Our Favourite Unconventional Desserts | Mumbai Foodie Guide

By Vansh Panjabi August 31, 2016
Illustration: Brandon Joseph

Nothing provides the same sense of satisfaction as dessert does. Leaving a restaurant after a fantastic meal without dessert is like watching The Lion King but leaving before Simba gets his revenge on Scar. Now, we’re occasionally tired of the chocolate this, red velvet that, basic cupcakes and even more basic ice creams.

Here’s our list of Mumbai’s most creative desserts; dishes that could be sweet, but are more evolved with a savoury twist, a unique flavour, and sometimes the joy of textures.

Warm Fig & Candied Ginger Pudding, The Fatty Bao 
Figs can be played with in multiple ways for a variety of flavors; however warm figs and sweetened ginger extracts in a pudding make this dish ahead of the curve. The weight of this dish is balanced out by the Crème Anglaise it is served with, as well as the Vanilla Bean Ice Cream to bring it all together.
The contrasting flavors of the savory figs and ginger combine with the sweeter anglaise and ice cream, producing a fine-tuned balance between them. As you take bite after bite, this dish also becomes a study in texture.

orange juice cake

Orange Juice Cake, Theobroma. Image: thegrubguide.wordpress.com

Orange Juice Cake, Theobroma

This one’s an alternative to all cakes too creamy and heavy – a simple, citrusy sponge cake made with real orange juice. Inspired by the Madeira cake, its texture is firm yet light. Our favourite part of the equation is the douse of freshly squeezed orange juice. This cake is one of our favourites for the refreshing summer feels and the nostalgia of childhood orange juice.

Carrot & Zucchini Bundt Cake, Jamjar Diner
A cake with carrots and zucchini can be challenging, especially with boring options around. But we’re here for the daredevils, and daredevils love trying new, inventive stuff. Baked in a Bundt pan to provide its distinct, ring-like shape, Jamjar’s concept brings the savory palate over to the sweet side with confident innovation. The zucchini offers a milder, subdued flavour to the intense carrot cakes we often see.
Served with whippings of Cinnamon Cream to top off their masterpiece, the three flavors come together like a heavenly choir playing Beethoven. A definite must try, simply for the experience and novelty!

Black Sesame Ice Cream, Oh Dough

A single scoop of Black Sesame Ice Cream. Image: Sarvesh Talreja

Black Sesame Ice Cream, Oh Dough

Oh Dough’s artisanal ice creams are a blend of traditional technique and quality ingredients to produce some truly bold  flavours. Their Black Sesame Ice Cream contains tiny bits and pieces of black sesame seeds and is made fresh every day to provide a richer, creamier texture. We like a double scoop served with any of their freshly baked cookies to provide the soft dough-iness to contrast with the cold creaminess from this ice cream.

Bubblegum & Key Lime Pie Macarons, DANIEL PÂTISSIER
We’ve been partial to refreshing tastes, flavours, and a variety of textures through this piece. But here, we come across a classic French dessert with a bold flavour of Bubblegum and the flavour of an entirely different dessert. Both win our hearts for different reasons too!
The Bubblegum is a cheeky, childish flavour that disciplines itself well, showing a restraint in sweetness, while the Key Lime Pie is refreshing to eat as a macaron, playing all sorts of texture tricks in our head. They’ve got an assortment of 8 macarons, all of which are as consistently good as the quality of pizzas we dream of.

dark chocolate and basil fondant

A promising Dark Chocolate & Basil Fondant. Image: curiousepicurean.com

Dark Chocolate and Basil Fondant, The Sassy Spoon

Imagine your classic molten, gooey chocolate fondant. Great, right? Now imagine it with a white chocolate and basil centre filling. Mind = Blown? The Sassy Spoon’s fondant is served with an in-house Pine Nut Ice Cream to allow the warm, gooey chocolate to cool off with a chilled, creamy texture and a delightful nutty flavour.
The inclusion of basil however, is extraordinary as it throws off the palette into a dizzying sensation of unique flavours. Finished with a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to work as the bridge between the heaviness of chocolate and texture of a light ice cream, this is perhaps one of Mumbai’s most mouth-watering desserts with a twist.

Lemon Tart, The Nutcracker
A citrusy, lemon infused curd slowly baked into a buttery, crumbling pastry. The Nutcracker’s Lemon Tart is one to watch out for, with its refreshing lightness and perfect balance between a zesty sourness of lime and the butter-filled, biscuit like pastry, which is baked to a perfect light brown.
Considered an unusually great dessert from our eyes due to the element of dairy to subtly infuse the lime, rather than overdosing the pastry with a citrus flavor, and simultaneously baking the biscuit-like pastry to maintain contrast between a liquid like icing texture as opposed to a firmer, crumbling pastry base. Every bite will transport you to dessert heaven.


jamie's tiramisu

Tiramisu with Orange Zest. Image: Sarvesh Talreja

Tiramisu with Orange Zest, Jamie’s Pizzeria
There are more shades of Tiramisu than of grey, and few can innovate well with the balanced classic. However, Jamie’s hits the spot on all counts. A delightful medley of cake, a sliver of indulgent cream, and the measured zest of orange make this dessert a must-have.
Nowhere else will you see a simpler, happier, and refreshing interpretation of the Tiramisu in the city, although there are respectable versions of the classic dessert across town. We, however, prefer the tang.

Blue Cheese Honey, Bono Boutique Ice Cream

Have you ever had something feel wrong and right at the same time? For me, that’s the only way to describe this inventive ice cream. After taking 4-5 bites to confirm that this sharp cheesy flavour exists as an ice cream, you can begin to appreciate it. Everything about the experience improves with each bite.
You get used to the creamy texture, the icy temperature, and then you begin to drool over the fact that ice cream can also be sour and creamy at the same time.
It’s almost tempting to try this with crackers, but why spoil innovation by placing it on thin traditions? Every lick moves the scales to this being right and amusing from a sense of wonder at this being possible.


green tea chiffon cake

Green Tea Chiffon Cake, The Fatty Bao. Image: MumbaiFoodDiaries.com

Green Tea Chiffon Cake, The Fatty Bao
Finding the ideal equilibrium between the heaviness of dairy and the lightness of citrus flavors is Fatty Bao’s delicate, absolutely sublime Green Tea Chiffon Cake. It’s made from a Yuzu Parfait, Kaffir Lime Sorbet, Lemon Sable and Orange Honey. Balancing the green tea – which is the undisputed hero of this dish – with the lighter flavor and texture of lime in the form of a soft sorbet and a liquid sable, produces a subtle airiness with every bite leaving the lingering essence of green tea.
The Yuzu parfait provides depth to the flavor with the heavy dairy in the center of the cake, while the orange honey drizzles provide a contrasting tinge. This one gets our vote for Best Dessert to Demolish Ending A Heavy Meal.

Which dessert would you like to put a twist on? Tell us in the comments below!