To be perfectly honest, there really aren’t many great ice cream places in Chinatown, let alone vegan ice cream joints. Literally, there are only about three, not counting the shredded-ice parlors (which are great, but it’s not ice cream).
When I don’t feel like just having the generic Haagen-Dazs fruit sorbet in a cone, I will definitely head to Mango Mango. Like most places I discover, I had found it through Yelp.
What sets MM from both of the other two ice cream places surrounding it (Chinatown Ice Cream Shop) is the seated area, which is pretty important when you’re hot and dead tired and looking for an icy treat and a place to rest.
The counter lady was very nice too – she told me exactly which items had dairy or eggs in it and what was just fruit/sorbet. They do have coconut milk items on their menu… but they add cow’s milk to it for some obscene reason. Oh well.
Mango Sorbet with Grass Jelly and Lychee –
What I love about Asian dessert places is their emphasis on fresh fruit and how to complement it instead of the other way around, like American-type fruit sorbets. The fruit takes center stage, while the sorbet merely provides a refreshing, complementary backdrop.
All of the fruit tasted super fresh, especially so the mango, which was perfectly ripe and a real treat, considering it sat atop a bed of mango sorbet. Double mango!
I personally am a fiend for grass jelly, so I really enjoyed eating it with the rest of this frozen treat. I would rather have had the grass jelly with a milky base, though, since I think it is a bit strange with fruit.
The sorbet itself is more like a silky froyo consistency, maybe even more so since the juice from the fruit adds additional liquid.
I certainly didn’t mind, as I like my sorbet on the softer side to begin with.
Tastewise, it was straight-up mango. I wouldn’t say it was artificial like the kind you’d find at 16 Handles or that ilk, but it was pretty sweet, though not overly so.
Overall, the dessert was like a yummy fruit salad with a soft sorbet as the base. I’m not complaining, as I’d take fruit as a dessert any day.