I have done many restaurant reviews on the blog before, but this is my first review of one dish. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to take a picture of every dish at a restaurant, the space, take notes (though sometimes, admittedly, the notes are mental), and I don’t get to really enjoy my meal. In fact, there are places that we’ve gone where I’ve specifically decided not to take pictures so I can purely just enjoy the food and the experience and (usually) the fellow across the table from me.
This dessert, however, warrants its own review. Andina is a wonderful Peruvian restaurant in northwest Portland, serving really unique and incredibly delicious food (and cocktails). When I first went there early in my college career and discovered the quinoa studded cannoli with passionfruit mousse and mango lemongrass sorbet, it immediately became one of my favorite things to eat in Portland. And then, as I continued to eat my way through this city, this dish remained my favorite dessert. Not that others haven’t come close – Le Pigeon’s cornbread with maple ice cream and bacon is up there, as are most things at St. Jack.
Let me tell you about this little dessert. First, the cannoli shell is amazingly caramelized, dotted with quinoa, mostly crispy but with a little touch of that get-stuck-in-your-teeth chewiness. Just like the bruléed top of crème brulée (the most satisfying part, let’s be honest), you whack it with your spoon to crack off pieces. Filling up the cannoli is this amazing passionfruit mousse – extremely creamy and smooth with a lovely acidic zing. And on the side, a scoop of really really good mango lemongrass sorbet. I am not usually a huge fan of sorbet, it’s usually too icy, and I like the smoother texture of ice cream. But this sorbet is velvety and a little syrupy.
As you can tell, I am enamored with this dessert. So next time you’re in Portland, go eat this. You won’t regret it.