#FtLionAwards 2018 – Best Dessert of the Year?

After the #FtLionAwards 2018 Best Main of the Year (sponsored by Chai Naasto and the newly opened Patri), we continue with the Best Dessert of the Year category.

After much debate and dialogue we’ve shortlisted the following four nominees.

And while you marvel over these amazing desserts, remember that not only can you also vote for your favourite on our Instagram and Facebook pages, but in doing so you’ll automatically be entered in our prize draw with the chance of winning a fantastic Celebration Set Menu for 2 at Chai Naasto’s west London branch in Hammersmith.

SHORTLIST – Best Desserts of the Year

We want you to either: 1) vote for the following nominees, or 2) let us know both your favourite dessert and the place you had it, all on our Facebook and/or Instagram pages.


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Chokhi Dhani already has a starter nominated, and they now have this Rose Crème Brûlée in with a shout. This was both a visual and a gastronomic treat. In terms of flavour combination, it was easily the most complex of the trio of desserts enjoyed on the evening.

A tiny dab of the accompanying orange khubani, or apricot, jam managed to enhance rather than overpower what was a delicately flavoured rose crème brûlée. With the rose providing the base aroma, it was only a matter of experiencing the acute shifts in flavour and texture with each given element. From the crispy-cum-soft-centred sweet merigues and the crunchy honey comb, to the various palate-cleansing fruits of strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and a piece of fig – each one brought something different to keep things interesting.


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With a main already in for the running, Hankies put up this Gulukhand Kheer was a pot of delights.

Relying on the natural sweetness of the caramelised, melt-in-your-mouth mango wedge, this was expertly judged vis-à-vis sweetness. What we had here was a seemingly rose flavoured rice pudding, with bits of crunchy ginger honeycomb and pistachio crumb, all of which came together to utterly floor us!


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While Matsya also has main, this dessert certainly was a sweet one overall, what with the smooth caramel ice cream and the crunchy peanut brittle, it did come together into a satisfyingly harmonius whole. The most pleasurable part of this plate though had to have been the Espresso Rasgulla. While this was, collectively speaking, a first time for all three of us, it was so good that it elicited the question: where have you been all our lives?

Merely drawing our spoon through this positively saturated porous ball of squishy goodness released a satisfying amount of subtly flavoured coffee juice, which we could have easily lapped up on its own and be left satiated.


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Yasmeen Restaurant  pulled out this Mouhalabia – a milk pudding made with orange blossom or rose water, and garnished with either almonds or pistachio, or both. Yasmeen’s is slightly different in that it’s a deconstructed version where the rose water is served separately and meant to be poured over the set milk pudding.

Following our wobble-test, which revealed it to be perfectly set and not overly firm, we proceeded to pour the entire contents of the rose water over the pudding before diving straight in. What we encountered was absolutely sublime! The ambrosial Mouhalabia was decadently light, silky smooth in texture, with the aromatic sweetness of the flowery water lending that familiarly gentle perfume to the entire dish.

This was a pudding we’d never really had before; and one we won’t be forgetting in a hurry.

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