There are a number of Chinese restaurants across Australia offering Cantonese cuisine, which originates in the Southern Chinese province of Guangdong. However, many of the traditional dishes have been altered to accommodate Australian palates.
If you enjoy seeking out authentic flavours, Cantonese cuisine has a wide variety of flavour-packed dishes to try. Their gentle cooking style ensures the delicate flavours incorporated in each dish are complemented by the bolder ingredients used, rather than overpowered by them.
There are several unique and delicious Cantonese desserts that are worth sampling, so forget classic dessert menu dishes, such as cheesecake and banoffee pie, and opt for a dessert you've never tried. Here are four traditional Cantonese desserts to look out for:
Black Sesame Soup
Black sesame soup is a sweet, thick pudding that's made with rice. The rice and black sesame seeds are blended before being cooked with water, so the texture is similar to porridge, and the dish is sweetened with sugar before being served. Its dark colour and viscosity may not seem appealing, but the flavour imparted by the sesame seeds give the dish a lightly caramelised taste, and this dessert works well with an after dinner coffee.
Coconut bar is a dim sum dessert, meaning it's steamed and served as a small portion to allow room for you to try a wider variety of dishes. Coconut bar consists of coconut milk, cornflour, desiccated coconut and agar-agar, which is a plant-based thickener made from seaweed. It's white in colour and springy texture that's not unlike tofu.
Douhua is a soft tofu pudding that's served with sweet ginger and coconut milk or syrup. Black bean paste, which is made with fermented beans, can be added to this dessert, and this contrasts with the overall sweetness of the dish. Douhua is delicious with green tea or with a serving of fresh fruit.
Baobing is a fruity dessert made with shaved ice and topped with a choice of fresh fruit, taro, flavoured syrup, crushed nuts or condensed milk. It's a refreshing dessert that can be enjoyed by anyone, but kids in particular will consider the colourful shaved ice base a novelty. This is a great choice of dessert on a summer evening or when you want something light.
These are just a few examples of Cantonese desserts that aren't to be missed. If you'd like to try a new dessert but aren't sure if you'll like it, let your server know what flavours you enjoy, and they can recommend a dessert based on your personal preferences.