Gong He Guan at Geylang serves Hong Kong style desserts in its small humble space. It’s a scaled-down version compared to their flagship stall located at Upper Cross Street. They serve around 17 varieties of desserts and a couple of bottled herbal teas are available on their menu.
This dessert place was an accidental find by my friends and I, which happened after we completed our weekly jog around the Kallang waterfront area. We sometimes crave for something sweet after a good dinner.
I arrived during lunch time and there was a stark difference between day and night. It was peaceful and quiet, ideal to just chill while slowly savouring nice cold desserts— the perfect remedy to combat the overwhelming heat outside as well!
What I tried at Gong He Guan
I had a tough time deciding what to order between their 17 choices. Now imagine if I was at their bigger outlet— my hair would turn white by the time I made my decision.
The most expensive item on the menu was the Fresh Top Grade Cave Bird’s Nest with Rock Sugar (S$36)— what a mouthful! The stall aunty kindly informed me that some of the desserts could be made into a hot version if I desired.
I’m quite a boring picker when It comes to food choices (happens sometimes), so I started my dessert session with my personal favourite— Rock Melon with Sago and Milk (S$5.50).
It comes with a generous serving of rock melon cubes and mini pale-green sago pearls soaked in milk, served cold.
The orange cubes of rockmelon are sweet and refreshing while the chewy sago complements the sweet fruit really well. The sweet milk gravy tasted slightly coconut-y which indicates that there’s coconut milk added in the mix. It made this colourful bowl of goodness even more yummy— I was already in a happy mood from the first bowl, so was excited for more!
I transitioned from something full of colours to a bowl of darkness— presenting the Sesame Paste (S$4.50). On a side note, I had a thought that this would be suitable for those going through a gothic or emo phase. Ok, enough of a wild imagination, back to reality, Aaron!
Black sesame seeds are roasted gently and grounded into a smooth paste all by hand in-house daily.
Gong He Guan also has Almond Paste (S$4.50) on their menu, and you’re allowed to order a “yuan yang” which combines both the Sesame Paste and Almond Paste for the same price (my friend’s mum requested for this during a past visit)— perfect for those who can’t make up their mind!
I had requested for the Sesame Paste to be heated up, which seemed to enhance the smoky and nutty flavours coming from the black sesame. It reminded me of a more intense version of a black sesame tang yuan filling.
I moved on to the Mango Gui Ling Gao (S$6.80). It consisted of a generous serving of mango cubes, huge squares of gui ling gao and a small pile of crushed ice doused with a milk tea gravy.
According to them, their vegetarian gui ling gao is brewed slowly using 23 types of natural herbs for 35 hours, which enhances your wellness and looks. Imagine that!
With that in mind, I scooped up a huge cube of gui ling gao (visually it represented grass jelly). It had a jelly texture with a slightly bitter aftertaste to it. I ate a couple of them and within minutes, it worked its magic!
Three girls who walked past me had their eyes in my direction. Had I become more good looking? I’m just kidding (nothing of that sort happened).
The mango cubes had a combination of two types. One was sweet and ripe while the other was slightly sour and unripe. This sweet-sour combo actually paired really well with the sweet milk tea gravy together with the slightly bitter notes from the gui ling gao— it was a multi-sensory experience, indeed.
The last dessert I had was the Beancurd, Ginkgo Nut & Barley (S$5). It consisted of soya bean milk, beancurd skins, barley pearls and gingko nuts.
The beancurd skins were silky soft and pillowy, and melted instantly in my mouth. The fragrant soya bean milk wasn’t overly sweet, which made this bowl of dessert very light for the tummy.
The barley pearls provided some nice texture while the gingko nuts had a subtle bitter aftertaste with undertones of flavour that mimicked cheese in a weird good way.
Gong He Guan at Geylang is cleverly situated in the right vicinity. There’s an abundance of delicious food everywhere but too little dessert spots to be found.
This place is open till 2.30am, so you can have a cooling bowl of dessert for supper too! I guess I’ll order the Mango Gui Ling Gao again when I return— it’s officially one of my new favourites!
Expected damage: S$4.50 – S$36 per pax
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