I've decided. The Sydney CBD needs more late night dessert houses.
I cannot count the number of times I've left the cinemas on George Street, or stepped out of a restaurant, and gone in search of dessert - because the night is still young and the sweet tooth has yet to be satiated.
Invariably we end up at Passionflower on George, Passionflower at the Capitol or--more recently--a celebration of roti tisu party hats drizzled with condensed milk from Mamak.
On this night we end up at LNC Dessert House, a post-party perk-up for Billy, Karen, Simon, Suze and I. It's one of the few late night trading dessert houses I've found, open until midnight seven days a week.
It's easy to miss LNC during the day, tucked away on Sussex Street two blocks north of the Chinatown hub. In the darkness of night, it's a dazzling beacon, primary colours screaming a shrill assault on your eyes, helped in part by the floor-to-ceiling glass and harsh 7-Eleven-style indoor lighting.
A sassy Asian school girl is the store mascot. I feel a little under-dressed without knee-high socks, a short school uniform and a Miffy hair clip.
Curry fish balls (5 pieces) $4.50
Curry fish balls at midnight is a touch too much flavour after a huge dinner, but Billy and Karen dig on in.
Papaya with white fungus (hot or cold) $5.00
Billy follows this up with a traditional papaya and white fungus soup, a sweet syrup with slices of papaya, curls of white fungus that are slippery and crunchy, and a scattering of lotus seeds. It's a classic combination that is known for its cooling effect on the stomach.
Chocolate and coffee gelato with longan fruits $7.50
Karen forgoes the Asian dessert menu and heads straight to the display cabinet of gelatos. A tumble of tinned longan fruits add a floral sweetness to her scoops of chocolate and coffee gelato.
Black sesame ice slush with green tea gelato and red beans $7.50
Even though it's winter and there's no heating inside, Simon orders the black sesame ice slush, an ice berg topped with a scoop of green tea gelato and covered in soft-cooked sweetened red beans.
Mango lychee and mini sticky balls with mango gelato $7.50
It's a kaleidoscope of colours in Suze's choice, a glass of mango gelato and mini sticky balls with tinned mango and lychee. The glutinous rice balls are a chewy rainbow of starch.
Red bean porridge with sticky ball (2 pieces) hot or cold $5.00
As the wind blows in through the constantly opening door, I seek refuge in a bowl of red bean porridge. The glutinous rice balls are huge globules of squidgy starch that seem determined to stick in the throat. The red bean soup is very sweet and a little too disintegrated for my preference, the red beans all cooked down to a grainy thickness.
There's a range of Asian desserts on offer including green bean (mung bean) porridge, six bean porridge, puddings, ice kacang, gelato and milk teas with pearls.
A range of savoury options and set meals are available during the day, with a reduced snack menu from late evening.
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LNC Dessert House
Shop 12, 339 Sussex Street, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9283 3823
Monday to Thursday 12pm - midnight
Friday and Saturday 12pm - 2am
Sunday 12pm - midnight
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8/09/2009 02:21:00 a.m.