Chocolate fondant at Alsace Village
Dessert, on the whole, is often considered the ultimate culinary splurge. A dish ranging from delicate sweetness to a teeth-aching treat, dessert plays a strong role in everything from celebrating milestones to wooing the lovely face across the table. Although delicious Chinese desserts abound, the sheer variety of Western desserts still cause cravings for a sweet taste of home. Including a large variety of tastes, textures and cooking measures including freezing ingredients, intentionally setting them on fire (baked Alaska, anyone?) and just about everything else, Western desserts offer a unique and unforgettable dining experience, even if you're already stuffed from dinner. As we all know, “there is always room for dessert.”
Here are five of the best restaurants to satisfy your sweet tooth in Guangzhou. They were chosen based not only on quality, selection and price, but because dessert by itself can be boisterous social or a lovingly intimate affair, atmosphere and quality of service came into play as well.
1) White Tiger Restaurant at Chimelong Hotel
Although having a dessert-only evening at the White Tiger Restaurant is not an option, their buffet features the most impressive dessert selection that Guangzhou has to offer. After you finish gorging yourself on whichever of the 500 dishes that suits your fancy, you can head to a dessert table that rivals the size of many local restaurants. They feature almost everything: fruit, cakes, pies, flans, cheesecakes, ice cream, crème brulee, and even a chocolate fountain if you aren't satisfied with the dozens of other offerings. And, unlike most buffets, the vast number of dishes available does not diminish their quality. In addition, you get to treat your eyes at the same time as you are treating your taste buds. The restaurant itself is cavernous, but most of the tables offer you a view of at least one of the two spacious enclosures placed in the centers of the two main dining areas, which house several white tigers or dozens of pink flamingos. At the very least, you'll be able to grab some good looks as you head back to the dessert section for fourths.
White Tiger RestaurantView In Map
Add: Yingbin Lu (between Chimelong Paradise and Chimelong Water Park), Panyu District, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 8478 6838
Opening hours: Lunch, 11:30 -14:30; Dinner, 17:30-21:30
Price: 168 RMB per person plus 15% service charge (soft drinks included)
Getting there: Take Metro line 3 to Hanxi Chimelong. From there you can either take a shuttle bus or walk. Turn right from the road exiting the metro stop and head in the direction of the water park. Walk approx. ten minutes and turn right, with Chimelong Paradise on your right side. Follow this road until you reach the entrance for the circus – the Chimelong Hotel will be on the other side of the street.
Duo of crème brulee at Alsace Village
2) Alsace Village
Currently celebrating its one-year anniversary, Alsace Village is the brainchild of brothers Rudy and Christopher, natives to the small Alsace region of France. They have sought to create a culinary home-away-from-home for both themselves and other Alsatians living in China, with a vast menu featuring home-cooked specialties and brave new endeavors in gourmet French cuisine prepared by French natives Cedric Rolland and Frank Steiner. Their dessert menu includes tartes flambees aux pommes (apple tart flambe), tartes flambees banane or chocolat, kougelhof (kougelhof cake prepared similar to French toast and topped with caramelized cinnamon apples), fondant au chocolat (rich chocolate cake with a melted chocolate center), ile flottante (floating island), duo de crème brulees (two crème brulees, vanilla and coffee flavored), gauffres (waffles), as well as various ice cream sundaes including a build-your-own option and ‘The Big!’ (a platter of ice cream, candies, cookies, and chocolate sauce born to be shared with friends). Head Chef Rolland “puts love into everything I cook,” and with how much we love dessert, it’s great to be loved back!
Alsace VillageView In Map
Add: -1 Floor, 75 Tianhe Donglu, Tianhe District, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 8559 3595
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 11:30 – 14:30, 17:30-23:30; Weekends, 11:30 – 23:30
Price: 28 – 39 RMB (88 RMB for “The Big!”)
