Mumbai Food: Try Korean dessert Bingsu at Ice Frost Dessert Cafe in Bandra
Thailand's famous Korean dessert shop makes its India debut, and gets more hits than misses
On a rainy morning, we enter the newly opened Ice Frost Dessert Café at Carter Road, Bandra. The intimate space, dotted with bright blue and white tiles, is reminiscent of an American ice cream parlour from Hollywood movies such as Grease and Back To The Future. This café is the maiden Indian venture of Ice Frost Dessert Café originally from Phuket, Thailand. Opened in 2015 by dessert aficionados Rujiroj Chaiyabhat and Sakda Pansri, this dessert chain is presently in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. Since, the dessert shop is originally from Thailand, we were expecting delicious Thai desserts such as mango sticky rice and sweet Thai crêpes. However, to our surprise, the space specialises in Korean desserts and its signature dish is bingsu.
Bingsu is hugely popular in Korea and Thailand, especially during summer. Simply explained, it is made of ice shavings and usually comprises sweetened condensed milk, fruit syrups, and fresh fruits such as strawberries, mangoes, kiwis and bananas. The balance between the sweet fruit syrup and ice shavings is important. If the fruit syrup overpowers the dessert, it could become too sweet. We start with the mango bingsu (Rs 159), which has the right layers of ice and milk shavings, fruit syrup, fresh mangoes and vanilla ice cream. While all the layers of a good bingsu are there, the fruit syrup is overwhelming, making it too sweet for our liking. If the sweetness is toned down by reducing the fruit syrup and increasing the ice shavings, it could be a real winner.
Kiwis get it right
Other popular bingsu flavours include strawberry, chocolate, matcha and even paan. But it's the kiwi bingsu that bowls us over. The tartness of the fresh kiwi pieces cuts through the sweetness of the fruit syrup, resulting in a scrumptious, refreshing and light dessert. The perfectly balanced layers of the ice and milk shavings, fresh kiwi fruit pieces and vanilla ice cream with the fruit syrup are a flavour explosion in our mouths. The different textures add to the palatability of this dessert.
Chocolate springs a surprise
Next up, we try the Belgian chocolate gelato panini. To be honest, we were hesitant to taste this dessert, because if desserts that are sweet and savoury, are not made well, it can be a disaster. On the contrary, it turns out to be one of the best desserts on the menu. It comprises a rich and creamy Belgian chocolate gelato in a buttery soft bun, topped with a rich chocolate sauce and crunchy dark chocolate chips. The chocolate panini is not overly sweet either, and the sweet ice cream and the savoury bread work perfectly.
Belgian chocolate panini for Rs 99
We end our dessert fiesta with milkshakes which cost R139. The friendly server recommends the chocolate kitkat shake and the tiramisu coffee shake. Both the cold milkshakes are neither too sweet and too heavy. The former has pieces of KitKat, while the latter tastes like a liquid tiramisu dessert. While we would have liked a stronger coffee flavour in our tiramisu coffee shake, overall, the milkshakes are creamy, flavourful and hit the spot.
While Ice Frost Dessert Café's India's menu also includes shake fries (milkshakes topped with fries), fizzy boba coolers (coolers with tapioca bubbles) and boba teas (teas with tapioca bubbles), they were not yet offered at the Carter Road shop. They are expected to be available in the last week of June. Overall, the brand's first undertaking in India is a welcome change. We only wish they would tweak their desserts to include more natural ingredients and less artificially sweetened syrups.
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