Austin | Dallas | Houston
More than ice cream

Sweet & savory: 7-course dessert tasting is a special dining experience

Enlarge
Slideshow
4 Cloud 10 Creamery tasting with chef Chris Leung December 2013
The tasting starts with Cloud 10's riff on Japanese favorite pocky: a sesame stick covered in homemade puff pastry and peanut butter.  Photo by Eric Sandler
5 Cloud 10 Creamery tasting with chef Chris Leung December 2013
Sea salt and bay leaf-seasoned rice pudding topped with a gel made from rutubega pickling liquid and toasted rice ice cream.  Photo by Eric Sandler
6 Cloud 10 Creamery tasting with chef Chris Leung December 2013
Red beets are roasted with hibiscus tea and mixed with golden raisins then topped with hibiscus honey sorbet and toasted meringue.  Photo by Eric Sandler
7 Cloud 10 Creamery tasting with chef Chris Leung December 2013
Steel cut oat porridge with Meyer lemon ice cream is the sort of tart, flavorful breakfast a person could eat everyday.   Photo by Eric Sandler
8 Cloud 10 Creamery tasting with chef Chris Leung December 2013
Yogurt semifreddo topped with blood orange vinaigrette and lavender mint over havarti crumble.  Photo by Eric Sandler
10 Cloud 10 Creamery tasting with chef Chris Leung December 2013
A savory course of braised cabbage, peanuts and chimichurri "shocks" the palate awake.  Photo by Eric Sandler
11 Cloud 10 Creamery tasting with chef Chris Leung December 2013
In this course, salted brown butter ice cream sits atop a mix of salted pistachios, kiwi and dulche de leche crisp. The "smear" is snickerdoodle puree.  Photo by Eric Sandler
15 Cloud 10 Creamery tasting with chef Chris Leung December 2013
Sweet potato puree topped with candied chestnuts and green tea macha curd Photo by: Eric Sandler
13 Cloud 10 Creamery tasting with chef Chris Leung December 2013
Chocolate cake filled with miso ganache sits next to vanilla bean ice cream and sesame seeds.  Photo by Eric Sandler
14 Cloud 10 Creamery tasting with chef Chris Leung December 2013
Snacks to finish up. On the left, white passion fruit ganache topped with "puppy chow." On the right, a white chocolate sphere filled with mango.  Photo by Eric Sandler
3 Cloud 10 Creamery tasting with chef Chris Leung December 2013
Pastry chef Chris Leung guides diners through the tasting, explaining each dish and answering any questions.  Photo by Eric Sandler
2 Cloud 10 Creamery tasting with chef Chris Leung December 2013
Leung's mise en place is ready to go.  Photo by Eric Sandler
1 Cloud 10 Creamery tasting with chef Chris Leung December 2013
Have a seat. They're expecting you. Photo by Eric Sandler
4 Cloud 10 Creamery tasting with chef Chris Leung December 2013
5 Cloud 10 Creamery tasting with chef Chris Leung December 2013
6 Cloud 10 Creamery tasting with chef Chris Leung December 2013
7 Cloud 10 Creamery tasting with chef Chris Leung December 2013
8 Cloud 10 Creamery tasting with chef Chris Leung December 2013
10 Cloud 10 Creamery tasting with chef Chris Leung December 2013
11 Cloud 10 Creamery tasting with chef Chris Leung December 2013
15 Cloud 10 Creamery tasting with chef Chris Leung December 2013
13 Cloud 10 Creamery tasting with chef Chris Leung December 2013
14 Cloud 10 Creamery tasting with chef Chris Leung December 2013
3 Cloud 10 Creamery tasting with chef Chris Leung December 2013
2 Cloud 10 Creamery tasting with chef Chris Leung December 2013
1 Cloud 10 Creamery tasting with chef Chris Leung December 2013

Since opening in September, Cloud 10 Creamery has served as a platform for pastry chef Chris Leung to showcase his wizardry with frozen confections. Much has been written about Cloud 10's banana split, previously described here as "five star," but Leung offers an even more comprehensive opportunity to experience his cuisine with four ($48) and seven course ($68) dessert tastings.

Available to anyone with a week's notice, the tastings are a good reminder that Leung's talents extend far beyond ice cream. It's something I had known since I met him when he worked alongside Randy Rucker at Bootsie's, but the tasting helped cement why I'm so excited to see what Leung does at the upcoming Museum Park Cafe that's slated to open in May. 

 Available to anyone with a week's notice, the tastings are a good reminder that Leung's talents extend far beyond ice cream. 

Leung contrasted the experience of his tasting menu with that of an unnamed, high-profile restaurant he dined at in another city. Calling the experience "robotic" and saying the food "lacked soul," his goal for Cloud 10's diners is something different. SLeung interacts with patrons from the moment they sit down by explaining each course and answering questions. While the courses are mostly set in advance, the experience can be personalized by moving a course around or changing one ice cream flavor for another. 

Click through the pictures above for an in-depth description of each course, but the following highlights demonstrate the variety found in Leung's menu. Steel-cut oat porridge with a coconut milk crumble and Meyer lemon ice cream arrived third. Essentially, I think I could eat this version of oatmeal everyday for breakfast thanks to the sweet/tart balanced achieved by folding Meyer lemon into the porridge.

A savory course of cabbage braised in dashi, mirin and soy arrived fifth. Topped with peanuts and chimichurri, Leung said the course is designed to "shock your palate" back into being able to perceive flavors after so many sweet offerings. 

Which was good, because the final two courses were among the tasting's best dishes. Leung spread sweet potato puree along a square plate then topped it with candied chestnuts, green tea macha curd, black sesame-chocolate ice cream and cafe sua da ice cream. Inspired by a Japanese New Year's speciality called Kurikinton, the crunchy chestnuts and mild potato balanced the ice cream's sweet creaminess. The tasting finished with a miso ganache-filled chocolate cake alongside vanilla bean ice cream and sesame seeds. Think of it as a riff on salted caramel desserts or a must-try for any serious chocoholic. 

Leung says he's only selling one tasting menu every two weeks or so, and that's a shame. The opportunity to taste so many dessert-themed variations should appeal to anyone with a sweet tooth. Sure, it's a bit of a splurge, but the quality of the experience justifies the price. Having tried seven courses and snacks, I'd recommend ordering the four course for all but the most devoted sweets lovers. I started to suffer from palate overload towards the end, although the savory course in the middle really helped. 

Besides, there's always next time. 

Newsletters for exploring your city

Daily Digest

Houston news, views + events

The Dining Report

News you can eat

Insider Offers

Curated experiences at exclusive prices

Promo Alerts

Special offers + exclusive deals

We will not share or sell your email address