A Summer Snack, Patbingsu
ce shavings with red beans is gaining popularity as the temperature rises and coffee houses, bakeries, and restaurants are busy grinding ice to create the dish that removes all the excess heat in one's body. As more shops are selling ice shavings, the competition is getting fierce, resulting in larger and larger bowls, so much so that in many places, it is served in such a huge amount that it is hard to eat all at once.
Recently, a new trend has been introduced to; the traditional toppings of rice cake, jelly, canned fruit and powdered roast grains are being replaced with fresh fruit and soft ice-cream. A decade ago, "strawberry ice shavings" were a blast and today, fresh fruit has taken up the mantel.
Kami (tel. 364-3948), located in front of Ewha Womans University, is a Korean restaurant, which has maintained the same shape and taste of its ice shavings for the past 26 years (red bean W2,900, fruit W3,200). Unlike today's dishes, which are made with grainy ice, plenty of red beans are placed on top of finely grained ice. During strawberry season, only strawberries are used as toppings, and only watermelon is used during the watermelon season. The owner of this restaurant, Choi Chang-hak, says that he doesn't like to put other toppings on the ice because it ruins the clean taste.
Waffle House (tel. 711-2649) is another restaurant popular for the ice dish. Located in front of Sookmyung Womans University, Waffle House offers cone shaped ice in various flavors- strawberry (W2,700), coffee (W2,600), fruit (W2,600), and Kiwi (W3,000). On top of ice shavings, fruit is neatly placed and then soft ice-cream is whirled up on top.
Deli (tel. 3675-1120) is a curry house that offers fancy looking ice dishes (W6,000 + 10% vat). Ice shavings are placed on top of a white plate on which fruits, syrup, sweetened red beans and fresh cream are mounted one on top of the other. One can choose fruits from among oranges, strawberries, tomatoes and grapes.
Cafe Terras (tel. 766-7874) also offers delicious ice (W4,000) and is famous for using only fresh fruit.
Ice dishes chain "Iceberry" offers a real variety with strawberry, kiwi, watermelon, coffee, banana, pineapple and red bean as some of the flavors that it offers at W2,600 though many customers prefer to order in plates for two (W4,900), three(W6,900), or four (W8,900) people. The owner of Iceberry, Kim Seong-nam, says that as he observed the tendency of the students, he realized that they enjoy sharing their ice bowls as well as mixing all sorts of fruits together. "King Ice Shavings" (W9,900) is the big feature of this restaurant and is served in a huge salad bowl with all sorts of fruits such as grapes, baby tomatoes, strawberries, kiwis, watermelons, bananas and melons. Weighing nearly 3kgs it is large enough for five or six people.
Ice shavings in coffee houses of Cheongdam-dong are much more with Harue (tel. 546-9981) being the first shop to introduce a dish that costs W10,000. In a white porcelain bowl, ice shavings are decorated with kiwis, bananas, strawberries, peaches and pineapple. Fresh cream is topped around the bowl, giving it the look of a crown. A basic ice dish costs W8,000, but adding on strawberries, vanilla, black cherries or chocolate ice cream drives its price up to W10,000. However the portion is large enough for two people.
(Chung Jae-yeon, firstname.lastname@example.org)