Chinatown is an area of central London that’s full of culture, colour and history. First established in the 1970s, this thriving part of the city sits in the heart of London’s theatre-land and is home to an abundance of authentic Chinese restaurants, supermarkets and health and beauty shops.
Having such a huge sweet tooth myself, I’m always on the lookout for where to go for dessert and thankfully Chinatown has plenty of options … and unique options at that! From ice-cream made from potatoes to London’s most instagrammable waffles, I’ve rounded up 6 of Chinatown’s Dessert Spots.
Tsjujiri is a dessert bar specialising in all things matcha. If you haven’t heard of matcha before, it’s a type of Japanese green tea known for its ‘superfood’ properties. They started in Kyoto, Japan way back in 1860 and once you try them you’ll realise there’s a good reason why they’re still going strong today. The menu has lots of unique matcha desserts including creamy matcha ice-cream, matcha cakes and decadent matcha puddings which can all be washed down with their matcha tea.
33 Newport Court, WC2H 7PQ, https://tsujiri.co.uk/chinatown
If you’re looking for somewhere really unique to eat dessert look no further than Mamasons Dirty Ice Cream. They’re a Filipino dessert parlour that took its name from the ‘dirty ice-cream’ sold on the streets of Manila in the Philippines. What makes them so unique is their use of ube in a lot of their items. Ube is a variety of purple potatoes and yes, that means everything is PURPLE. Purple potatoes aren’t usually the first ingredients the comes to mind when thinking about dessert but you can’t knock it until you’ve tried it. They do ube brownies, ube hot chocolates plus their signature ube ‘halo halo’ which consists of layers of ube ice-cream, coconut jelly and condensed milk. Everything doesn’t just taste good at Mamasons, it looks amazing too.
32 Newport Court, WC2H 7PQ, https://www.dirtyicecream.co.uk
Behind a tiny hole in the wall just off Chinatown you’ll find Yi Fang Fruit Tea. Yi Fang (named after the founder’s grandmother) are specialists in Tawainese fruit and bubble tea, and their recipes have been passed down through generations. What sets them apart from the crowd is that all of their tea and fruit is grown and harvested by them so they only except the highest quality produce. The shop might be small but Yi Fang’s reputation is big.
104 Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 5EQ, https://www.yifangtea.co.uk
4. BAKE (Chinatown Bakery)
Chinatown Bakery (and its sister BAKE) are Chinatown’s most popular bakeries. Inside you’ll find an entire wall of Asian inspired cakes, buns and tarts as well as soft-serve ice cream, bubble waffles plus a few savoury options. Most people visit to see their mesmerising Taiyaki machine in action which pumps out freshly made fish-shaped waffles stuffed with creamy custard. I read on the Chinatown website that each of Bake’s items are painstakingly conceived to perfection, taking an average of 2-3 months to create.
9 Wardour St, London W1D 6PF and 7 Newport Pl, London WC2H 7JR
Bubble waffles originated from Hong Kong all the way back to 1900 where street vendors needed to find a way to use up leftover eggs. Bubblewrap has given them had a 21st century makeover and over the last year has become one of the most talked-about and photographed desserts in London. Their fluffy waffles are cooked fresh in front of you and stuffed with ice cream, fruit and chocolate sauce making it an Instagrammers dream! When it first opened the queue was nearly 2 hours long but thankfully you won’t have to wait that long anymore. It is 100% recommended to snap a picture of your waffle against the colourful landscape of the Chinatown gate.
24 Wardour Street Chinatown London, W1D 6QJ, https://www.bubblewrapwaffle.com
Now let me ask you a question … what do you get if you combine a macaron and ice cream? You get a Yolkin! Yolkin started their life as a street food trader. A few years later they opened up their own permanent location in Chinatown making macaron ice cream sandwiches. The story goes that Sammie, the owner, always had leftover yolks when baking with her daughter and thus her egg yolk ice cream was born. Thankfully that’s just one of the flavours you’ll find in her catalogue of many unique combinations and in particular I’d highly recommend the blueberry cheesecake! Some seriously photogenic desserts.
24 Rupert St, London W1D 6DQ, https://yolkin.co.uk
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