Whether you're searching for a crepe filled with green tea ice cream or even a donut filled with Vietnamese iced coffee, Orange County is full of Asian-esque desserts as far as the eye can see. You don't have to drive an hour and a half for snow, you can find it right in Irvine. Want some mochi, but with a twist? You can have that too.
Don't know where to start? Here are five of the most notable Asian-esque desserts available in Orange County. Tip: be sure to take them with a side of boba milk tea for a full experience, and, oh yeah, you might just want to skip dinner.
5. Milky Bun – Afters Ice Cream
By now, everyone should have heard of the Milky Bun. Bite into one of Afters Ice Cream's ice cream-stuffed donuts and you'll experience a world that's thick, cold, colorful, hot, cold, crisp, and creamy. That's a lot of adjectives, but they're all well deserved.
But, once again, it's what fills the milky buns that make them amazing. Afters Ice Cream's ice cream is inspired by Asian flavors, including Vietnamese coffee and Jasmine milk tea. All the while, standard American flavors like mint chocolate chip and Madagascar vanilla are also available, so there's something here for everyone.
4. Taiwanese Snow Shaved Ice – Class 302
Similar to Hawaiian and American shaved ice, Taiwanese snow is a delicate and fluffy bed of softened ice marinated in sweet condensed milk and topped with love. Toppings come in shapes and sizes, from fruit and egg pudding to red bean and mochi among others.
Humongous in size, shaved ice is usually shared between friends and family (unless you are feeling greedy). The best part about shaved snow is when the mountain of ice begins to melt. That's when all of the flavors really start to come out and play nice, merging the fruity flavors and creamy milk together in a sweet, soft marriage.
3. Brick Toast – Guppy's
Taiwanese brick toast is nothing new in Orange County, but eat one and you'll come to understand its staying power (it's just darn good!). At its base brick toast is simple — just a high fat bread, some sugar and butter. Maybe a topping — but it's always playful: First, you start off with a crunch. Then each bite becomes softer and softer until, finally, you're left with soft blocks of sugary goodness.
Brick toast comes in multiple variations, from dark chocolate toast to sugary coconut, but nothing will ever beat the original — bread, butter and sugar. What more could you want? Fine. If you fancy something different, take your brick with a side of ice cream.
2. Gelato-filled Mochi – Mochilato
By now, you should've had ice cream-filled mochi. I mean, you can find it in basically any American grocery store for goodness sake. It's good, but the world of gelato-filled mochi, well, it's just more.
The world of gelato-filled mochi is full of powdery rice flour, creamy gelato, and — wait for it — shades of pastel like French macarons. At first bite, the gelato melts against the mochi dough and submerges you in an instantaneously cool, sugary, and chewy experience. Flavors range from toasted almond to plum to mint chocolate chip, so whether it's a more exotic or more standard flavor you desire, you can indubitably get it at Mochilato.
1. Japanese Crepe – Genki Living
Oh Genki Living, the land of the Japanese crepe. It might not have the best marketing team, and it might be located in a near dying strip mall, but man is it good.
If you think you've had a crepe, think again. Head to Genki Living, and you'll get thick, fluffy crepes filled with everything from green tea ice cream and mochi to near-on full slices of cheese cake. The Japanese crepe is shaped like a large ice cream cone and is filled with fruits, ice cream, whipped cream, syrup, and chewy add-ins. You, mais oui, eat the crepe like an ice cream cone, but it's almost too big for dessert. It might as well be dinner too.