted black sesame. Wash it down with one of the house green teas. A real delight!