The largest continent in the world, Asia, is also home to some of the best cuisines. Of course, you can’t say Asian cuisine without mentioning Chinese foods. How could you forget Chinese food staples like noodles, dim sum, and soups?
The Japanese are also proud of their cuisine, and the world has enjoyed their dishes like teriyaki and tempura. Meanwhile, other Asian countries like Vietnam, Thailand, and Korea also have their unique way of cooking and presenting food.
However, many people tend to overlook the desserts and drinks of the Asians, especially when they go to restaurants serving Oriental dishes like Benihana and P.F. Chang’s. Most of them don’t have an idea what to order for drinks and desserts that they just settle for the typical soda.
Asians will be the first to tell you that they take their desserts and drinks seriously. After all, many Asian nations live in the tropics. Thus the warmer climate has prompted them to come up with super icy and tasty drinks and desserts. Likewise, remember that Asians like spicy foods. Isn’t there a better way of handling spices than having a glass of thirst-quenching drinks right beside you?
That said here are some of the most common desserts and drinks you’d likely see in the menu of Asian restaurants.
Also called the pearl milk tea, this is a Taiwanese invention back in the ‘80s. The name bubble tea comes from the Chinese word boba which means large. The ‘large’ description refers to the chewy tapioca balls that are part of the drink. The balls are also the pearls, hence the other name of pearl milk tea.
This drink contains tea mixed with milk or fruits. The ice-blended variation often has a syrup for a sweater concoction. Through the years, there have been numerous variants of the bubble tea that have been introduced in Asia, especially in Taiwan and the Southeast Asian region.
The almond jelly is a Chinese dessert which is also popular in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia. Contrary to its name, the dish is prepared with apricot kernels and not almonds. This is a soft gelatin desert that is best served chilled. It can also be served with freshly sliced peaches, or mandarin oranges or lychees.
Thai Milk Tea
The Asians are heavy tea drinkers, and the fact that this list has another tea-based drink is proof of that. This time, the Thai Milk tea comes from brewed Ceylon tea. It is added with condensed milk, crushed tamarind seed, star anise, and secret spices. The milk tea is best served chilled.
This is China’s most popular beer brand in the world, being sold in more than 60 countries. What makes this beer well-loved is that it is easy to drink. When you drink Tsingtao beer, the first thing you’ll notice is the lack of a bitter aftertaste that is very common among beers.
Tsingtao is a German-style beer that is produced in the city of Qingdao. The manufacturer of this beer imports its hops and barley from Canada and Australia, hence the high quality of this drink.
Falooda is a refreshing Indian drink that was originally sold as a dessert in the city of Mumbai and nearby areas. It is a combination of rose syrup with basil seeds or psyllium, jelly and tapioca pearls with milk, ice cream, and water. Through the years its popularity has reached other countries in South Asia like Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and even some parts of the Middle East. This is a drink that is readily available in many Asian restaurants.
Also known as yuzu, the citron tea has become a fixture on the menus of high end restaurants in the United States. This Korean drink comes from the fruit that looks a lot like tangerine but with a tart flavor that resembles more of the grapefruit. Aside from being a good drink and dessert, the tea is known to have some curative properties. Koreans say that citron is a good remedy to colds.
Glass Jelly Drink
This Malaysian dessert is a coffeeshop favorite but has also made its way to the menu of some Asian restaurants. This is made from grass jelly and mixed with sweetened ice water. It has a slightly bitter taste but is a good thirst quencher especially during the summer.
The name translates to ‘mix-mix’ in the Philippines, where it originated. This is an Asian dessert that is slowly making waves in many restaurants. It is a combination of many delicacies found in Asia like coconut sport, agar-agar, jackfruit, palm fruit, purple yarm, and sweet banana. Evaporated milk is topped for a sugary finish, plus crushed ice for a yummy treat. In some cases, ice cream may also be added here.