Shaved Ice

By grace.g.yang ยท August 27, 2010
Under: American,Cheap Eats,Chinatown,Desserts,Dinner,K-town,Korean,Lunch,My Life,Snacks,Things to do in NYC,Union Square

Last week, I filmed a great little segment with the executive chef at Oceana, Ben Pollinger. Before we filmed the segment, the chef sent in some amazing treats for me to try and also had the pastry chef, Jansen Chan, send over some shaved ice. The shaved ice had the same texture as the watermelon shaved ice I tried at Chikalicious and reminded me of all the shaved ices I had while I was traveling in Asia over the spring. Here are some shaved ices I’ve had:

The English and The Traditional


Toffee sauce, tart raspberries, soft bananas, a smooth custard panna cotta, whipped cream, sliced crunchy almonds and rum tapioca pearls all on a bed of shaved ice was mind blowing. Seriously, the textures in this thing made it possibly the best shaved ice I’ve had all summer.

Green Watermelon Shaved Ice
Chikalicious Dessert Club


Chikalicious and Oceana must’ve purchased the same machine to make their shaved ice because the consistency of both are very similar. The green watermelon syrup isn’t super sweet and it’s just enough flavor to make this treat a really great dessert on a hot summer day.

Shaved Ice with Strawberry Ice Cream

IMG_1302 (Small)

Probably my least favorite shaved ice in New York; it’s overpriced, the ice isn’t fine enough, and the fruit combination isn’t optimal.

Black Grass Shaved Ice with Jelly, Taro Balls, and Yam Balls
Meet Fresh, Taiwan

meet fresh shaved ice

David and I had to search high and low for this chain in Taiwan (apparently they are like Pinkberry; super popular when they first open, now they are starting to close down). The grass jelly flavor is infused into the block of ice before it’s shaved to a consistency similar to snow, then topped with a scoop of grass jelly and a couple mochi balls flavored with taro and yam. Pour a little cream over the entire bowl and you’ve got yourself an amazingly refreshing dessert.

Mango Shaved Ice with Condensed Milk
Shilin Night Market, Taiwan

mango shaved ice

A little too sweet for my tastes, but when I was a kid, I used to eat this stuff every night. The ice is actually milk that’s been frozen, shaved in a special machine, and topped with sweet mangoes and condensed milk. It’s a very popular dessert in Taiwan and there’s a stand that used to have a monopoly (Mango Madness or something like that).

Black Raspberry Shaved Ice
Shilin Night Market

black raspberry shaved ice

Also a little too sweet for my tastes, but the consistency of the shaved ice is something you can’t easily find in the United States. Someone needs to bring the machines here!

Green Tea Shaved Ice with Red Beans and Condensed Milk
Shilin Night Market

green tea shaved ice

Hands down the best shaved ice I’ve ever had; the ice is creamy and has a hint of green tea, then it’s topped with red beans, and a little condensed milk is poured on top. It’s not too sweet, the red bean and green tea mix very well together, and the condensed milk adds just enough sweetness to call it a dessert.

Red Bean Shaved Ice
Near National Taiwan University

shaved ice red beans

My dad said this place was one of the more popular places for shaved ice by National Taiwan University; the consistency was a little crunchier, but you’re supposed to mix this shaved ice so it’s more of a slushy texture. Delicious, but it eventually started to hurt my teeth because I had to chew on the ice cubes that weren’t small enough to melt on my tongue.

Mango Shaved Ice with Mango Ice Cream
Flushing Mall Food Court


This mango shaved ice is similar to the one I had in Taiwan, but the texture of the ice was a little too chunky. Definitely a favorite among my friends that went to Flushing with me, but probably because they’d never experienced shaved ice before.

Reader Comments

shave ice! i love it! with the sweetened condensed milk is the most decadent way to eat it!! hawaii has wonderful shave ice, but the stuff in taiwan looks MOUTHWATERING!

Written By Sarah on August 27th, 2010 @ 9:05 am

After you try the shaved ice at “Just Sweet Dessert House” on 3rd Av. and 12th St., you’re going to want to retroactively add it in here. I’d go “Tropical Paradise”, then Patbingsu.

Written By SC on August 27th, 2010 @ 10:51 am


Written By caramela on August 30th, 2010 @ 11:04 am

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