“I thought we were friends…but why are you bingsu cold?!”
If someone’s giving you the cold shoulder right now, just know that not everything that’s chilly in this world is bad. Take bingsu for example!
This Korean dessert of shaved ice, milk, syrups, fruits, and a bunch of other ingredients aren’t only magnificent to look at, but they do the taste buds good as well. They’re a popular icy treat in South Korea and it’s cool how Manila’s starting to get in on the trend.
If you need to chill out, check out these cafes and restaurants around town for your fill of bingsu!
Cafe Flafe has got all the three things a girl’s ever going to need: flowers, caffeine, and desserts (but if you’re a dude and you like these things too, no judgement!)
Cafe Flafe is a flower boutique and coffee shop all rolled into one, but what they’re really loved for is their bingsu! Try their uniquely Korean creations like Injulmi Bingsu (chewy rice cake covered in yellow roasted beans powder atop shaved ice), Black Sesame Bingsu (loaded with powdered sesame, almonds, dates, and rice cake).
They have Mango Bingsu, Melon Bingsu, and Choco Bingus too if you want something more familiar to the Filipino palate.
Cafe Seolhwa Bingsu
Ever have that weird moment when you’re more than halfway through your bingsu but the ice shavings in your bowl are still perfectly solid! No? Well, it happens all the time at Cafe Seolhwa!
Not to worry, it’s all part of their ingenious plan. Their ice shavings are actually designed to withstand the sweltering Manila heat for up to 30 minutes! This way, we don’t have to deal with a liquid-y mess when we’re digging into our bowls of bingsu.
The bestsellers here are the Mango Cheese Bingsu (milk snow, fresh mangoes, cheesecake, and vanilla ice cream) and the Brownie Bingsu (chocolate milk snow, brownies, choco crunch, and chocolate ice cream).
It was a bold move by Korean coffee shop chain Caffe Bene when they decided to open up a branch in Eastwood right beside coffee-making giants Starbucks and CBTL. But it was a risk that paid off!
Their unique desserts have set them apart from competition and now we have a place to go to for bingsu. It’s a win-win for everyone! One of their bestsellers is the Strawberry Bingsu, a concoction of finely-shaved ice mixed with light cream and topped with strawberries, red beans, and a scoop of gelato. Order it in large if you want in a party-size bowl!
Other bingsu flavors include cookies & cream, red bean, and coffee.
Ice Flower Snow Falling Korean Dessert Cafe
With a name that long, you’re going to need more than one breath to say it all in one go. Some memorization skills is also necessary to say it without kodiko. Try it and don’t cheat!
The crazy name may leave us bewildered but all we really need to know about this place is that it serves bingsu in a variety of delicious flavors, period. They’ve got Red Bean, Black Sesame, Mango, Strawberry, Blueberry, Wild Berry Yogurt, and Chocolate so they’ve definitely got all our cravings covered.
Another cool thing about Ice Flower Falling Snow: they’ve got a snow machine to make all your Frozen dreams come true!
Le Miel Cafe Et Patisserie
If you’ve ever fantasized about being in two places at once a la Jamie Sullivan in A Walk to Remember, make that dream (sort of) come true at Le Miel. This French-Korean patisserie will have you feeling like you’re in Paris and Seoul at the same time!
Their menu is a combination of the two cities’ cuisines, with desserts like gateau, french toasts…and bingsu! They have three flavors of this well-loved Korean dessert, with the Green Mountain Bingsu (shaved ice with red beans, cereal flakes, and green tea ice cream) as the most popular pick on looloo. The other flavors are the Very Berry Bingsu and the Classic Bingsu.
They have a pretty sweet deal on their bingsu too: order up a bowl to get a 20% discount on any of their cakes!
Magpie Cafe promises us happiness in every cup of their hand-brewed coffee from Benguet, but their bowls of bingsu give us all the right feels too.
Being one of the few stalls in Maginhawa StrEat Park to have air-conditioning, it’s a dream to pull up a chair here on an unbearably hot day and chomp away on their icy creations. One of their bestsellers is the refreshing Nokcha Love Bingsu, a mound of shaved ice topped generously with scoops of green tea ice cream.
Other flavors here are the Mango Madness, Nutty Banana, and Chocolate Fountain, all of which are large enough to share between 2 to 3 people!
Magpie Cafe can be found at Maginhawa StrEat Food Park, 91 Maginhawa St., Diliman, Quezon City, Metro Manila.
Mr. Park’s Bread & Cake
Walking into Mr. Park’s can send anyone with a sweet tooth into a frenzy. Whimsical cakes, crumbly pastries, and fluffy loaves of bread literally everywhere you turn is just too much for those of us with low resistance to temptation.
But it gets worse…or better, depending on how you look at it. They’ve got bingsu too and it’s epic! There’s only one flavor, the Patbingsu, but it’s got everything on it so there’s no need for other variations. On top of your shaved ice you get a mix of fresh fruits, corn flakes, red bean paste, matcha powder, and two scoops of different-flavored ice cream.
Best news: you can walk right up to Mr. Park’s for bingsu at any time of the day (or night) because it’s open around the clock!
Mr. Park’s Bread & Cake can be found at Eton Emerald Lofts, Sapphire Rd. cor. Emerald Ave., Ortigas Center, Pasig, Metro Manila.
Here we were, thinking the Korean cuisine’s all about kimchi, bulgogi, and samgyeopsal, when a South Korean food chain comes along and gives us gourmet pizza!
Mr. Pizza chose to set up its 505th store worldwide in Manila and we’ve been loving their creations so far. But they’ve recently completed their menu with a new dessert item: bingsu! They’ve got Mango Bingsu to cater to the Filipino palate and the Patbingsu (sweet red bean and chewy Korean rice cake atop milk snowflakes) for those who want a taste of classic Korean flavors.
For now, their bingsu desserts are only available at their Robinson’s Place Manila branch!
Yoree Korean Dining
At Yoree, you’ll feel like a foreigner in your own country because the majority of the regular customers here are Korean. It’s okay to feel OP though because at least we know their food’s 100% legit!
The best way to cap off your authentic Korean meal here is with an order of their best-selling Patbingsu, which they describe as powdery white “snowflakes” topped with sweetened adzuki (red beans), walnuts, and mango cubes (a Filipino twist to the traditional mochi balls).
Other variations of this dessert are their Mango Bingsu, mango-infused ice shavings capped off with fresh mangoes, and the Coconut Sugar Bingsu, ice shavings with coconut sugar and misugaru (grain powder).
SEE ALSO: The 10 Best Korean Restaurants In Manila