Sesame surprises at Kyo Roll En, Kyoto Lifestyle Café, multiple locations across Bangkok


What do I say about Japanese desserts? They’re incredibly multi-faceted, they possess a sophisticated palate and they’re worth rolling the dice and exploring further…

Kyoto Lifestyle Cafe’s Goma Vanilla Sundae is quite possibly the most intriguing dessert I’ve tried in a long time. This cafe pops up in several locations across Bangkok, I visited their cafe in Gateway Ekamai Mall… Also home to my favourite yoga studio 🙂

The experience begins with a crisp black sesame and butter tuile firmly seated in a throne of black sesame and vanilla soft cream. I can only describe this as a subtly smoky, nutty, vanilla ice-cream minus the buttery richness of conventional ice-cream. The tuile is exceptionally crisp, and not too sweet so as to bring out the delicate flavour of black sesame seeds within the biscuit. As you dig deeper, your spoon reaches a granita of black sesame which crunches in a rather satisfying manner, as your foot would in a bed of fresh snow. It melts on the tongue almost instantly leaving an equally crisp layer of toasted black sesame seeds to munch through before your next bite.

The bottom layer contains chunks of either charcoal or Azuki (red bean) jelly, in a pool of subtly flavoured vanilla soft cream(?) It was a similar to a custard but again lighter and much smoother. The jelly, tasted kind of bean-y but sweetened.

NB. I’ve observed that the humble red bean makes its presence felt in a variety of baked goods, drinks (!), and desserts across the region… It’s a taste I have grown to acquire and appreciate as it forms a characteristic of Asian desserts, which sadly even adventurous tastebuds shy away from. I’m all for exploring local ingredients and their various iterations across the spectrum of courses and culinary categories.

The combination of layers, textures, and flavours of sesame, vanilla and Azuki/charcoal jelly was exceptionally refined. Never did one component speak out of turn nor offend the sensory experiences in each spoonful. Each successive scoop, sang to one another in perfect harmony.

This is a masterpiece that keeps one’s tongue on its toes!

As for the ratings –

Taste: 5/5
Texture: off the scale!
Innovation: 5/5
Ambience: 4/5
Value for money: 5/5


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