Was this blog written just in time for National Dessert Day on October 14? Maybe.
The question was asked on Facebook to make suggestions for the best desserts around Wichita with bonus points for unique options around town. The number of recommendations on tiramisu, banana bread, pop tarts, mini donuts, cheesecake, and crème brûlée were numerous. Those are so commonly found around town and many places have excellent offerings. And that got me to thinking, “What are some of the best desserts in Wichita that are rarely discussed or served at restaurants?”
I was on a quest around town to find just that. Desserts that people never put in the discussion of must-try desserts. That or even desserts that are hard to find around town. Unlike many lists posted online, this is a list where I actually have tried each one. This isn’t a regurgitation of information found on Yelp, Facebook or whatever. This is true 100% college educated first-hand research by a soon-to-be fat kid.
This list contains only restaurants. There were no food trucks, chains or dessert-only establishments involved. These were all local area restaurants that any person can go into and order a meal and follow it up with a dessert. In the case of my research though, there were no meals……just all desserts……lots of desserts.
And in no particular order:
Restaurant: Sharon’s Place (141 E Kay St., Derby, KS)
Haupia a traditional coconut milk-based Hawaiian dessert. Although technically considered a pudding, the consistency of haupia closely approximates gelatin dessert. The haupia at Sharon’s Place is like an Almond Joy gelatin. This is unique and just what all foodies should be looking for when trying new things.
Pears & Caramel Cake
Restaurant: The Kitchen (725 E Douglas, Wichita, KS)
The Food Network recently had The Kitchen on their list of must-try dishes. So, it’s no surprise they had another dessert that made our list. This vanilla rum poached pears and caramel cake is just flat-out delicious. I don’t even eat pears often. The Kitchen changed all that for me with this rich and amazing cake. You can only get this delicious dessert here at The Kitchen. Keep in mind, the desserts at The Kitchen are placed on a rotational basis so it may not always be available.
Taiwanese Shaved Ice
Restaurant: ICTea (3300 N Rock Road, Wichita, KS)
This isn’t the type of shaved ice you get from some food truck. This is totally different. Some call it snow cream, fluff ice, milk fluff or milk snow. In Taiwanese, it’s xue hua bing, which literally translates to “snow flower” (a.k.a. snowflake) ice. It’s made by freezing milk with a variety of different flavors or mix-ins in cylinders. Then, a special machine shaves the ice into paper-thin ribbons or shreds. Then you can top it off with different fruits. It’s unique and not commonly found around town.
Saltimbocca Con Nutella
Restaurant: Piatto Neapolitan Pizzeria (1706 E Douglas, Wichita, KS)
Also referred to as The Nutella, this delectable dessert is made with Piatto’s signature dough and cooked in their signature wood burning oven. It’s then served with whipped cream and orange slices. You have to make sure you try to save some room after their pizza because this is one dessert you can’t miss out on. Plus did I mention it’s made with Nutella? Instant win.
Restaurant: Bagatelle Bakery (6701 E Harry, Wichita, KS)
Of course Bagatelle Bakery was going to add something to this list. Their Japanese Walnut is a simple walnut puff that is filled with chocolate custard. At the price of $2, you are losing money if you decide not to get one on a visit to Bagatelle.
Restaurant: Yokohama Ramen Joint (613 W Douglas, Wichita, KS)
Don’t be weirded out by the look. Also known as Annin Tofu, this is a soft-jellied dessert made with sugar and almond essence. It’s a lightly flavored dessert topped with mango. You will be astonished by the minty taste of it. Then on the second bite it’ll continue to grow on you. Once you include the mango in your spoonful, your life might change forever.
Restaurant: New Paradise Biryani Pointe (1648 S Rock Road, Wichita, KS)
Cost: $3.99 (for five)
Gulab Jamun is a milk-solid sweet particularly popular in the area of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is made mainly from milk solids, traditionally from freshly curdled milk. It is often garnished with dried nuts like almonds to enhance flavor and served in syrup. They have the texture of soft donut holes. I was hesitant at first but then became a believer after the first bite.
Restaurant: Thao’s Bistro (1825 S Broadway, Wichita, KS)
This is a beverage dessert found at many Vietnamese restaurants and I’ll be the first to admit this may not be for everyone but worth a try. Most chè around town will be made with an assortment of either mung beans, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, tapioca, jelly (clear or grass), fruit (longan, mango, durian, lychee or jackfruit), and coconut cream then sometimes topped with ice. The coconut cream is the flavor that sticks out the most. This is very popular in the Vietnamese community.
Banana Fosters Crêpe
Restaurant: George’s French Bistro (4618 E Central #50, Wichita, KS)
One word probably best describes this dessert: divine. This is a dessert you may not want to share with anybody else. It’s that good. You have your crepe topped with bananas, ice cream, other magical ingredients and possibly blessed by God to create this fine dish. I have heard a lot about it and tried it out myself and may go back for seconds soon.
Restaurant: La Galette French Bakery (1017 W Douglas, Wichita, KS)
The French really know how to make desserts, don’t they? The picture doesn’t do the dessert true justice. While very similar to a cake, this rich cream-filled brioche gets its name from its hometown of origin, St. Tropez, France. The guys over at La Galette told me you can’t find this dessert anywhere else in town. It’s unique to La Galette and it’s simply splendid. It’s also one of the most popular desserts there.
Are you hungry yet?
You’ll probably never tire of all the tiramisu, crème brûlée or banana bread pudding found around town. But if you are willing to branch out and try new things, those are ten delicious desserts that should give you a whole new outlook on the world. It never hurts to try new things and if you’re going to give it a go, why not let it be new desserts?
Enjoy National Dessert Day in style.
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