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Mar 3, 2011 04:33 PM

What is the name of this dessert at Mandarin Buffet...?

Whenever I eat at Mandarin, I always look forward to one rather unique dessert that they have at most locations. It is a sort of coconut cake with a consistency like that of a pudding or jello... it is always shaped like a bundt cake, but it doesn't seem to contain wheat flour.

It is very soft and light, and only tastes very slightly of coconut. I believe it to have either a tapioca or a rice flour base, but trying to find any information on a cake of this variety is driving me crazy!

Does anyone know the cake I am referring to, and what the proper name for it is? I have tried looking up coconut rice flour cakes and tapioca ones as well, to no avail.


Mandarin Buffet
8787 Weston Rd, Woodbridge, ON L4L0C3, CA

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  1. Maybe a glutinous rice cake?

    1. Does it look like a snowball? Like what is in this photo:

      If so, it's mochi -- a rice flour pastry. Fragrant Bakery has some seriously awesome ones filled with custard. I'm sure there's a Chinese name for it (mochi is a Japanese term), but I don't know it. :)

      7 Replies
      1. re: TorontoJo

        Unfortunately not, but I do love glutinous rice balls as well, I make them at home all the time.

        It does share a very similar level of sweetness to them, where it's not especially rich or overbearing.

        The cake is shaped exactly like a jello bundt cake:

        but it doesn't have the consistency of jello per se. It is uniform throughout, there are no layers, and it is a very snowy white colour.

        1. re: TorontoJo

          The Chinese name (well, the transliteration) is tang yuan aka yuan xiao ;-) Fragrant Bakery's peanut sesame-filled tang yuan are pretty awesome, too ;-)

          BTW, does anyone know what the charcoal grey-coloured tang yuan at Fragrant are filled with?

          1. re: prima

            Hi Prima,
            I believe that it's a black sesame mixture - ground sesame seeds, white sugar, and sometimes coconut.

              1. re: crake

                Thanks growinggourmet & crake ;-) Might try one next time I'm at Fragrant.

            1. re: prima

              Actually, the chinese name for the dessert in TorontoJo's picture is not tang yuan. It is Law Mic Chi, 糯米糍.

              1. re: skylineR33

                Oops!!! I stand corrected. Thanks skylineR33!!!

          2. Could it be coconut pudding? e.g. - scroll down to July 7th.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Teep

              I think you might be right... I suspect that it may be a variation on a coconut pudding which also incorporates rice flour and is then moulded in a small bundt pan.

              I may just need to go back there and write the name down.

              1. re: crake

                Given Teep's info, I want to say Almond jello, but with coconut flavouring.

            2. This topic is breaking my heart as I love the Mandarin and am far away from it. Once my husband asked me where I wanted to go for dinner on my birthday and I said "The Mandarin" so we did---to Toronto from Chicago. For readers who don't know the Mandarin, imagine a Chinese buffet restaurant that is nice, with white tablecloths and real flowers. Imagine a buffet of 48 hot Chinese entrees, a Canadian buffet with prime rib of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, a grill buffet with steak and chicken and salmon and sometimes even lamb chops all done to order, a huge salad bar with shrimp, a stunning dessert bar, sometimes a waffle station, six kinds of soup, and ten kinds of ice cream. Their website has photographs. Several branches all over Ontario.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Querencia

                Thank you for giving the Mandarin the respect it deserves. It's no Lai Wah Heen, but it gets the job done for my Can-Chinese food needs. Bring on chicken balls and red sauce.

                Lai Wah Heen
                108 Chestnut St, Toronto, ON M5G 1R3, CA

              2. does it have a mousse-like texture (ie airy, fluffy)?

                1 Reply
                1. re: pinkprimp

                  Yes! It does. It's also a bit springy.