Fresh bingsu from Snowy Village
Snowy Village, a dessert cafe located in Rowland Heights, specializes in Korean bingsu, Japanese taiyaki and macarons. It is known for its use of fresh ingredients in their bingsu, a popular Korean dessert made out of shaved ice, sweetened condensed milk, syrups and fruits.
The cafe is very conspicuous, with tall, clear windows dominating the front of the store. There is a spacious outside patio area where people can sit and enjoy the fresh air while eating. I went in late evening, and I immediately noticed how well-lit the room was. The extensive room was illuminated by lights shaped as snowflakes attached to the ceiling, which was a creative way to brighten up the place while simultaneously contributing to the winter and snow theme. Inside, there was a gray brick wall alongside a plain green wall, which was aesthetically displeasing as they clashed with one another. On the right, there was an inviting black sign reading “Snowy Village” against a wavy white background. The serving area had a simple black table and glass walls so the customers can see the process behind the food production.
When I went to order a Mango Cheesecake bingsu, the cashier greeted me politely and gave me a buzzer, which would alert me when my order was ready. This was convenient, as I could wait outside in the patio area without the anxiety of missing my order. I waited more than 10 minutes outside before the buzzer alerted me that my order was ready, which is a long wait, but the amiable and friendly service made up for it.
The Mango Cheesecake bingsu was presented to me on a gray tray with a metal bowl, which kept the bingsu properly chilled. There was shaved ice as the foundation, and nicely cut square mango pieces on top. Adhering to the “winter” theme, the shaved ice resembled snow because of how thin and soft it was. Creamy whipped cream topped the dessert. The Mango Cheesecake bingsu was moderately sweet, and the fresh, fruity taste of the mango was prevalent throughout the dessert. Instead of the “artificial” sweetness found in candies, the bingsu had a natural and pure sweetness to it. I found that the bingsu was healthier than other desserts that I’ve had because of the use of real fruits. By itself, the shaved ice tasted bland; however, the cheesecake chunks complemented the mango and shaved ice perfectly, adding creaminess to counteract the tangy mango.
Although the Mango Cheesecake bingsu was surprisingly appetizing, I was taken aback by the price. The bingsu is nearly $12, which, in my opinion, is not worth it because it is mostly ice and fruit. Although it is relatively healthy, the taste did not compensate for its cost. Other than that, the service, atmosphere, food and decorations were superb, and I would definitely recommend this place for anyone willing to spend money on quality Korean desserts.
Written by Raymond Dunn, staff writer
Photo by Raymond Dunn