Smile Dessert is a China-based megachain that opened its first Toronto location at the far end of the Sky City Plaza in Scarborough near Midland and Finch.The chain is known for its creative takes on traditional Chinese desserts along with its aesthetically over-the-top offerings.
Inside, the space is modern and minimalist with touches of colour to make the ideal Instagram shot.
Mangoes are prevalent in Chinese desserts, and Smile Dessert has them in spades. The Mango Lover ($8.99) is sweet mangoes sliced and presented in different ways including some wit mini rice balls.
You can get more mangoes in the Mango Sago Mixed ($8.49), which comes with grapefruit, coconut milk and taro sago. This is a rich dessert that is accentuated by the sweetness of the mangoes.
If there's a must-order here it might be the Mango Pancake ($7.99) presented in the shape of a smile and stuffed with whipped cream and sweet mango chunks.
There's also a Mango Mille Crepe ($10.99) where the creaminess of the cake dulls the mango flavour. It also comes in a durian variety.
For something less sweet, the elegant Black Pearl Supreme ($7.99) is a sago and sticky rice mix with a garnish of berries for added flavour and presentation.
Sweet soups, often collectively called tangshui (literally “sugar water”), are also a specialty here. The Walnut and Black Sesame Soup ($7.49) sees staff pour the two main ingredients into a bowl in front of you until they form the yin-yang symbol.
Not to be outdone, the Crystal Dome Platter ($29.99) is a molecular wonder. A sugar crystal ball envelops a velvety Oreo mousse cake that's then cracked open to reveal more fun inside.
Liquid nitrogen is then poured and mixed with wafer cookies. When you eat it steam will billow out of your mouth and nostrils in a manner that some refer to as dragon’s breath.
Beyond the food, the Flaming Pitaya Slush ($7.99) is also a lot of fun. The drink, which is essentially a dragonfruit slush with a layer of rum on top, gets lighted up in front of you. It's not as much of a showstopper as the liquid nitrogen tricks but the drink tastes great.
Not here just for dessert? Believe it or not, Smile Dessert also offer several hot dishes like the simple but satisfying Teriyaki Eel Rice ($11.99).