Dream Tea has always been a go to bubble tea place for us whenever we were feeling a craving for some boba. We definitely recommend trying the bubble teas if you have not already been there. Recently, their bingsoo has been all over social media and we have been dying to try some for ourselves.
Bingsoo is a korean shaved ice dessert. The shaved ice is very fine and often mixed with condensed milk. The desserts are often topped with various toppings that add to the flavour of the dessert and in most cases are very aesthetically pleasing.
We were lucky enough to get the notice that the bingsoo is ONLY available at the Whyte Ave location. Although we were slightly inconvenienced by it, once we saw the final results it only made sense. There are many different toppings and preparations needed for the items that go on it, and the Whyte Ave location is the largest. We are hoping to see them integrated into the menus of other Dream Tea locations in the future!
You order the bingsoo like you would order any bubble tea. At around $7-8 (depending on the variation you get), the price may seem a bit pricey, but we definitely could not finish one individually. To add, there are many interesting toppings that go on each one, many of which are made in store by hand, so the price is pretty justified.
There are about 8 different flavours that you can choose from, however the injeolmi (a type of Korean rice cake) was only available during the weekend. This left one of our members very disappointed. The flavours are all very distinct and cater to everybody’s different tastes. Compared to traditional bingsoo, they were overly sweet, and we were not huge fans of it.
We had to wait quite a while for the bingsoo but that was most likely due to the amount of preparation and decorations on the shaved ice. It almost was too pretty to eat. The wait time was about 20-30 minutes and we were some of the only people in the shop. Do not order this if you are in a rush! The food was delivered directly to us.
We tried three of the flavours available; the matcha, mango, and the strawberry. The ice underneath all of the was very soft and it melted in your mouth. There was some kind of sweet substance mixed with the ice to give it a flavour and make it more denser than just eating snow that we guessed is condensed milk. The bingsoo was very sweet, which we found surprising, as bingsoo traditionally is not super sweet. We were pleasantly surprised to find that all of the bingsoo had layers of toppings within the ice as well. Each bingsoo was served on a tray that said ‘yummy’ in both English and Korean.
The matcha we advise against ordering. Like many, we are die hard matcha fans, and the bingsoo itself was the prettiest. The taste however just did not work for us. There was to much mixing of flavours and textures that some of us ended up with a stomach ache or we felt queasy. The handmade matcha whipped cream was definitely delicious and this was the only bingsoo that you had to add the sweet flavour to the ice yourself. The rice cakes lining the sides looked nice for the Instagram pictures but did not blend in too well with the bingsoo, as they had a distinctive fruity flavour that clashed with the matcha.
The mango was probably our favourite one. It was not too sweet like the others, and was topped with lots of fresh mango. The tanginess and freshness of the mango gave a nice contrast to the sweetness of the shaved ice underneath. With a mint leaf garnish, it was almost too pretty to eat as well, but we are glad we did!
We enjoyed the strawberry as well. Although it was a lot more sweet than the mango, we enjoyed the overall strawberry flavour present in everything. It felt like we were eating a light strawberry shortcake. Even the ice tasted like strawberries (albeit a little artificial.) We were fans of the fresh fruit toppings and the nicely blended flavours were enjoyed as well.
Our final verdict:
6.5/10 for service
4.5/10 for taste
9/10 for aesthetics
7/10 for price
Overall, we definitely recommend trying the bingsoo at Dream Tea once, but we do not see it becoming a constant staple in our lives like bubble tea is. It is simply too pricey and difficult to have on a daily basis. Instead of getting bingsoo at Dream Tea, if you are looking for a more authentic experience or something that is not sickly sweet, we reccomend trying Snowy Dessert instead. Bingsoo is definitely something new so go try it out if you get the chance!