Tong Sui for the Soul

Soup: it's what's for dessert at Chinatown's InDessert

"It's like durian–either you hate it or love it," Meidan Huang says with a laugh.

That's one way to describe tong sui, the traditional Chinese dessert soup.

We prefer words like: refreshing, unusual and cool (both meanings).

Snow White sago soup | Outside of InDessert

Since opening this past April, shop manager Huang, along with the rest of InDessert's staff, has been handing out sample cups in Confucius Plaza, patiently explaining to wary customers that the cup holds a sweet mixture of red beans soaked in coconut milk.

We enjoyed the shop's signature mango, pomelo and sago soup ($5.75). Housemade mango purée is shot through with shreds of zippy pomelo (a green-skinned fruit similar to grapefruit), dotted with chewy sago (tapioca) and enriched with heavy cream. It's tart, creamy and pleasantly chewy in one bite.

Joe Ngai | Black sesame paste soup

For the black sesame paste soup ($4), chef-owner Joe Ngai grinds sesame seeds between two stones, then mixes in stone-ground sticky white rice that's been soaked overnight. It blows any black sesame ice cream out of the water with its intense nuttiness and thick, velvety texture.

But our favorite may be the most simple: black sticky rice with coconut milk ($4). Sunk beneath a white frothy pool of coconut milk and coconut water, the mound of glutinous rice is best broken up and eaten like cereal. It'll soon replace your bubble tea fix.

Finishing off the black sticky rice with coconut milk

There are also tofu puddings, airy cakes and smoothies on the expansive menu at InDessert–but you go for the tong sui.

"We hope this is a place like home," Huang says. "A home where the parents make 20 dessert soups."