When Myers and Chang first opened in 2007, it didn't offer desserts—a big surprise, given that Joanne Chang's a co-owner. No rundown of Boston's best bakeries goes by without mentioning Flour, her nationally recognized mini empire that's about to welcome its fourth location this winter. Plus, the bakery's original South End location is mere blocks away from Myers and Chang, the hipster-y Chinese diner she owns with husband and local restauranteur Christopher Myers.
When I went, there was a consolation prize: servers presented diners with a small cup of something sweet on the house—usually a pudding or mousse shuttled over from Flour—and explained that a full dessert menu would be coming soon. A sweet gesture, quite literally.
The thing was, the two-bite dessert I had was amazing. It was a lemon ginger mousse that was silky, rich, and light all at once. A dessert, Chang told me, that was inspired by a lemon cream she used to make for fruit tarts. Unlike most lemon desserts, the sugar didn't beat out the citrus; in fact, it was ever so slightly bitter, as if some of the fruit's pith had snuck in. The ginger was hot and fresh, a great match against all those eggs and cream, and there were bits of crystallized ginger scattered over the top. Those two flavors are also common in Asian cuisine, which made it a no-brainer for Myers and Chang.
I left the restaurant little panicked that this would be the first and last time I'd see the mousse. I think I even asked the server how I could get more, but at that early point, it wasn't clear if it would make a regular appearance at Myers and Chang or if I could buy it at Flour. But then there it was when the dessert menu finally appeared—maybe I wasn't the only one who inquired—and it was all dressed up. The full-size portion ($7), which is made at Flour along with the other desserts, comes in a proper pudding glass with lots of crystallized ginger and, to make it Myers and Chang-appropriate, a big homemade fortune cookie that tastes like a browned butter gingersnap.
Best of all? Joanne was willing to share the recipe, so now you can make it at home.
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Myers and Chang
About the author: Liz Bomze lives in Brookline, MA, and works as the Senior Features Editor for Cook's Illustrated Magazine. In her free time, she freelances regularly for the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, the Improper Bostonian, and Martha's Vineyard Magazine; practices bread-baking and canning; takes photos; reads; and watches baseball. Top 5 foods: fresh noodles, gravlax, sour cherry pie, burrata, ma po tofu.