It’s mean, it’s green and it’s popping up in dishes all over Perth. This bright South East Asian ingredient will give your fave foods a sweet twist. For the uninitiated—pandan comes from a tropical plant found in South East Asia and creates a bright green colour that looks straight out of Wonka’s factory. There’s good reason this fun food is known as the Asian vanilla—it’s delicious.
Here is Perth’s best pandan everything.
Pandan Brownies | Fatboi Brownies
Cafes across Perth
Why have a plain brownie, when you can add some bright green goodness to that delicious morsel? Let’s be honest, brownies don’t need improving on but this interesting flavour combo will leave you one happy camper. Fatboi Brownies have taken a white chocolate blondey, infused it with pandan and topped it with a layer of coconut jam custard (i.e. kaya). You can find these bad boys at The General Sherman in Murdoch, So They Say in Fremantle and Someday Coffee Co in Floreat.
Pandan Crepes | Chapels on Whatley
This cosy Maylands teahouse is the perfect setting to try all things pandan—with pandan leaf tea, sponge cake, lamingtons, crepes and if you’re lucky, even cheesecake. The best of the bunch is the Malay green pandan coconut crepes served with a mango and passionfruit coulis and drizzled with palm syrup and coconut cream. If tea is your thang, you’ll be sipping to your hearts content with an impressive selection of brews imported from across the globe. The blooming teas (flowers that unfurl as you brew the tea) are absolute beauties. It’s almost inevitable you’ll get completely sidetracked in their shop of Asian antiques.
Coconut Pandan Ice Cream | Bites By D
Coconut and pandan—what a dream combo. Get around it at Bites by D with their coconut pandan ice cream. It’s served with jackfruit so you’re in for some great South East Asian flavours. It’s impossible not to be caught staring into the desserts cabinet, everything is handmade in store and absolutely stunning.
Pandacotta | Neho
You’ll be green with envy if you miss out on Neho's pandacotta. It’s topped with salted coconut crumble and comes with a fresh lime coconut granita on the side. This unique dish is the best way to round out a meal of Asian tapas, but if one dessert is never enough give in to that sweet tooth and try all three with the dessert trio.
Pandan Coconut Rice | Nasi Lemak Korner
Como & Mosman Park
Prepare yourself for the ultimate Malaysian feed. Nasi Lemak Korner's pandan coconut rice goes well with umm, everything on the menu and trust us, you’ll tempted to order the whole lot. Their talented team of chefs also teach roti making classes.
Black Rice Pudding With Pandan And Lime Syrup | Sage Cafe
Summery and sweet, this brekky is best enjoyed soaking up in the sun in their lovely courtyard. Sage Cafe serves up black rice pudding with pandan and lime syrup, coconut cream, summer fruit, macadamia and honeycomb. If you’re dreaming of green, you might find more pandan in their weekend specials and freshly baked muffins.
Vegan Coconut Pandan Ice Cream | Gelato101 Vegan Artisan
Vegans rejoice! You too can enjoy some coconut pandan gelato from the team at Gelato101 Vegan Artisan, a vegan ice cream shop in Cottesloe. These guys also do the beloved doughnut cone from time to time so keep an eye on their Facebook page to find out when it will come back next!
Coconut Pandan Sago | Measure Dessert Bar
When you find a place devoted entirely to dessert and drinks, you know you’re onto a good thing. Order the coconut pandan sago at Measure and impress your date with your adventurous palate #socultured. It’s guaranteed to be presented like no other dessert you’ve had and is served with watermelon granita, guava sorbet, coconut gel and dragonfruit.
French Toast With Coconut Pandan Custard | Frisch and Barc
Simply delightful. Frisch and Barc serve up a pretty plate of brioche French toast with mix berry and apple compote, coconut pandan custard and topped with crushed pistachio and shortbread crumble. It goes without saying, this is best paired with a big mug of coffee.
Pandan Rice Dumplings | PappaRich
Be brave and muster up the courage to dig into the exotic dessert at PappaRich. Brace yourself, you’ll be trying organic soy milk with pandan tong yuen (pandan rice dumplings) and longan (a tropical fruit). Trust us, it’s an interesting taste and worth it just for bragging rights. If you prefer your dessert bite-sized (and can’t fit anything else in after your Malaysian feast), try the pandan sesame balls.
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Gelato101 Vegan Artisan | Image credit: Elle Borgward