After we were mildly disappointed with the overly sweet taste of the bingsoo we had last week, we became skeptical about the bingsoo craze that has been everywhere. There is a saying that food that hails straight from its home country is the best, and Snowy Dessert was certainly no exception to this. Straight from Korea, Snowy Dessert definitely lived up to all of our expectations and more!
Because they were having a soft opening, the restaurant was a little disorganized and slow, but no worries; the bingsoo still tastes really good and did not take very long to be made. Like most places, you order at the front and they set the food on the counter for you to take to your table. Once we paid, they also handed us a disk that lit up when our order was ready, but the disk itself was not very necessary as the store itself was not very busy (probably because we went on a gloomy, cold, rainy day.) The staff were all very nice and friendly.
At around $8-12 for a regular size and $11-14 for a large, Snowy Dessert is pretty expensive. The unique dish and the fresh toppings, however, somewhat make up for the price. The portion sizes are pretty large in our opinion, as two of us worked together to finish a regular size. At the time they were having a promotion for 10% off if you followed their account on Instagram and/or Facebook.
All of the bingsoo had the same base which was made from frozen milk, finely shaved to melt in your mouth. It was just the perfect amount of sweetness and flavour for us, but for those that enjoy very sugary and flavourful things, you might not enjoy it as much. Korean dessert dishes, traditionally, are not too sweet or strongly flavoured. This agreed very well with us, and we were impressed to notice that our bodies did not feel heavy or sluggish after enjoying these desserts; instead we felt light, airy, and little guilt over having a lot.
There are a variety of different bingsoo flavours that are available. We tried the mango, red bean, and the matcha. We enjoyed all of the flavour combinations. They all had bits of its flavour mixed into the actual snowy part, so fear not if you are worried of the imbalance between the toppings ratio and the snowy part.
The matcha was very good, unlike last week's version, the flavours and the textures all worked well together. It was not too sweet and had a nice balance of milkiness and matcha flavour. The flavours themselves were very gentle, with nothing overpowering, which led to a light and refreshing dessert. There was a piece of mochi at the top that tied the look together and the matcha covered bingsoo was decorated with pieces of sticky rice cake and red beans.
Fresh fruit bingsoo was more expensive than the rest likely due to needing fresh ingredients, but we still felt motivated to try them. The mango did not disappoint us. The light sweetness from the bingsoo base perfectly balanced with the tartness of the mango. The fresh fruit made the dessert all the more refreshing and enjoyable. It also felt a lot healthier, but that's what we all like to fool ourselves into thinking when trying to "eat healthy."
If you are not familiar, the original topping for bingsoo is red bean, referred to as patbingsoo. The design was very simplistic, leaving the bingsoo base clearly visible unlike the others. It was topped with a heaping scoop of red beans, some roasted almond slices, and finished with a mochi piece. The red bean worked well to add some more flavour to the bingsoo and the almond slices added some texture to every bite.
For something warmer to eat, since it was chilly the day we went, we also ordered some taiyaki. The only flavour they had at the time was chocolate and the wait for the original red bean filling was >30 minutes, so we settled for chocolate. Three taiyaki cost $10, so definitely not cheap, but it did fill us up, especially after some bingsoo. They were warm, a good balance of both chewy and crisp, buttery, and had banana in it that added some sweetness to it. There was a surprisingly small amount of chocolate inside which may throw some off, but we personally did not mind.
Our final verdict:
6.5/10 for service
9/10 for taste
7/10 for aesthetics
6/10 for price
Overall, if you are looking to try bingsoo we definitely recommend coming here first. Snowy Dessert is delicious and is the perfect snack to share with friends to cool down on a hot summer day. The price, however, is a bit too high to make it a common snack, but the taste makes us wanting more. If you are in the Whyte Ave area looking to cool down, definitely check this place out!