Dear Food Diary:
Anyone with who’s been to 許留山 Hui Lau Shan in HK or any of their franchises in Asia will tell you about their amazing desserts. Specially the mango options (my favorite). Sweet, perfectly ripen mangos are almost buttery. With a dollop of coconut icy, black sticky rice and or some mango on mango action with mango puree and pudding. Very balanced and not overly sweet.
In NYC however, we’ve been seriously deprived of that. A few years ago, a short lived version of it popped up on Centre St. It has since turned into a Japanese style Maid Cafe *rolling eyes*.
But now, we’ve got Mango Mango 許留山. This famous Hong Kong dessert chain finally has a little spot in NYC. Bayard St. in Chinatown to be exact. Sweet!
Snow White Juice with Mango and Black Rice
Snow white is essentially a creamy coconut icy. Coconut, fresh mango and black rice is the perfect sweet trio and one of my all time favorite desserts. The mangoes here weren’t magnificent, but sweet. Mangoes in Asia are just better, period. The rice was nicely cooked, with a bit of chew and stickiness without loosing shape. The coconut icy not as smooth or fluffy in texture, though it had good flavor.
Does this compare to HK? No. But is this the best version I’ve had in NYC thus far? Yes. It definitely gave me a spoonful of hope after my bad experience at Beautiful Memory Desserts.
Snow White and Mango with Glutinous Rice Balls and Lychee Jelly
Again, there’s the coconut icy with mango sauce and fresh mango pieces. The glutinous rice balls were soft and chewy. Swimming in this creamy and sweet tropical soup. The lychee jelly added extra sweetness but also a strong fake component, I’d rather do without. Other wise, this is another winner for me.
If you’re not into mango, they have other hot and cold non-mango dessert options. But why would someone go to Mango Mango if they aren’t into it? Beats me.
Hot MoMo ChaCha
It was a cold night and my friends J & J wanted something warm. A good hot option with coconut milk and sago (clear little starch balls) that were cooked well, without being too hard or sticking into one another. Mushy pieces of taro and yam. Very pleasant and comforting. It’s not bad, but the snow white with mango and black rice was a clear winner. Too bad it doesn’t come hot.
Peanut Paste with Peanut filled Tang Yuan (glutinous rice balls)
Leave it to StalkerBoy to show up at Mango Mango and order this hot glutinous classic. It’s like going to a steakhouse and ordering a salad. The peanut paste was way off in sweetness. The tang yuan were nicely chewy like any good mochi on the outside with a good filling. But seriously, if you have something against mangoes, this might not be your spot.
Overall, like I said, it’s not like 許留山 HK or anywhere close to Asia. There’s no comparison there so let’s leave it at that. But, in NYC standards, this place has my vote. I was there twice in three days and if it weren’t for wedding dress fitting coming up, you would see me there everyday. I even got my loyalty card (don’t judge me).
There’s definitely room for improvement, but all in all, this is a pretty sweet addition to our non existent HK style dessert. It’s not a true 4 Chubby but seriously, where else am I to go for my mango dessert cravings?
63 Bayard St