Innovative and quirky desserts are looking to be hot in 2023, and Chinatown is the destination for indulgent, imaginative, and irresistible desserts and drinks. Fill your boots with everything from delectable pudding to flavour-packed snacks, and vibrant bubble teas.

Freshly Baked

Chinatown’s much-loved Cantonese bakeries freshly prepare and bake their goods on site daily. With over 80 cake variations in Golden Gate Cake Shop you’ll be spoiled for choice. The Mango Cake has a zingy, fruity taste with layers of fresh mango, perfect for Spring. Chinatown Bakery has a selection of cheap and cheerful treats, such as their popular pandan cake and pineapple bun, filled with red bean paste. Bake has an offering of goods from Malaysia, China, Japan, Korea and more – showcasing a variety of ESEA sweet treats and snacks.

Best Served Cold

Tsujiri is a haven for all things matcha and the place to go to pick up vibrant green matcha ice cream sundaes and soft serve cones. Pretty March has a selection of mochi flavours including peach, mango, strawberry and oreo. These bitesize Japanese rice balls make the perfect on the go snack for when you’re seeking a quick sweet fix. Candy Cafe’s shaved ice dessert, also known as Crystal Snow Ice, is a popular Taiwanese dessert made from shaved blocks of frozen milky ice.

The ‘Instagrammable’

Taiyaki is the most instantly recognisable of all Japanese confections. These fish-shaped waffles are stuffed with a range of fillings including red bean paste, matcha and black sesame. Taiyakiya offers traditional taiyaki as well as taiyaki soft serve topped with the candy unicorns and mermaid tails. Mamasons’ Ube Hot Chocolate and traditional Filipino milk buns (pandesal) with bright purple Ube ice cream need no filter. Bubblewrap is a deliciously decadent dessert shop that has brought one of Hong Kong’s most popular street snacks – egg-shaped waffles – to Chinatown, loading them with ice cream, fruit and customisable sweet toppings.

Sophisticated Sweets

Sakurado and beautifully handmade with 30 mille crêpes carefully layered between velvety rich cream. Sakurado only uses the finest ingredients including the much-loved East Asian flavours of Matcha, Yuzu, Hojicha (Roast Tea) and Black Sesame Charcoal. Similarly Kova, a Japanese fusion patisserie, serves up delicate French patisseries including mille crêpes with a Japanese twist. Héfaure flip up an array of delicious Japanese-style soufflé pancakes made with natural, fresh ingredients.

Time for (Bubble) Tea?

Cuppacha was the first bubble tea shop to open in Chinatown London. Visitor favourites include the signature Pearl Milk Tea, brewed on-site using the finest Taiwanese tea leaves, and the neon glowing ‘Ombre’ tea series, which comes in 10 rainbow-coloured variations. Quirky teas are Happy Lemon’s thing, serving up plenty of customisable and wonderful fruit tea blend and bubble tea. YiFang’s Brown Sugar Pearl with Milk is made by layering fresh milk tea over natural brown sugar, your cup can be turned topsy-turvy to create a ‘mud’ effect as the dark sugar slowly mixes with the fresh milk.

Photo Credit: Nic Crilly-Hargrave