Getting there: Metro Line 3 to Shipaiqiao. Take Exit D and head across the pedestrian walkway. Continue up Tianhe Donglu until you see the sign for Alsace Village on your left.
3) Oggi Pizzeria
Although the seating area of the pizzeria is fairly small, the staff is extremely attentive and willing to pull out extra tables and chairs if you are willing to sit on the patio while the restaurant is busy. Their dessert menu includes a fantastic variety of traditional Italian desserts (the tiramisu is divine). The options at the pizzeria include “Oggi” dolce cioccolato (chocolate pudding), cremino piemontese (cream pudding with caramel), panna cotta al caffe (coffee cream pudding), cornetti all' Italiana (a plain croissant or stuffed with cream, chocolate, or marmalade), combolone alla crema (bombolone cream), torta al cioccolato (chocolate cake), torta di ricotta al limona (lemon ricotta cheesecake), tiramisu tradizionale (traditional tiramisu), macedonia di frutta (fruit salad marinated with lemon juice and sugar), and insalata di frutta (fruit salad).
Oggi PizzeriaView In Map
Add: No. 1 Tianlun Garden, Jianshe 4 Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 8356 1196
Opening hours: 24 hours
Price: 12 – 30 RMB
Getting there: Take Metro line 5 to Taojin. Walk past the entrance to the Garden Hotel and turn left. Take your next right (by Web English) and walk to Jianshe 4 Road. Oggi Pizzeria is on the corner.
4) Gail's Place
The tiny size of Gail's two-story seating area only increases the feeling of community and welcome. The staff is extremely attentive and, although indoors, the atmosphere of the restaurant almost feels like an American backyard barbeque. While the desserts are typical American fare, to get a dish that tastes exactly, if not better, than what you can get back home makes the cuisine feel downright gourmet. The selection includes the best of the best basics: ice cream, plain and blueberry cheesecake, cheesecake with strawberry topping, homemade apple pie (a la mode, if you like), homemade brownie (the best I've ever had – while a la mode is an option, the brownie is still perfect plain), caramel apple crisp, cheesecake with caramel topping, brownie sundae, banana split and strawberry sundae.
Gail's PlaceView In Map
Add: 172 Huasui Lu, Pearl River New City, Tianhe District, Guangzhou
地址: 广州市珠江新城华穗路172号, 星辰大厦首层02铺
Tel: 020 8350 1667
Opening hours: 10:30 – 23:00
Price: 15 – 35 RMB
Getting there: Take Metro line 3 to Zhujiang New Town, Exit A2. Turn right and walk down to the next block. Gail's will be on your right.
5) The Tavern
The atmosphere at the Tavern is as the name implies: a tavern. While it may not be the most romantic of destinations (depending on how large of a part alcohol plays in romance for you), it offers an impressive and tempting menu. Although I was disappointed I could not try the rum bananas, sold out due to popular demand according to the server, the cream caramel was light and fantastic. Their dessert menu includes bread and butter pudding, rum bananas, apple pie with custard, chocolate pudding, cream caramel, tiramisu, cheesecake, yogurt cake, and a selection of ice creams. An added bonus is their recently-opened branch in Panyu, so the sweet treat your heart desires now has two locations where you can hunt it down.
The Tavern (Zhujiang New Town)View In Map
Add: Poly 108/ No. 6 Hua Jiu Road, Zhujiang New Town, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 8550 3038
Opening hours: 11:30 – 02:00
Price: 20 – 38 RMB
Getting there: Metro Line 3 to Zhujiang New Town, exit B1. Walk down Huasui Lu, turn left on Huajiu Lu. The Tavern will be on your left.
The Tavern (Panyu)View In Map
Add: Huan Nan Country Garden, Front Gate, Right Hand Building, Ying Bin Road, Panyu District, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 3482 4882 or 3482 4886
Opening hours: 11:30 – 2:00
Price: 20 – 38 RMB
Getting there: Metro Line 3, Hanxi Station. Turn Right on Ying Bin Road. The Tavern will be on your left.
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