I will always choose savoury over sweet, spice over sugar. My ideal dessert is something like this traditional chocolate Catalan treat, because it includes salt and olive oil. I’ll eat — and I’ll enjoy — dessert when it comes at the end of a degustation menu and I’ll happily test out Terence’s chocolate experiments (like this one), but I wouldn’t normally order a stand-alone dessert.

I buy locally-made chocolate and sweets when we travel, mainly because I like to see what turns people on in other places — like Dulce de Leche in Buenos Aires, Moctezuma chocolate in Mexico, xocolata in Barcelona, or churros pretty much anywhere in Spain. The food we all eat reveals a lot about us, right?

But wherever possible I’ll always seek out more exotic, unusual and interesting flavoured sweets, like chocolate flavoured with chilli, herbs or flowers, over traditional confectionary or desserts. Which is another reason why I love Bangkok so much and especially Bangkok’s malls. I’m not a fan of traditional Thai desserts to be honest, but I have a soft spot for things like Spice Story’s chilli ice-cream or iberry’s rambutan sorbet. You do too? Then here’s my guide to where to go to satisfy that sugar fix when you’re shopping Bangkok…

Bangkok’s sweet spots


This is my favourite spot for a shopping mall sugar-rush. Thai owned, iberry was created by two siblings who had a passion for sweets but wanted to create something uniquely Thai and produced from local ingredients. Their ice-creams come in all the usual flavours like chocolate and strawberry, but they’re renowned for their Asian flavours, like green tea, tamarind, durian, coconut, lychee, and spicy mango, as well as zingy sorbets, such as green mango, guava, rambutan, rosella, longan, and salted plum. They also do delicious fruit smoothies. As most of their products are made from fresh fruits, the flavours are rotated seasonally, so don’t expect to see all of these on the menu when you next drop by. Although I’m not a fan, the Thais love their sundaes, so iberry does these incredibly extravagant dishes piled high with scoops of ice-cream, chocolates, brownies, fruit, jelly, nuts, cream, and wafers that are hugely popular with locals. iberry started just over a decade ago with a single store on Sukhumvit Soi 24 but now have a dozen branches (check their site for details), including one in Siam Paragon (above) and J Avenue, which is great for people-watching on a weekend evening.
Siam Paragon, BTS Siam

Buddhi Belly

If you’re a fan of frozen yoghurt like I am and prefer it to ice-cream, then you’ll love Buddhi Belli. The natural yoghurt has a delicious balance of sour and sweet, and while they have all the usual flavours, I (naturally) like the Asian flavours, which are deliciously tangy. Like iberry they have the usual flavours to satisfy the masses, along with Asian-inspired tastes, such as mango and coconut, and flavours here also change regularly according to the season. Like iberry, they also serve up these huge sundae-style concoctions with Thai-style jellies, wafers, etc, and, ugh, oreos. There are a few branches, which the Thai owners like to call ‘yoghurt parlours’, with café tables and chairs, so you don’t have to walk around the mall licking your cone in complete oblivion to everyone around you, like gelato-loving tourists do in Europe. Don’t you hate that?
Siam Paragon, BTS Siam

Spice Story

Specialising in all things spicy — jars of chilli, peppers, spices and herbs, including tom ka gift packs with the various spices needed to make the spicy soup, that — combined with the fact they had a freezer out the front with ice-creams flavoured with chilli, pepper, ginger, and lemongrass — makes this my idea of paradise. The shop was in the process of moving from the basement to a new shop upstairs, so when I last stopped by it was little more than a stall. Check their location with one of the information desks when you drop in.
Siam Paragon, BTS Siam

Another Hound

The Greyhound Cafés at Siam Centre and Emporium, and Another Hound by Greyhound at Siam Paragon, are the food babies of funky Thai fashion label, Greyhound (see this post and this one), which also boasts various sister-labels, such as Playhound and Hound & Friends. As you’d expect from fashion designers, the cafés are very cool — effortlessly hip, and not at all pretentious — and they serve up a mix of Thai and Western comfort food, from pad thai to pasta. Our favourite branch is the one at the Emporium, but for the purposes of this story, you need to head to their dessert café adjoining Another Hound at Siam Paragon which boasts a space dedicated to dishing up the kind of over-the-top desserts that are particularly popular with Thais. For instance? The velvet waffles with Chantilly cream (top left), which is the signature dessert they tell us they can’t take off the menu.
Siam Paragon, BTS Siam

End of Article


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