BINGSU HUNT IN MANILA: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!!
BINGSU: (bing-soo) is a very popular and elaborate snack/dessert in Korea made of shaved ice and milk, topped with sweet fruits and syrup.
In Manila, cold desserts have always been a consumer favorite that’s why it’s no surprise that our neighbouring country’s iced dessert was warmly welcomed by the locals. Get it? It’s hot in Manila that’s why we warmly… Nevermind. You’ll get it!
And so the bingsu hunt began… Luckily, I was able to drag my Wobbly around the metro in search for the best bingsu in town!
- Magpie Cafe, Maginhawa street, QC
This is where it all started. We landed in this small humble cafe by accident, to be honest. We were just searching for a nice dessert place to take our family to on a weekday, and this shop was the only one open.
First bite and all we can say was WOW! The creamy-ness (is this even a word?) of the shaved ice was enough to catch our attention. The matcha ice cream and the azuki beans were the cherry on top! But don’t forget about the condensed milk. It was heavenly!
Bonus: Serving size was a bit small. Huhu…
2. Cafe Flafe, Grand Emerald Tower, Ortigas Center
This cozy Korean-owned cafe is located in the heart of the busy Ortigas Business District. Vibe feels home-y, and food is simple. Their binsgsu looks presentable, but the shaved ice didn’t give that much of an impact in taste. Taste was closer to water than of milk. It wasn’t really that memorable…
Bonus: Parking is too far away (at the designated parking lot).
3. Seol & Bean, The Fort Strip, Taguig City
This one is an all-time favorite by the Wobblies! We always bring our family and friends here whenever we’re looking for a nice dessert/hangout place! We’re here so often, we already completed 3 loyalty stamp cards!
First of all, their regular size is so huge, 2–3 persons can share one order! That’s very sulit*! Their mango (Mango bingsu) is always sweet even if it’s not in season. The shaved ice has a balance of creamy and sweet, which makes it addicting. If “umami” is applicable to sweets, then I think that would best describe it.
Bonus: The only down side in Seol & Bean is that their service is slow during peak hours. The last time we went there, it took them 1 hour to serve us a bowl of bingsu.
*Sulit: (soo-leet) good deal.
4. Mr. Park’s Bread and Cake, Eton Emerald, Ortigas Center
Omg, I don’t even know where to begin describing this so-called “bingsu”.
Let’s start with the shaved ice — it wasn’t even worthy to be called a bingsu. It was just water… WATER! No trace of milk in their shaved ice for this bingsu. The shaved ice water was even chunky. It wasn’t even “shaved”, it was more like crushed ice.
On the toppings:
It was just a bunch of tropical fruits sliced and placed on top. Add some cereal and ice cream, with regular milk on the side. REGULAR MILK!! Not even condensed milk. And melted ice cream.
Overall, it wasn’t a bingsu. More like a sad custom-made halo-halo. Actually, it’s nowhere even near our own halo-halo. It has a category of its own.
Bonus: Nothing to say…
5. HoBing Korean Dessert Cafe (they have branches all over the Metro)
HoBing is a bigger franchise compared to the other cafes mentioned above. But even so, they still hold their quality consistently.
Milky shaved ice is great! Fruits are sweet! Plus, additional condensed milk if free! Portion size is also large, so you and your date can share one regular-sized order.
The only thing I personally don’t like is the giant amount of whipped cream on top. They could have added nuts, or cookie crumbs, or something happier to the tastebuds. But then again, that’s just me…
Bonus: Did I mention extra condensed milk is free? ;)
Taking also into consideration parking, ambience, and available seats among the five establishments mentioned above, it would have to be Seol & Bean.
Congratulations Seol & Bean, for capturing the hearts and tastebuds of the Wobblies! Just don’t go there during peak hours, unless you don’t mind watching their K-pop videos then you’ll be fine.
Ps, any thoughts about Ice Flower? Thinking of checking it out! Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading! I sure do enjoy making this article and going around the metro! Share this post, like it, give it a heart… this will make me very happy to keep on sharing and writing more food adventures for all of you! :)