The only thing hotter than Dallas and her fair 'burbs this summer is the cold Asian dessert craze. From bingsu to bao, trendy treats are cropping up all over town. There's never been a better time to seek a delicious reprieve from the heat.
Mango Mango, 2205 N. Central Expressway, Plano, and 2625 Old Denton Road, Carrollton
This cold, sweet Cantonese soup is just the thing for chilling out in a hurry. Sago refers to the pearl tapioca beads you’ll find in a variety of bases at Mango Mango, ranging from fruit purees to “snow white juice” (a combination of coconut and evaporated milk). Ingredients like fresh mango ice cream and watermelon juice are even more refreshing than a dip in the pool. If you’ve ever wondered what durian (“stinky fruit”) tastes like, this is the place to go. A durian dessert bowl with banana and basil seed ($7.50) will sate your curiosity.
Snowy Village, 2540 Old Denton Road, Carrollton
Bingsu will ruin you. Try one spoonful of this downy-fine Korean shaved ice, and ordinary snow cones may never speak your love language again. At this oasis in Carrollton’s Korea Town, delicate snow is dressed up any number of ways and mounded into a sleek metal dish to preserve its essential frostiness. Flavors range from the play-it-safe strawberry to the more adventurous injeolmi (glutinous rice cakes dusted with roasted soybean powder) paired with earthy red beans. A small ($7 to $9) is big enough for sharing, especially if you hope to make room for a croissant taiyaki ($3.50 for red bean, $3.75 for Nutella or 3 for $9.99). These amazingly flaky creations come hot off the press, so be sure to spend as long as possible basking in the air conditioning beneath the neon snowflake ceiling.
Sweet Daze, 581 W. Campbell Road, Richardson
Ube (purple yam) is the “it” flavor of the moment, but it’s long been a staple of Filipino desserts. It's highly Instagram-able because of its stunning purple hue, and its flavor is surprisingly subtle, comparable to vanilla or white chocolate. Sweet Daze’s soft-serve ube ($5 for a waffle cone) is exceptionally creamy and every bit as photogenic as the sparkly “galaxy” doughnuts.
Sumo Shack, 5629 SMU Blvd., Dallas
Sumo Shack has mastered not only the art of the late-night snack but the cold, sweet treat game as well. You’ll never believe it’s 100 degrees outside as long as you keep the ice cream bao coming. Use the obligatory “one of each” rule when ordering this take on the ice cream sandwich. Cold green tea or red bean ice cream is a pleasing contrast to its warm, crispy-edged bao cradle ($3.50 each). Don’t skip the cold sake juice box.