home Food, Lifestyle Ginger Milk Pudding at Millbrae’s Sweet Indulgence

Ginger Milk Pudding at Millbrae’s Sweet Indulgence

By Sophia Li

Sophia Li goes goes hunting to find one of her favorite desserts: ginger milk pudding. Photo by Evan Tung

During a visit to Hong Kong, when I was about two years old, I tried a traditional Guangdong dessert called ginger milk pudding. It was warm, velvety, and sweet with a kick of spice. A year passed and my family and I found that restaurants in Richmond, Canada also sold ginger milk pudding. From tasting ginger milk puddings at those restaurants, we came to the conclusion that the best one came from the Kirin restaurant. Then this year, I discovered Sweet Indulgence, an even closer dessert place in Millbrae that served ginger milk pudding. Having tried so many places and having made my own recipe, I had to find out whether this place had the quality I looked for. Also, with the cold winter weather coming, I felt it would be nice to find a place where I could enjoy a warm bowl of this delicious dessert.

Ginger milk pudding is a naturally-occurring custard typically made by pouring nearly boiling milk into old ginger juice. In just five minutes, the old ginger juice curdles the milk and forms a pudding. Over time, the dessert has been altered to include elements of other milk-based desserts: a thickener, usually egg whites, and steaming. The amount of egg whites used can change the thickness of the pudding significantly. It is also essential that the ginger taste and sweetness is balanced in just the right amounts. I decided to judge Sweet Indulgence’s pudding on three main criteria: texture (thickness), ginger taste, and sweetness.

Walking in, the first thing I noticed was that the place was completely empty. That was a little odd, considering that it was around 5:30 p.m.. Usually, this is when people get off work and students are hanging out after school. The menu was also rather long and had a broad focus, containing desserts like mousse cakes to glutinous rice balls. After ordering to-go and waiting 15 minutes, I was given the piping hot pudding, which was served in a plastic container.

The pudding was unsatisfyingly hard, with a resemblance to nearly cooked egg whites. When I spooned and wiggled it, it only jiggled the slightest bit. Already, my expectations lowered. When I took a bite, it mostly tasted like nothing. As Gordon Ramsey might say, it was bland. There was almost no ginger taste, leaving the plain egg white taste to overpower everything. The amount of sugar, which was pretty much nonexistent, didn’t improve the taste. When my parents tried it, they even asked me if I’d accidentally ordered plain steamed egg whites with milk.

I was disappointed. In Richmond, Canada, all the ginger milk puddings had a set quality to them. They were always very soft, had some ginger spice, and had a decent amount of sweetness. Even No. 9, an inexpensive 24/7 casual Chinese diner in Richmond, was able to create a soft texture and have a decent amount of ginger taste and sugar. Another place, Sun Sui Wah, a formal Chinese restaurant, though it was my least favorite of those in Richmond, was still able to create the soft texture and a reasonable balance of ginger to sugar.

However, unlike in Richmond, Canada, ginger milk pudding is hard to find. So Sweet Indulgence’s quality might have been so low due to lack of competition. Without a close competing place, they will most likely fail to improve. Another factor that might’ve contributed to the low quality of the dessert is the restaurant’s broad focus. Its menu is targeted to the racial diversity of Millbrae, not solely Chinese dessert lovers. This may result in less time put into perfecting each recipe. Although this place was not a winner, I will continue searching for a local good quality ginger milk pudding.

 

Ginger Milk Pudding Ratings per Source:

 

Overall Ranking: 5

Sweet Indulgence – 298 Broadway, Millbrae, CA 94030

Texture (hardness): ★★ Slightly soft, able to cut into

Ginger Taste: ★★ Almost nonexistent

Sweetness: ★★ Somewhat sweet

Price: $5~

 

Overall Ranking: 4

Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant – 4940 No 3 Rd, Richmond, BC V6X 3A5, Canada

Texture (hardness): ★★★★ Soft with small chunks

Ginger Taste: ★★ Almost nonexistent

Sweetness: ★★★ Mildly sweet

Price: $5~

 

Overall Ranking: 3

No. 9 Restaurant – 5300 No 3 Rd #812, Richmond, BC V6X 2X9, Canada

Texture (hardness): ★★★★ Soft with small chunks

Ginger Taste: ★★★ A bit of spice

Sweetness: ★★★ Mildly sweet

Price: $5~

 

Overall Ranking: 2

Personal Recipe – my house

Texture (hardness): ★★★★★ Very soft and/or smooth, tiny to no chunks

Ginger Taste: ★★★★ Burns, warms your throat and your stomach

Sweetness: ★★★ Mildly sweet

 

Overall Ranking: 1

Kirin Restaurant – 7900 Westminster Hwy, Richmond, BC V6X 1A5, Canada

Texture (hardness): ★★★★★ Very soft and/or smooth, tiny to no chunks

Ginger Taste: ★★★★★ Mildly spicy

Sweetness: ★★★★★ Moderately sweet

Price: $5~

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