I’m jumping the gun here and zooming straight into bingsu before I share more about all the other dessert options available in Seoul. Why? Because this dessert is the quintessential sweet treat that defines Korean dessert (by Singaporeans at least) since it took our little island in a wave when it landed on our sunny shores. Hot weather + shaved ice makes the perfect combination! In Seoul, this is no different in the summer with queues spotted in front of the popular bingsu stores, such as Homilpat.
A crazy Singaporean couple (that would be us) decided to go around checking out three bingsu stores in autumn-going-on-winter, during one of the coldest weeks in the season, to bring you this foodie guide of 3 Bingsus to check out when you’re in Seoul (show some appreciation will you? Hehe):
#3 Cacao Green
Visiting this cafe might give you a slight sense of familiarity because it’s the sister brand of Red Mango yogurt which can be found in Singapore. Red Mango is one of my favourite froyo stalls by the way, and I was pretty excited to check out their bingsus!
As Sam had tried it before, we dived straight for the indulgent-looking Triple Chocolate Shaved Ice (11,800 KRW for regular size). And boy, we were presented with a mountain of chocolate of all sorts! Shaved ice topped with chocolate brownies, chocolate truffles (!!!) and cacao powder, and sprinkled with candied walnuts. I loved the generous portion of chocolate, especially those truffles, but the shaved ice itself was rather disappointing as it was tasteless without the toppings and was rather chunky and icy.
One of the most prevalent dessert shops around, you can get your bingsu fix anywhere thanks to Sulbing. From the signboard to the taste of the bingsu, it totally reminded me of Nunsongyee in Singapore! Or I guess it should be the other way around. We ordered the Sesame bingsu (8,000 KRW) which was a very generous portion and had a pleasant blend of flavours. It came with condensed milk on the side, which was simply amazing when poured into the finely shaved ice.
#1 BINGSU IN SEOUL: HOMILPAT
But the BEST bingsu in Seoul definitely had to be Homilpat. I couldn’t quite understand what others meant when they raved about this bingsu, and after tasting it, I feel that describing it in words is just too inadequate. But let me try do to it for you. Flavours-wise, Homilpat’s menu is concise, with choices that sound quite interesting. But keeping the menu simple allows them to maintain quality standards, which shines through when you taste it. The ice was incredibly smooth and finely shaven, almost like fluffy snowflakes that just really melted on your tongue. We ordered the Matcha flavour (6,500 KRW), and the green tea part was really flavourful and did so well on its own. A generous portion of pat (red bean) and injeolmi (glutinous rice cake) on the side sealed the deal. Although there was chunk of hard ice in the middle which I’m not sure whether it was a boo-boo, but this was nevertheless one of the best, unparalleled bingsus that I’ve ever eaten. Plus the prices are one of the most reasonable around!
Address: 4-77 Changcheon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Nearest Metro Station: Sinchon
Open Wed-Mon 12.30pm-10pm
I really wanted to try the strawberry flavour, but it was unavailable as strawberries weren’t in season. I can’t wait to be back for more!!