Monday, August 8, 2016

Summer in Taiwan - Ice Monster - GLAMAIR - Bingirl - Shuanglian Tangyuan Shop - Beimen Pineapple and Plum Ice [Taiwan Day 1072 (Delicious Taiwan): Cool Treats - August 7, 2016]


Summer in Taiwan won't be complete without having a taste of Taipei's delicious ice-cold desserts.  From taro balls to the sliced pieces of mango, I travelled around the city to look for the best food to beat the heat.  The July-Sept 2016 edition of the Fun Taipei travel magazine featured different options for food lovers and I tried each one of them to know if they were real treats or just a promotional trick.

No. 9, Alley 33, Lane 216, Section 4, Zhongxiao E. Road

Are you ready? So let's start with the Beimen Pineapple and Plum Ice.  The first floor of a residential house was turned into a dessert restaurant and it is open every day except only on Mondays.  Just go to Exit 3 of the MRT Zhongxiao Dunhua Station and then walk to No. 9, Alley 33, Lane 216, Section 4, Zhongxiao E. Road to find the restaurant.  You will find an open gate and that is the dessert shop. 








To make my life easier, I just showed to the lady the photo of the dessert that I want to eat.   The price of the pineapple and plum ice was NTD 45 and it was very cheap.  Pineapple flavored shaved ice was placed on a cup and on its top were tidbits of the same fruit.  A piece of perilla plum was also added to give it another shade of color.  I first thought that I could see the staff prepare the food in front of me. But I was wrong! They had already made a lot of the dessert and they kept it in a freezer.  There was nothing special about the pineapple and plum ice until the ice started to melt. The sweet sour taste of pineapple juice became sugar for my taste buds. Yeah! I gave it a rating of 3 out of 5“luomujie” stars.

I went near to Taipei 101 to find the mall

ATT 4 FUN mall

Bingirl


Fruit and Souffle Pancake




Next on my list was the Fruit and Souffle Pancake from Bingirl.  I had high expectations for this dessert because of its nice photo in the Fun Taipei magazine. After alighting at the MRT from the Taipei City Hall Station, I looked for the store at the ATT 4 FUN mall along Songhou Road.  The store was located on the 4th floor of the building and I was asked to wait for 15 to 20 minutes after I gave my order.  My food had arrived and I got disappointed with the small size of the pancake dessert.  It was placed on hot pan and on top of it was the pancake with some cream and sliced apples.  I was also given a cup of ice cream and below it was sliced kiwi and strawberry. 




I didn't like the taste of the ice cream because it was not sweet. The kiwi and the strawberry didn't even help to improve its flavor.  Now let's go to the pancake.  Since it was place on a hot pan, the food was still very hot.  The waiter told me something in Chinese and I knew that I was told not to touch the pan.  The pancake and the sliced apples were just ordinary and thanks to the white cream it made the food somewhat appetizing to eat.  I felt hot after eating that meal and I was wondering on why it was included on Fun Taipei's list of recommended ice desserts. How much was the price?  An expensive NTD 374 which included some extra charges.   My rating? A disappointing 1 out of 5 “luomujie” stars.











Surprise! There is an ice cream below your cotton candy.



GLAMAIR's ice cream was also topped with popping sugars



Other customers ordered cute shapes for their cotton candy.

A bunny!





Are you a fan of K-pop? If yes then you might enjoy the Korean-style ice cream of GLAMAIR.   Three layers of light colored cotton candy was placed on top each other like a pyramid and the sweet tower was later put on a cup which contained an ice cream.  I chose the lemon soda flavor for the ice cream and I don’t' have any idea on what would it taste like. The price was NTD 150 for this special ice cream which had captured my imagination.   After receiving my order, the biggest question that I had on my mind was how to eat this dessert.  Oh yes! I just ate the cotton candy through the help of my hands.  Don't worry because you would also be given wet wipes to clean your hands after eating.  Then after I ate all of the cotton candy comes the exciting part because GLAMAIR's ice cream was also topped with popping sugars.  Its sweet taste combined with the refreshing ice cream was a sure winner for this food adventure.  Where to find GLAMAIR? Just go to the B1 floor of Shin Kong Mitsukoshi A11 along Songshou Road and you will find the ice cream store.  What's my rating? I gave it a perfect 5 out of 5 “luomujie” stars.

Shuanglian Tangyuan Shop 




I still had a space for my stomach so I continued my journey to look for the Shuanglian Tangyuan Shop located along Minsheng W. Road.  To find the store, I boarded the MRT to Shuanglian Station and then went to Exit 1.  I turned left and just walked at the busy road until I found the store at house number 136. It was an air-conditioned shop and I ordered their best seller by showing the photo of the food from the Fun Taipei magazine. When the staff found out that I was a foreigner they immediately asked me sit and without wasting any time they instantly prepared my food. 



The four toppings

red beans



It was a shaved ice meal and topped with red beans and taro balls.  There were two additional toppings and they were indicated on my receipt although it was written only in Chinese. When my food had arrived, I was surprised with its large serving that I got afraid that I might not be able to finish my meal.  Amway, I tried to eat all of it and I really liked its taste. You know that feeling when food was cooked with love and this ice shaved meal was one of those.  The red beans and taro balls were a perfect match to the extra topping which I thought of as something like sweet potato.  Many people go here in Shuanglian Tangyuan Shop to eat but visitors and loyal patrons can also watch the staff make taro balls and other delicious delicacies inside the store à la Din Tai Fung.  My rating: 4 out of 5 “luomujie” stars.

The long line of people in the Zhongxiao E. Road branch of Ice Monster. Address: No. 297, Section 4, Zhongxiao E. Road, Da'an District, Taipei City, 106

My stomach was already bloated but I didn't know that it was going to be hit by a monster.  I'm actually talking about Ice Monster and this Taiwanese store was hailed as one of the best dessert shops in the world.   But being a famous store also means a lot of patience for its customers and I was right.   There were a lot of people in the afternoon in Zhongxiao E. Road and they were patiently waiting to get inside the dessert shop near Exit 1 of Sun Yat Sen Memorial Station.   The line was too long that I decided to eat first in Bingirl until Ice Monster became my last stop for this food adventure. 
 
At 7:30 pm



I ordered this one.


Fresh Mango Sensation

The ice was super fine!

mango ice cream

sliced mangoes

There were more sliced mangoes underneath.

I went back to the shop at 7:30 pm and the queue was shorter.  A waiter soon gave me a menu containing all the kinds of shaved ice desserts that I can buy.  Their best seller was the Fresh Mango Sensation and I tried it for a price of NTD 220.  Being been to other dessert stores, I observed a big difference of Ice Monster's shaved ice compared to the other dessert stores that I had visited.  The ice on my food was super fine that you would feel that it was like snow.  Aside from the mango flavored ice, my order also had a mango ice cream, large chunks of the mango fruit and a while jelly-like substance which was panna cota.   It took me time to finish my delicious meal since it was super cold but when I tried to check the bottom part of my  dessert I found out that the shaved ice was placed on top of more large chunks of fresh mango.  Wow!  Because of this I gave Ice Monster a perfect score of 5 out of 5 “luomujie” stars.

So there you have it! Beimen Pineapple and Plum Ice, Bingirl, GLAMAIR, Shuanglian Tangyuan Shop and Ice Monster.  I gave my ratings to their desserts and they were my personal opinions only.  Try each one of them and decide for yourself which one is the best among these cool treats.
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