Snack Attack: Coconut ‘Klondike’ Bar at Uni
Welcome to our weekly series Snack Attack, where we highlight a sweet treat or savory start you should save room for.
Chef Tony Messina’s coconut Klondike bar doesn’t come wrapped in a shiny sheet of aluminum foil. Instead, the couple-bite ball is gorgeously plated atop a slick of coconut milk jam and a sprinkling of coconut crumble. But what else would you call a personal ice cream treat coated in a hardened chocolate shell, if not a Klondike?
“The only difference is the shape,” Messina says.
He’s being modest: at Ken Oringer’s lively izakaya in Back Bay, the simple dessert is elevated above its mass-marketed inspiration with natural coconut oil, dark chocolate, and house-made coconut milk sorbet.
Since Uni’s transformation from subterranean sashimi bar into Clio’s predecessor earlier this year, the dessert menu has been one of Messina and Oringer’s playgrounds. The coconut ball is a season-less play on the Klondike bar, with a sweet and creamy flavor profile that works with the spicy, umami, pan-Asian flavors on the new, wider-ranging menu, Messina says.
To ensure an even layer of hardened chocolate on the “Klondike,” Messina’s team super-freezes sorbet balls with liquid nitrogen, then dips them into still-steaming glaze. The chocolate-coated bite debuted about two months ago, filled with strawberry sorbet. Early summer is high time for juicy berries, so that confection currently takes center stage as part of a miso cheesecake mousse.
For the next week or so, too, there’s still time for a taste of Messina’s “Japanese breakfast cereal” before it leaves the menu. The playful riff is dessert disguised as every kid’s go-to breakfast, with roasted Japanese barley ice cream, chocolate-coated puffed barley, roasted barley milk, and plums.
“It’s tasty and fun,” Messina says.
The coconut Klondike bar is a refreshing arrival this summer. At $8, it’s a sweet finish after a feast of maki rolls and nigiri, smoked hamachi tartare, Wagyu beef dumplings, and seared Korean rice cakes, or it’s a palate-cleansing start to a late-night spread of makimono and slow-roasted pork ramen on a weekend night.
Uni, 370 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617-536-7200, uni-boston.com.