Location: 888 Dundas Street East, Mississauga
Though they bill themselves as an ice cream shop, Xe Kem actually serves a whole bunch of Vietnamese-inspired desserts, including cakes, puddings, and yogurt.
I was tempted to try the ice cream — they have a handful of scooped flavours on offer, as well as soft serve you can get in a traditional or a charcoal cone — but one of the yogurts was calling my name.
I tried the purple sticky rice yogurt, which I quite enjoyed. The yogurt itself was sweet and creamy, and the rice has a nice chewy texture. It’s basically like rice pudding, but yogurty. I don’t think it’s going to knock anyone’s socks off, but it’s thoroughly satisfying.
Location: 536 Queen Street West, Toronto
If you’re looking for an off-kilter scoop of gelato, Death in Venice is the place to go. With their various flavours featuring ingredients like parsnip, kaffir lime, and lavender, you’d be advised to look elsewhere if you’re hoping for a scoop of plain chocolate or vanilla.
Of course, it’s easy enough to serve oddball flavours as a novelty; it’s not-so-easy to make them actually taste good.
I can happily say that Death in Venice absolutely nails the whole “tasting really good” thing.
On this particular visit I tried the pistachio yogurt and baklava, which was outstanding. It features crispy bits of phyllo pastry, pistachio chunks, and honey, which really nails the baklava flavour. The yogurt adds a very subtle tartness. There clearly isn’t enough yogurt here to qualify this as frozen yogurt; there’s just enough to add that flavour without being overly sour.
That’s not to mention the lemon zest, which works perfectly with the other elements here. I think there might have also been ricotta? I’m not sure.
But you know what I am sure about? That this was great. Because it was great. Aside from the really interesting combination of flavours, the gelato itself was creamy and luxurious. It’s good stuff.