Famous desserts from New York City in Xintiandi
Dessert lovers have been anticipating Chikalicious, which just opened in Xintiandi, for a long time. However, Shanghai sweetlovers will find that this NYC import’s three-course prix fixe (RMB188) is even more expensive than the US flagship, where dessert sets cost just US$16 (RMB105). Is the markup worth it?
The prix fixe starts with an amuse-bouche: an inviting Moscato gelée and honeydew melon sorbet. Of our two main courses, the chef’s choice “fruit, flower and herbs” stood out—a scoop of sorbet on brown sugar cream adorned with coconut water, charred fresh pineapple, Helen Mount blooms and a tart green apple consommé poured tableside.
The mocha hazelnut trifle with white coffee ice cream promises decadence, but instead we received an unremarkable spongy cake with bland ice cream and hazelnuts. Rounding out the experience is the moreish petit fours: pecan sables, passion fruit coconut marshmallows and a Valrhona chocolate sea salt brownie.
We also ordered the vanilla mille crepe cake and the chocolate ganache cake (both RMB68) from the first floor. The crepe cake is a perfect masterpiece of about 25 layers with rich vanilla filling and a crisp brûlée topping. The chocolate cake features melted Santo Domingo chocolate and cream with a crunch from toasted hazelnuts and a brittle wafer layer. A lightly sweetened coffee flavored cream is the perfect foil to the sweetness.
Before arriving at our table to eat off Hermès plates, our dining companion had the door slammed in her face by one of the staff, leaving a mark on their service. Because limited hours (currently closed Mondays and Tuesdays) and poor telephone service in both Chinese and English makes getting a table difficult (our call to ask for directions proved futile), we say go to the first floor. The less expensive yet well-executed pastries are worth the money without jostling for reservations.
Where: 2/F, Unit 106, North Block, 123 Xingye Lu (near Huangpi Nan Lu)