[Photograph: Kathy YL Chan]

Payasam, a chilled vermicelli-based pudding with saffron and chopped caramelized almonds, is served in a deep bowl at Tamarind Tea Room. It's a fine departure from rice pudding (of which they also make a good version), each spoonful bearing a tangle of thin, slippery, smooth noodles bathed in a thick sauce of milk and sugar. It errs on the sweet side, but is saved by a hint of cardamon for balance. Order the Payasam alone for $6.75, or as part of the full afternoon tea set ($16, which includes sandwiches and tea), where it's served with an assortment of cookies—think shortbreads in flavors like almond, raspberry, and lemon.

Tamarind Tea Room

41-43 East 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010 (map)

About the author: Originally from Honolulu, Kathy YL Chan blogs at Kathy YL Chan, where she chronicles her eats and travel adventures between Hawai'i, New York and beyond. She firmly believes that there is always room for dessert.

Comments can take up to a minute to appear - please be patient!

Previewing your comment: