Ice Pik Shavery

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NOTE: All food and beverages were complimentary, but all opinions are based on my own experience.

IcePik Shavery has been around for over a year now and features a hybrid between Hawaiian shaved ice and ice cream. They claim that this “snow cream” therefore has a nice fluffy snow-like texture. I’ve been wanting to visit for a long time now, but I don’t go to Burnaby often. So when Jacqueline invited me to a tasting, I couldn’t say no!

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You first order at the counter and then you can eat in as there are a decent amount of seats. They have ready-made combos as well as the choice to customize your own.

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Matcha Snow Cream

First, you will need to pick your size: regular ($4.50) or large ($5.50).

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Earl Grey Snow Cream

Next, you select your snow cream flavour. Flavours include:

  • Sesame
  • Mango
  • Taro
  • Original
  • Green Tea
  • Mint
  • Coconut
  • Earl Grey

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Black Sesame Snow Cream

Next up are all the toppings you can choose from. Each topping is 60 cents. My favourites are fresh fruit like mango or strawberry and mochi balls. They have a variety of mochi flavours, like mango, original, green tea or strawberry.

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Mango Snow Cream

Other toppings include tapioca pearls, flavoured popping pearls, mango jelly, almond jelly, grass jelly, lychee jelly, red bean, and crushed Oreos.

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Mint Snow Cream

You can then pick a flavour from their drizzle station which is complimentary. The drizzles include caramel, condensed milk, chocolate and strawberry sauce.

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Coconut Snow Cream

If you don’t want to worry about choosing the wrong ingredients and ending up with a funky tasting dessert, then you can choose their ready-made combos. They will be slightly more expensive at $5.95 for a regular and $6.95 for a large, but keep in mind that it includes 3-4 toppings already so is actually a better deal.

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Sea Cream Coffee

Other than snow cream, they also have coffee and milk tea for drinks. We tried their Sea Cream Coffee which I quite enjoyed. It was slightly sweet but salty at the same time because of the sea cream.

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Overall, I quite enjoyed the snow creams at IcePik Shavery. The shaved ice is not as powdery as Snowy Village’s, but it is very fluffy. I also like how they have an assortment of flavours and toppings to choose from. Will be back for sure!

Icepik Shavery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Snowy Village

When Snowy Village opened up their first location in Richmond, it was rage with line ups outside. I still remember trying to come here for over 3 times and leaving with take out because of the wait. Since then, they’ve opened up more locations including one on Robson so I feel like the waits aren’t as crazy. Still, the place is packed so be sure to come here at odd times to avoid the crowds.

I ended up visiting both the Richmond and Robson location, so I’m just going to combine the review into one post. The set up is similar at both locations, where you order at the front and pay first. At the Richmond location, they will bring you the food, whereas you must pick up at the counter for the Robson location.

Other than shaved ice, they are famous for their Taiyaki also known as croissants boong bread.

You can smell these upon entering the shop. A must order!

Injeolmi Shaved Ice (small)

Snowy Village is famous for their shaved ice because they brought over the famous Korean powdery ice that feels just like snow. The Injeolmi Shaved Ice was topped with red bean, peanut powder and mochi balls. We really liked this as the peanut powder was not overly sweet and I lvoed the chew of the mochi.

Mango Shaved Ice (small)

Another favourite was the Mango Shaved Ice which is topped with lots of mangoes which are ripe and sweet. The fruit ones are a favourite as the dessert is more moist, whereas the ones with powder tend to be a little dry.

Taiyaki

You can choose from a variety of fillings for the Taiyaki, including red bean, injeolmi red bean, nutella, and custard cream. I’ve tried quite a few but my favourite is still the injeolmi red bean and nutella. The custard cream is too sweet for me. I love how flaky the taiyaki is and tastes just like a croissant.

Overall, we quite enjoyed the Richmond location and I found service to be very friendly here. However, parking is horrendous here.

Oreo Shaved Ice (large)

On another occasion, we visited the Robson location. The first thing you will notice is that the Robson location uses plastic cups instead of the metal bowls. We found that the size of these appear to be much smaller than the Richmond lcoation yet we pay the same price. The Oreo Shaved Ice was surprisingly very good even though I normally find Oreos too sweet.

Mango Shaved Ice (large)

We also got the Mango Shaved Ice and again it did not disappoint. The mangoes they use are so sweet!

Injeolmi Shaved Ice (small)

As you can see, the small size here appears to be much smaller because of the cup they use. It’s also extremely easy to tilt the cup because of the narrow base. Loved the Injeolmi Shaved Ice again!

Matcha Shaved Ice (small)

The Matcha Shaved Ice was probably my lease favourite despite the fact I love matcha everything. Since it was mostly matcha powder, the shaved ice was rather dry and needed something moist like condensed milk.

Overall, I think I would prefer the Richmond location more based on the service and also sizing of the shaved ice. However, the consistency of both locations are on par for their menu items.

Pros:
– Shaved ice is so powdery smooth
– Taiyaki is really flaky

Cons:
– Long waits all the time
– Parking at Richmond location is terrible

Price Range: $10/person

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food:4 Service: 3 Ambiance: 2.5 Parking: 2 Overall: 3.5

Snowy Village Dessert Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Snowy Village Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

17°C Dessert Cafe – ChineseBites Media Event

Note: All food and beverages were complimentary, but all opinions are based on my own personal experience.

After our huge meals over at Golden Eats, the ChineseBites crew walked a block over to the newly opened 17°C Dessert Cafe. Pictures have been all over social media and they even ran out of ingredients on their grand opening.

They focus mainly on fruit shaved ice and offer some drinks as well. The interior is rather small so can only fit around 20 people or so.

They also have the famous Lightbulb Drinks featuring four flavours right now.

Cantaloupe Icy

We started off with the Cantaloupe Icy with a milky shaved iced and melon balls scooped out on top along with popping balls. It also comes with condensed milk to drizzle on top. This was refreshing with the shaved ice being very creamy. I quite enjoyed this as it was not overly sweet.

Watermelon Icy

Another popular icy of theirs is the Watermelon Icy. Again, same concept with the watermelon being scooped out into balls resting on top of the same milky shaved ice. This one came with thinly shaved almond and Pocky sticks. The watermelon was not very sweet, so it really helped that a scoop of vanilla ice cream sat on top.

Pineapple Icy

We got to try one of their new menu items which was the Pineapple Icy. Same concept again, but I would say you get less of the pineapple balls just because of the size of the fruit. I was surprised they were able to scoop these out though since it can be quite difficult with a pineapple. This came with blackcurrant gummies which were pretty good on their own but I didn’t think it added much to the dessert overall. This was pretty good since it had a nice balance of sweet and tart.

Lightbulb Drinks

Lastly, we tried their series of Lightbulb Drinks. We tried the passionfruit, kiwi, lemon, and red pomegranate. This were slightly fizzy as they were carbonated and you could choose to mix it with green tea. Frankly, I found these underwhelming as they tasted like artificial flavour. They only look good in pictures but flavour is a definite miss.

Overall, I quite enjoyed the shaved ice but would skip the lightbulb drinks. The shaved ice do come at a price at $14.99 for both the cantaloupe and watermelon but I guess you are paying for the fruit itself and the labour of scooping the balls.

17°C Dessert Café Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Icy Bar 利源冰店

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K had been to Icy Bar before and said its a great deal for large portions of shaved ice. We decided to go since we had just finished doing some shopping at Metrotown. They have several locations, including the night market, but their stores are usually at food courts. This is their first sit in restaurant located on Kingsway.

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We arrived at an odd time in the middle of the day, so there weren’t too many customers. However, shortly after, there were around 3 more tables.

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Mango Ice Cream Icy

We shared the Mango Ice Cream Icy, which is huge! It’s a huge pile of ice, but they don’t cheap out on the mangoes either. There was probably a two mangoes used here. On top, there is a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream, topped with mango syrup. It’s seriously perfect for anyone who loves mangoes. Plus, the whole dish after tax and tips was under $6! Such a great deal! The mangoes were fresh and sweet, and by the end of this, we were having a bit of a brainfreeze.

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They also provide you with a whole bottle of condensed milk, so you can go crazy with this sweetener. Usually, other restaurants only give you a small cup. The great thing about Icy Bar is that there isn’t a minimum order per person. That way, you can share these dishes with many people. They also have a bunch of other shaved ice, including ones where you can choose 8 ingredients. We also saw they had mango and durian pancakes. A chill place to hang out. Service wasn’t bad either.

Icy Bar 利源冰店 on Urbanspoon

Sulbing (설빙) Korean Dessert Cafe

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Shaved ice or patbingsu is what Koreans rave about when they talk about desserts. But to be honest, I was sort of getting sick of shaved ice… It constantly gives me a brain freeze and I was just tired of having it all the time. Were there any other Korean desserts other than shaved ice?! Well, we stumbled at Sulbing (설빙), which is only written in Korean on their signage. On the side, it says Korean Dessert Cafe. Since we could only read the English, we decided to go there and hope for some other desserts. Upon arriving, we saw more shaved ice… Seriously?! Well, we were tired from all the walking, and just wanted to sit down. The place was bustling with a self serve type of system. We found the only seat available and sent one of our friends to go order. We decided we would share one shaved ice between the four of us.

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Berry Sulbing

They have the buzzer system here, so you get notified when your food is ready. To our surprise, it wasn’t the typical patbingsu! It was Sulbing! Sulbing originated in Busan, and essentially means “snow ice.” Similar to shaved ice, but the ice are shaved so thin, that they are like powdered snow! None of that crunchy texture, but a powder of snow that just melts in your mouth! Absolutely delicious! We ordered the Berry Sulbing, which came with blueberries, raspberries, and dried cranberries. All sulbings come with condensed milk, which you drizzle on top to add sweetness to your dessert. So delicious! This is a must try if you’ve already tried the typical patbingsu. They are around 9,000 won each but comes in a huge bowl and is perfect for sharing. They also have a Cheese Sulbing which I hear is surprisingly really good. Definitely looking forward to trying that next time I visit! The cafe also offers many other drinks and food items like toast.

You can find Sulbing Dessert Cafe at many locations around Seoul and Busan. We ate at the one in Yeongdeungpo-gu, but pictured above is the location in Myeongdong.

Mok Hyang – Seoul

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In Seoul, we stayed at an airbnb apartment in the Insadong area. The Insadong district is a huge tourist spot due to the traditional arts and crafts you can find here. You’ll find things such as traditional clothing (hanbok), traditional paper (hanji), teas, folk crafts, and pottery. If you love culture and art, then this is the place for you. While walking down the main street, we came across Mok Hyang, which is a traditional dessert house. It’s located just behind the Ssamziegil complex.

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Mok Hyang prizes itself as Seoul’s only two-story traditional hanok house. The outside is definitely really cute with the wooden touches, but the inside is even more gorgeous! You must remove your shoes at the door and you will walk on wooden floors. The wooden tables are made from logs and are very low, hence you sit on the mats. There’s pottery as decor all over the area. Definitely a great place to have some tea and snacks and relax for a bit.

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Fruit Patbingsu

The downside about this spot is that each person must order one item, whether it’s a beverage or dessert. Hence, we got 5 different items to share. First, was the Fruit Patbingsu. Lots of red beans were piled atop the shaved ice. On top, there were bananas, watermelon, pineapple, and kiwi. Quite refreshing actually! It also had a piece of matcha sticky rice cake.

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Green Tea Patbingsu

The second patbingsu was the Green Tea Patbingsu. The ice had green tea flavouring already in it. It had a pile of red beans again and a few pieces of match sticky rice cake. We found that the green tea flavour was lacking. It wasn’t as strong as we would’ve liked it, so it tasted more like just red bean patbingsu.

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Surichi Injeolmi

Sticky rice cake is very popular in Korea. It’s a traditional sweet that they eat during festivities. Here, we have Surichi Injeolmi. Essentially sticky rice cake with matcha powder all over. To be honest, I like the Japanese mochis more. I find that the Korean sticky rice cakes to be too chewy and not as soft. It feels very tough when you chew on it. As well, the powder is not very sweet. Your mouth is just filled with powder when you eat it. Not my cup of tea.

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Seoyeojeungsik

Next, we chose Seoyeojeungsik, which are steamed hemp. It reminded me of baked bread dough. The dough itself is not very flavourful. It has a crispy texture on the outside, but very chewy inside, like it had some sort of sticky rice cake mixed within it. You then dip it into the honey to add a sweet flavour to it. We really enjoyed this! Something we all haven’t had  before!

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Ginger Sweets

Lastly, we had the Ginger Sweets, which are also known as Yugwa or Yumilgwa. They are traditional Korean confectionery and are a mixture of grain flour and honey. They are then deep fried and fried rice kernels are added on the outside. These were by far my favourite traditional Korean sweets. Super airy when you bite into it, but it still has a slight chew. A hint of ginger taste will linger in your mouth. We ended up buying some of these on the streets and shops in the Insadong area, but they definitely did not compare to the ones here. I highly recommend trying these!

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At Mok Hyang, they also provide women with silky napkins to place on your laps if you’re wearing skirts, dresses, or shorts. Very courteous and respectful in here. Pricing is average – not the cheapest, but you can’t expect much since it is a tourist area. I believe their teas are also very popular and they do have a wide selections of them. Great place to relax and get a taste of the Korean traditional culture!

Address: 32 Gwanhun-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, 110-300

Caffe Artigiano – Seoul

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Grapefruit and Vanilla Ice Cream Patbingsu

Caffe Artigiano is actually a Vancouver based coffee shop, and I’ve actually been there once for a latte. I expected to see Starbucks in Seoul, but to my surprise, they also had a Caffe Artigiano. I don’t like to go into these international franchises when I’m traveling, but the other girls wanted a quick snack and to recover from all the walking. We ended up ordering some Patbingsu to share. I was surprised to find that they sold this at the coffee shop. I guess their menu is quite different so that it can cater to the Koreans. Patbingsu or Patbingsoo is Korean shaved ice and is often topped with sweet ingredients. My friends chose the Grapefruit Patbingsu, which brought some acidity to the dish. It also came with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Quite refreshing after a long day in the heat!

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Red Bean, Kinako, Mochi, and Vanilla Ice Cream Patbingsu

K and I shared the Red Bean Patbingsu. It came with some mochi slices, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and lots of kinako. Kinako is roasted soybean flour, which is slightly sweet. A very popular topping for patbingsu and mochi.

Overall, the patbingsu were average. I didn’t find them to be too special. Plus, I found it quite expensive. They were around $9 each, which is quite pricey in Seoul. I’m sure you can get it for a cheaper price.

Tealips Bubble Tea & Coffee

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J always craves shaved ice, but doing a quick Google search of shaved ice locations in Richmond, I found that most of the best ones seemed to be at food courts. And others, of course being at typical bubble tea shops, which we’ve probably all been to by now. Since most malls close by 9:00pm, the food court wasn’t really an option for me, so I ventured out to look outside of Richmond. I found Tealips, which had pretty good ratings, and although it was a 30 minute drive to Burnaby, I gave it a shot.

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The place actually seems to be Korean-owned, and they offer not only shaved ice, but waffles, coffee, tea, and other bubble tea drinks. The place also has wi-fi so you will see many customers with their laptops. The environment actually reminds me of Blenz, except they serve drinks and food other than coffee. It was quite busy the Friday night we went, but we luckily still found a two-seater table.

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After placing your order and paying at the cash register, you are given a buzzer, much like the one at the Cheesecake Factory down in the States. I love how Korean restaurants always know how to utilize technology to their fullest. Super convenient and efficient way and customers don’t need to stand around waiting for their orders to be called.

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Matcha Shaved Ice

There were only three types of shaved ice to choose from: red bean, match, and cocoa. As usual, I suggested we get the Matcha. They say that their shaved ice is an “Authentic Korean Dessert called Bing Soo”. And they also claim that there is 100% pure Japanese green tea. And it definitely was. Because even the Ice Cream on the top was just vanilla ice cream, but covered with match powder. and the shaved ice was also mixed with matcha powder. You could definitely taste the flavour of the tea and its hint of bitterness. However, it was fine because it was balanced out with the condensed milk and sweetness of the other ingredients. There were red bean, thinly sliced almonds, mochi, and an abundant of fruits. The fruit included chopped up strawberries, bananas, and my pineapples. I really enjoyed the pineapples and it was really sweet. The mochi was green tea mochi that were orginally a big ball and they were cut up into little pieces. They also sold these mochis separately. I wish that they had more mochi in the shaved ice though.

All in all, the shaved ice was quite delicious and refreshing. It is a very large bowl, hence priced at around $9, but is perfect to share with a friend. I hear that their bubble tea is also pretty good, so I would love to come back to try some.

Tealips Bubble Tea & Coffee on Urbanspoon