One of my all time favorite restaurants Raku in Las Vegas just recently launched a new place. However, this time we're not looking for savory items such as Aburiya Raku's fresh off the sea sashimi, grilled Kobe beef tendon, and signature homemade tofu. Instead, it's an elegant place decorated with white marble counter tops and filled with sugary aromas.
It might be hard to find this newly opened store especially there's no signage hanging on the rooftop. You'll just have to look for a big silver spoon located in the same plaza as Raku, between Spring Mountain Rd and South Decatur Blvd.
I've been longing to try Sweets Raku ever since receiving their email about the grand opening not long ago. The reason mostly due to my trust about the quality food and dining experiences received every time while eating at Raku. The occasional special dessert such as brown sugar bean curd tasted so good that I can still remember the exact look and flavors even years till now. I did write about Raku back in 2009 but bear with me, my writing and photography skills were pretty awful back then (even till now). However, just note that I rarely give out a 9-point rating but Raku is one of the few that absolutely deserves such high regards. That gives you an idea why I'm so excited about Sweets Raku.
A wall of water and wine bottles draws the line between the Chinatown scene and the artfully crafted dining environment -
Wall decor -
The dining area can be divided into two parts: the counter seating -
The L-shaped counter area can sit about 13 people -
And the table area -
Dining set -
I was wondering why do they put a hand towel for customers since it's a rare practice for dessert place. The first thought crossed my mind was that the place is owned by Japanese, perhaps it's more polite and tidy to provide customers hand towels as being courteous and considerate. Soon after we placed our orders, I learned the true reason behind the whole towel mystery. You'll see.
Drinks menu (coffee, tea, and soft drinks) -
Wine menu and some wine pairing suggestions for dessert course -
Beers are also available upon request -
As my boy friend Mr. K said: "I'm trying to preserve my last manliness while finding myself eating cute and girly desserts with you."
Prix fixe menu -
$19 for amuse, choice of dessert, and petit four. A la carte is also available for $12.
Mr. K and his clumsy fingers broke the menu ring, oops! -
Once placing the orders, our waitress brought over this fun raspberry sauce holder over and poured a little pile on the plate -
And she said calmly: Please eat the menu with the sauce.
That's a surprise. No wonder there's a hand towel for each customer, and that's why the menu ring got broken off easily because it was made out of sugar, not because of Mr. K's clumsiness!
So we became sheep and cows.
The waitress must be enjoying this part every time when requesting customers to eat the menu.
The taste of the paper is rather bland, but it did slowly melt into your mouth and oozes together with the raspberry sauce. I prefer eating the menu with a little piece of broken menu ring, it adds more texture and stronger sugary taste (that just sounds so wrong).
My green tea: Tokio -
"Green tea delicately flavored with sweet berries. Fresh and sweet taste."
Note that there's no refill for hot tea. However, the waitress will provide you with some icy cold water in Riedel-like O glasses if needed.
Mango sorbet with mint jelly. Very refreshing. The mint tones down the sourness from the sorbet, truly opens up my appetite (but I've always got room for dessert).
While waiting for my cake -
Playing with sugar -
If you're not coming in a big group of people, I highly suggest taking the bar seats. You get to see so many "behind the scene" actions here. Checking out how the dessert was made and decorated.
This one looks so good -
I think it's called "Apollo" with main components of chocolate and raspberry mousse. I shall order that next time!
Mine is coming up! -
"Strawberry and banana."
Underneath the fluffy sponge cake is banana cream. Even the ice cream-liked pink sphere is raspberry flavored sponge cake. All the components are light and "feathery"-like, a truly Japanese dessert style. I would recommend "Marriage" to people who prefer less sweet and lighter style treats.
Another sugar art up close, the sugar leaf on my cake -
"Stuffed custard pie."
Extremely flaky pie crust with buttery aroma. The purple mousse on the bottom is made of raspberry and blue berry. Also on the very bottom is assorted fruit compote. The bird nest shaped sugar resembles the veil, just press it down and devour with the creamy filling together.
Personally, I like the "Veil" better than the "Marriage," but it's just my own preference of liking desserts with a crunchier, meatier bite.
Our waitress was hoping us to order the "Ringo" - the apple pie, but we ended up ordering the two from above. So she brought over this sugar apple that comes with the Ringo. It's too cute and she really wants me to take a picture of the apple!-
The apple is hollow. Supposedly there's a hole on the bottom and the chef will fill up the apple with flavored cream. Not sure you eat it by cracking up the apple or melting it from above.
Petit four -
Instead of serving four individual sweet bites, here the chef combines all four and integrated them into another plate of dessert as our last menu item - raisins, raspberry marshmallows, mango marshmallows, and comforting mini molten cake. The mango perfectly opens up my palate in the beginning and sums up the dessert course here towards the end.
It's definitely worth $19 for such a carefully crafted dessert course. The atmosphere was relaxing, the servers were wonderful, and the desserts were aromatic. You can truly feel the delicate works put into a dish. In addition, like most Japanese style sweet treats, you won't get that sticky sickness or sugar high feelings even after finishing couple plates of cakes and mousses.
I'll be back for more.
Cindy's Rating: 7
5040 West Spring Mountain Road, Suite 3
Las Vegas, NV 89146
Hours: Monday through Saturday 3 p.m. - 11 p.m.
*Currently Sweets Raku does not take reservations
*Located in the same plaza as Raku Japanese Charcoal Grill
*Official website for Raku Japanese Charcoal Grill