27 January, 2022, 23:04

Find Instagram-worthy raindrop cake, other Asian sweets at Nomico Healthy Dessert

The menu features traditional desserts from East Asian countries

When Christy Ye moved from Hong Kong to the United States to study nutrition at the University of Arizona, she wasn’t very impressed by the desserts she found here.

“Everything was really sugary,” she said. “I wanted to bring desserts that are not as sweet.”

In 2016, Ye opened Nomico Healthy Dessert, a franchise that began in Hong Kong. What makes the desserts healthy, Ye says, are the ingredients and care she uses.

“Everything is made in house with real fruit, and no artificial flavors or colors,” said Ye. “The desserts balance the body.”

One such dessert is the Grass Jelly, made from a plant called Chinese mesona. The leaves and stalks are soaked in water to give it a texture similar to Jell-O. It’s minty and herbaceous, and particularly good after eating fried foods; according to Ye, it will help prevent any junk-food after-effects.

Butterfly Pea Tea at Nomico Healthy Dessert (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Butterfly Pea Tea at Nomico Healthy Dessert (Credit: Jackie Tran)

The menu features traditional Hong Kong dishes, such as the Mango Juice with Grapefruit, as well as desserts from other Asian countries. You could try the Rain Drop Cake from Japan; a round jelly-like dome made from agar, or seaweed. Or the Nomico Special, a bowl full of shaved ice and taro balls — made from purple and yellow yams — that hails from Taiwan. The Black Sticky Rice from Thailand is another good-for-you option, full of fiber and nutrients.

No matter what you order, everything is made from scratch. Ye tests recipes for at least a month to make sure they are perfect before putting them on the menu. The Mille-Crepe Cake, with whisper-thin layers of crepe and crème, takes five hours to assemble. And the Butterfly Pea Tea, which is a stunning royal blue, is brewed using the Butterfly Pea flower in house.

“You won’t find powders in any of the drinks,” Ye said. “Everything uses the whole ingredient.”

Ye finds that her customers are an equal mix of loyal customers and adventurous eaters. No matter your knowledge of Asian desserts, there’s something for everyone on the menu. You might play it safe with the Egg Puff, also known as a Bubble Waffle (and seen all over Instagram). Or you could try the Salty Cheesy Milk Tea, topped with a whipped white cheese. And if you’ve had a stressful day? Ye recommends the Nomico Special with Panna Cotta.

Interior at Nomico Healthy Dessert (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Interior at Nomico Healthy Dessert (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Operating hours are 3 p.m. – 10 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Nomico Healthy Dessert is located at 595 E. Wetmore Rd.

Samantha Colaianni has family roots in Tucson that go back before the Gadsden Purchase. When she's not cooking Mexican food, she's baking Mexican pastries.