Taste Test: Lukshon's New Dessert Menu

By Lesley Balla  |  August 1, 2013
Credit: Lesley Balla

When Sang Yoon opened Lukshon at the Helms Bakery complex, not only was it a departure from the Father's Office burger, it was Yoon putting his stamp on Southeast Asian cuisine. Everything was his way - the decor, the details of the open kitchen, his dan dan noodles, the spirits behind the bar, and the fact that there wasn't a proper dessert menu. That last part has changed - you can now find a regular menu of sweets to end your meal, and they're pretty dynamite.

Yoon, who's known for his own set of rules (i.e. no ketchup at FO), eschewed a traditional dessert experience at the restaurant for doling out a rotating list of sweets gratis after every meal. Yes, free dessert. Some (us included) loved the idea of not just getting a sweet little morsel for free, but also for the surprise of it - maybe it was mango panna cotta once, or banana cake bites with caramel ice cream another time. Others complained about not being able to get carrot cake twice in a row, yet another unnecessary controversy.

Working with one of the Lukshon chefs, Jesse Perez, with the unmistakable touch of Sherry Yard, who's opening the Helms Bakery with Yoon next year, there are now at least three new dessert items on the menu, which we imagine will change regularly. Simple in flavor yet complex, each has wonderful balance and texture, nothing too sweet or over the top. Some of the best desserts we've tasted in town, really. A barley pudding that's creamy, rich and earthy, topped with coffee streusel, banana sorbet and crispy puffed barley; compressed peaches with frozen yogurt and ginger streusel that bursts with cool, light fruit flavor, with an added bit of fun from Pop Rocks; and a chocolate dessert that literally changed our entire disposition for the night. These are three good reasons to hit Lukshon again (and again). Check out the new desserts below.

  • Barley Pudding: coffee streusel, caramelized banana, Mandarin banana sorbet, puffed barley. Both earthy and sweet, this surprising pudding is creamy and rich with great textural and flavor contrasts.

  • p.y.p.: compressed peaches, frozen Beijing yogurt, ginger streusel, passion fruit, Pop Rocks. Light, cool, sweet with a fun, lingering crunch from the Pop Rocks. True perfection.

  • Chicory Chocolate Cake: Chunks of a supremely good chocolate cake crumbled on the plate with sesame brittle, Thai chile caramel, drops of chocolate pudding and sesame ice cream.

  • The Freebies: raspberry pate de fruits and palm sugar butterscotch brownie. In case you don't order dessert, you'll still get a few mignardises after the meal. The raspberry pate de fruits tasted every bit of the summer berry, and we could eat a whole pan of that amazing brownie, though a bite was just enough.