|Glutinous rice balls in mango with a scoop
of mango sorbet, 28yuan in Changchun and
38 yuan in Beijing
Most American "Chinese restaurants" offer some riff of Cantonese or Sichuan food, two vastly different cuisines. In my limited experience, though, most of them are long on ginger ice cream and fortune cookies, but short on any other options for dessert. Well, in China, dessert is certainly a rarity, but not as uncommon as somebody who has heard of a fortune cookie. Aside from some bakeries and Western-style cake shops, I don't know of any other strictly dessert restaurants in our city.
Deborah (Jingjing), my girlfriend, and I first went to this Cantonese dessert restaurant a few months back just before they ripped out its innards for a high-class remodeling effort. When she told me that she had walked by and it was gone, I was disappointed. Today, I found that it was just having a face-lift. These places are, from my quick survey of the web, beginning to catch on elsewhere in China. Beijing Today ran a story over a year ago about three new places opening there:
"Cantonese desserts, especially sweet and iced ones like herb jelly teas, are hard to find in Beijing.
Following in the footsteps of Manji, a dessert chain that opened on the mainland, Hui Lau Shan, another well-known Hong Kong brand, opened three stores in Beijing last week. They have 100 desserts made from mixed fruits and homemade ingredients."
On your next trip to Changchun, I hope that you will check it out on Xikang Lu between Tongzhi Jie and Lixin Jie.