It took a potted plant to entice me to Spring. Or rather, something that looked like a potted plant. On the Facebook page for Moo Moo Sweet House, a photo of an apparently soil-filled brown pot holding a sprig of mint, apparently rising from the depths, more than piqued my interest. The post queried, "What is in there? Is that eatable? Come and check that out."
That was all the invitation I needed. I've written before about my favorite dessert spot in Flushing, Queens, a Taiwanese restaurant known as the Cutting Board. One of its specialties: a green tea tiramisu made to look like a potted plant with a sprig of mint standing in as the growing shrub. I was excited.
But I was even more elated when I walked in the door. Faux clouds hung from the ceiling. A mailbox and fire hydrant stood by the entrance. And the cows above were ready to be sat upon.
But the two teens manning the counter had to tell me the bad news: they had run out of the Oreo mousse made to look like a potted plant. The good news: There were other mousses.
I ordered the mango one. Though it had been described to me as a mousse cake, there was no cake. But it would have only made the airy dessert seem heavy. More like a yogurt mousse than the classic French-style eggs-and-cream version, it seemed like the only thing that kept it from floating away was a topping of mango popping boba. Flavor-wise, it reminded me of a mango lassi, which made me wonder why I'd never tried one with boba added. Whichever Houstonian restaurateur discovers that fusion will make many, many people happy.
Moo Moo might be the ones to do it. They have a varied menu of drinks already. I tried the Sky Diving, an Italian soda crafted using tangy blue syrup and bolstered with yogurt on the bottom. I was given a choice of boba, including yogurt and fruit flavors, but went with the brown-sugar-flavored version the counter staff recommended.
Though in some places, the ice cream dessert is labeled "shaved ice," in others it's "shaved ice cream." Houstonians are probably most familiar with it as ribbon ice, thanks to Nu Ice stores on Westheimer and in Chinatown. And that Indian/Taiwanese fusion I was talking about? Potentially not so far from the truth. Moo Moo is already doing Mexican-inflected, mangonada-style ice, using mango ice cream as a base for chile sauce, Tajin and fresh mango.
Guests can make any combination they wish from the exhaustive list of ingredients, but my dining partner elected to bask in strawberry excess with the Pink. It features no fewer than three types of strawberry, including ice cream, fresh berries and strawberry syrup, as well as a crackling topping of Rice Krispies. It was enough to make me forget about the potted plant mousse. Almost.