One of my favorite discoveries about the NoVA restaurant landscape is a trend that I call “Twee Thai.” You’ve almost certainly been to such a place, whether it’s Chao Phraya in Herndon, with its tables populated by teddy bears, or the library-like surroundings of Vienna’s Magnolia Dessert Bar. Lined with cute relics, from bookends spelling the words “love” and “enjoy” to pottery hedgehogs, Sakoonthai in Clifton looks like a cabinet of curiosities that belongs to a My Little Pony. But the important thing is that that sense of whimsy carries onto the plates.
Chief among these is an off-menu dessert that I ordered simply as “The Roti.” My server knew what I meant. I was looking for a sizzling platter of sweet delights and that’s exactly what arrived in a trail of steam.
The crispy, finely layered flatbread is the centerpiece, but not the most important element of the treat. From among vanilla, coconut and green tea, I chose the last to flavor dessert. That meant an oversize scoop of green tea ice cream baptized in green tea-flavored cream that the server poured at the table. But that was only the beginning.
As the cream bubbles away, frozen berries warm back to a semblance of life. Marshmallows begin to melt with the ice cream. Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes retain their crunch admirably. Whipped cream dusted with cinnamon and sugar is the final flourish.
Overkill? Nope, the combination stops just before it reaches that landmark. And after a meal of pad Thai and colorful, crispy-basil-laureled Sakoonthai Duck, The Roti was just the Twee Thai touch that I needed.// 5760 Union Mill Rd, Clifton
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