There’s a lot of concerned chatter in Asia about the slow demise of street food vendors – of how the old men and women who sweated and toiled under the extreme heat of the tropics and of their respective stovetops are no longer being replaced by the new generations; and of how big corporations (and politics) have started to sweep the vestigial remnants into the inauthentic atmosphere of glittering glass-and-steel shopping complexes. Yet, fear not, these Dessert Correspondents say, just as wildlife finds a way to regenerate in the aftermath of a nuclear fallout, history can live on in different ways. Many a street food delicacy is slowly filtering its way across the world, seeking out, and finding, a more global audience of food lovers. Egg waffles. Case in point. Here’s a quartet of the most scrumptious egg waffles re-imagined, NYC-style.
The trend setter
- Dessert destination: Eggloo, 60 Mulberry Street, Chinatown.
- Short and sweet story: The first to arrive in early 2016, Eggloo offers a choice of three different waffle base flavours – original, green tea or chocolate, and unlimited toppings. We tried very, very hard not to be greedy, and picked original waffle + vanilla ice cream + sprinkles + mochi + condensed milk. Sunday summer fun made perfect.
- Dessert destination: Bubble Bar, 204 West 14th Street, West Village border.
- Short and sweet story: Probably the closest interpretation of the Hong Kong tradition, Bubble Bar serves a less crispy, softer bubble waffle wrap accompanied by more Asian-esque flavours, such as green tea and red bean ice-cream, and a family of toppings comprising mochi, herbal grass jelly, lychee jelly, coconut jelly. That 20 hours plus flight time to East Asia seems rather redundant now, no?
- Dessert destination: Wowfulls, 309 E Houston Street, Lower East Side.
- Short and sweet story: If you want a few steps up from Eggloo and Bubble Bar, especially in terms of crazier appearance, look no further than Wowfulls. A glowing, magical rainbow-hued orb of vanilla ice-cream perched on a mountain of confectionery and fruit, twizzled with chocolate-dipped pocky sticks, lashed with condensed milk. Now, who said that dessert could not be a standalone meal encompassing all food groups? With wow-full stomachs, we disagree. ;p
- Dessert destination: New Territories, 190 Orchard Street, Lower East Side.
- Short and sweet story: Of the three sweeter creations available at New Territories – note that you can’t DIY as at Eggloo or Wowfulls – we recommend the ube option for that something different. It features a waffle casing embedded with ube, snuggling a ball of lightly-flavoured earl grey ice-cream. The whole creation is then embellished with a sugar butterfly and other pretty things. Not only do you venture into two new dessert territories (Hong Kong and the Phillipines), but you can strike off two must-eat desert trends in one bite: i) egg waffle, and ii) ube everything. Who doesn’t love to multi-task?