Dessert First

Bananas with Coconut Ice Cream at Soi 4 Bangkok Eatery

Tired of discovering a restaurant's delectable desserts after already stuffing ourselves full of appetizers and entrees, we're on a mission to find the places where diners should order dessert first. After all, chicken roulade and lamb vindaloo make excellent leftovers. But ice cream made in-house? Not a chance.

Soi 4 Bangkok Eatery, with locations in Scottsdale and Oakland, serves authentic Thai food in many varieties, and with an interior designed by Wendell Burnette Architecture (also responsible for St. Francis), it's no wonder that the restaurant is both hip and comfortable. Food-wise, the place is getting quite a buzz. 

But have they neglected dessert lovers?

While not every dessert on the menu is a winner, we highly recommend Soi 4's Fried Bananas with Coconut Ice Cream. This dish might sound simple, but it's really something special. The bananas are fried into crispy little delicious spheres, which creates a nice presentation and also makes them easier to share. However, everyone at the table will be fighting over the house-made coconut ice cream in the middle.

Find out what hits the low note at Soi 4 and the jump...

This frozen treat is dreamy, creamy, and very coconutty. Coconut can be a mild flavor that's more of a sidekick than a star, but with Soi 4's ice cream, coconut takes the main stage. The incredible taste and texture seem to come from an expert use of coconut milk. Regardless of which tricks they use to make it, this dessert is guaranteed to disappear in minutes - even if you're indulging alone.

While we loved our first dessert (and will definitely return for more), the second dish was a major disappointment. After we placed our order for Coconut Sticky Rice with Mango, one of our friends asked, "Isn't mango out of season?" Well yes, the season apparently ended in September, but since this dessert was still on the menu, we decided to give their classic sticky rice a try, thinking they might have more tricks up their sleeves.

The mango slices were far from succulent, instead being a bit dry and difficult to cut with a spoon. As if it that wasn't bad enough, the Coconut Sticky Rice didn't do anything to make up for the out-of-season mango. The rice was a bit hard as if it had been prepared a few days in advance and left in the fridge too long. This meant that our sticky rice was far from sticky. With the hint of coconut buried under plain notes of rice and sugar, its flavor was in stark contrast to the richness of the Coconut Ice Cream.

Our table of four only managed to finish half of the Coconut Sticky Rice with Mango. At $6 for the sticky rice and only $5.50 for the Fried Bananas with Coconut Ice Cream, we should have ordered two plates of the mind-blowing dessert. Soi 4 Bangkok Eatery has several other desserts to choose from, including a house-made Vanilla Ice Cream served with Chambord Berries. But, choose your dessert wisely, and when in doubt, get the Fried Bananas - or a whole pint of their Coconut Ice Cream.

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