5040 W Spring Mountain Rd
Las Vegas, NV 89146
Dining date: 5/8/14
Raku has consistently grown in popularity in recent years, drawing a lot of attention for its off-strip izakaya. Known for a while as a local/insider spot that a lot of chefs visited, it’s really blown onto the scene even having an appearance on the current season of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. Its success has led to the opening of a dessert shop located in the same plaza – Sweets Raku. Raku is a tough act to follow, but reviews of Sweets Raku have been very strong in its first year.
13 seats surround a pristine white bar with two tables that seat four each. It’s an intimate spot, and each bar seat comes with a full view of dessert preparations. The restaurant’s attention to detail is on display, kind of reminding me of e by Jose Andres. However, this is an entirely different experience and meal.
$19 pays for a three-course dessert tasting, though a la carte is available. The first and third courses tend to be quite small, with the second course being the larger ‘main’ dish. We came here after dinner at DB Brasserie and lucked out, finding three bar-seats available.
After ordering, we were instructed to eat the menu with a raspberry sauce. A fun way to start this meal.
Pineapple Sorbet white wine jelly
Our first course was a light and refreshing treat. Pineapple was definitely evident and upfront in this cold dessert.
Between our party of three, we ordered three different ‘main courses.’
Baton chocolate and pistachio mousse
Chocolate and nuts are a classic combination, and my dad can always be counted on to opt for the chocolate-based dessert. This was one of the more interesting texturally, with the delicate mousse and crunchy chocolate and pistachios offsetting each other.
Marriage strawberry & banana
Loved the colorful presentation of this next one. The sponge cake was pretty moist, highlighted by a lot of fruit flavors. Banana custard and strawberry sorbet were accented by fresh raspberries, blueberries and strawberries – my mom enjoyed this one.
Mt. Fuji chestnut cream cake
I ordered this one…largely because I liked the way it looked. Sometimes I like chestnuts, sometimes not so much; in this case, I enjoyed them. Slices of cake and custard were topped with a subtly sweet, subtly nutty chestnut cream. Pretty delicious!
Made to order and still a bit warm, this cream puff was crispy with a light cream and served with a raspberry jelly. Very nice.
I don’t consider myself to have a sweet tooth, but I enjoyed my meal here. The experience was even better with the front-row view of everything coming together. It really reminded me of my time in Japan, where I thought desserts and sweets were taken to a different level. The care and precision in putting each course together was evident and the presentation was really beautiful. For sure worth a visit for a small nightcap.