Saturday, July 11, 2009

Jungle Cafe and Patisserie

Jungle Cafe and Patisserie

Everytime I'm in Houston, I make sure that I bring at least 2 rectangular cakes from Jungle Cafe back to Austin with me. Their Chinese/Taiwanese takes on French desserts are almost as good as Japanese take on French dessets. In other words, Asian takes on Western desserts are tastier than desserts made by Americans. Ouch. There, I said it. And dare I say that sometimes, they're even better than desserts made by the French because it's just as tasty but healthier? Chill. The sky won't fall because the Asians can trump the French at their own culinary undertakings. I'll be fair and say that this isn't an absolute rule. The Chinese take on Western cooking can sometimes be disasterous as I've written on my post about Wang Ping Steakhouse in Taiwan.

What's so great about Jungle Cafe's desserts?

1) The cakes are light as air. You know how madeleines are supposed to be light as air? The lightest of madeleines can't touch Jungle Cafe's cakes. They are like angel food cakes, but more moist. Angel food cake tastes great at first, but it gets stuck in my throat as the air and tiny bit of moisture are mushed out of the morsel.

2) There is no trace of icing on any of their desserts. Before you bombard me with "but icing is the best part of a cake," you should just buy a tub of Betty Crocker ready-made icing from the grocery shelf and dig in rather than eat a cake to support your argument. Icing is utter junk. I'll only happily eat the icing on cakes made by Fickle Foodie (example 1, example 2, example 3, and this can go on for quite a bit).

3) 很精细 (finely prepared)

We're addicted to three dessert flavors: coffee, green tea, and mango. In order for another flavor to divert our attention away from these three, it'll have to be super sumptuous, unusual, or present in the absence of the trinity.

That's how I picked out the following goodies on this trip:

Coffee Cake with Raspberry Jelly

Mango Mousse-with almond biscuits, mango orange mousse, mango gelee, and chocolate; Emeraude-Chocolate almond, pate a feuilletine, almond biscuit, pistachio cream, and diced nuts

Amour-coconut dacquiose, orange, almond biscuit, pate a feuilletine, and chocolate cream
They even have macarons! (these are all tea flavored)
Jungle Cafe will move to the Dunhuang Plaza just down Bellaire Blvd. soon.

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