13 Goulburn St
(corner of Dixon Street mall)
Tel: (02) 8339 1031
Open: 7 days 11am until late
Taiwan loves its desserts. Often eaten as a street food type of snack, beverages like pearl milk tea and sweet treats like shaved ice and tofu pudding are a few of the local specialties Taiwan is known for, and which, in the case of the pearl teas, have become increasingly popular in Australia.
Now it's the time for Taiwanese desserts to make their mark in Sydney, and in the case of Meet Fresh (on the site of the old Daniang Dumpling), for the company to open its first Australian franchise. Having been open since mid September, although the queues are not as lengthy as they were in the first month or so, they are still doing a healthy steady trade, if my random walks past there are any indication.
Red Bean with milk ice ($6.60)
Good news for the red bean fans - a generous serve, with a lot (perhaps too much) ice, sweetened milk, and the usual suspects, this is almost a meal unto itself, and will satiate. For those of us like myself who are fairly much nonplussed by red beans, it is still an enjoyable and refreshing dessert, as the beans are not too dominant taste wise.
Taro no.3 : grass jelly, peanut, red bean and ice
JH - I loved this dish. The peanut and red bean is always a good combo. I like the “cooling” effect of the grass jelly which juxtaposes to the “warming” effects of the red bean and peanut. My criticism is that I wish that there was more ice in the actual bowl. Also, the taro ball was very good but again, there was not enough of it. With regards to the milk, the dessert was tasty enough without requiring the creaminess of additional milk.
Their taro balls are made by manually shredding taros before steaming. The cooked taro is then mixed with their specially made corn and potato powders before being kneaded, shaped into sticks and cut into small pieces by hand.
Fresh mango with ice
I preferred this one to the red bean dessert. The mango was sweet and generous, the ice cream adding more dimension, texture and taste to the desset. Again, as with the red bean dessert, I had an issue with the shaved ice - I found that both of these choices had too much of it (in contrast to the Taro no.3, which didn't have enough) to the point where well, there's only so much ice that one can eat in a dessert, so in both cases, I had some left.
JH's criticism of the milk in the Taro item extends to the mango dessert - a bit of the creaminess of the milk was nice, but really, there was not the need for it at all. I realise that the milk is a traditionally common addition, and that I may be in a minority on this, but too much of it made the dish simply a bit too milky for my tastes.
Situated on two levels in an informal and pleasant environment, this is a dessert place which is proving to be popular, and not without reason. Reasonably priced, clean and functional, it is a good place to drop by at any time of the day (except perhaps Friday evenings and at some weekend times, unless you're happy to wait, possibly at a queue which ends up meeting with the end of Mamak's, around the corner) if you're in the mood for something sweet and refreshing. On a hot Summer's day (or night) in Sydney, and if you're not in the mood for some overpriced ice cream somewhere, you could do worse than to drop in to Meet Fresh.
[AP & JH]