ICE MONSTER (CLOSED!)
or BING GUAN
No. 15, Yong Kang Street
nearest MRT: ZhongXiao/XinSheng or Guting
hours: 11 AM -11 PM
Kid friendliness: can be a crowded tight space, but shaved ice with fruit is healthier than shaved ice with no fruit
Visit reviewed: 12/1/09
Previous visit reviewed: 6/29/2005
Ice Monster on Yong Kang Street is known for its huge mango shaved ice, but when mango is out of season, their other shaved ice options are just as great.
Many Taipei local shaved ice places shut down for winter, but Ice Monster still has a packed house on a weekday December afternoon, indicating I'm not alone in wanting a cold dessert on a cool day. Established in 1995, Ice Monster was the inventor of mango ice, a genius combination of fresh mango cubes, shaved ice and condensed milk, which has been has been copied around the world. During the summer months, there is often a long line and wait for seats in the small seating area.
Their self explanatory picture menu indicates that mango ice is indeed "out of season," but my out of town friends are just fine with the fresh fruit mix shaved ice (NT$160) with kiwi, strawberries and mango jelly (although they used to do it with fresh cubed mango?!!), topped with a huge scoop of mango ice cream, which is what's usually available during the winter season. They also have smoothies, sorbet flavors like passion fruit, strawberry milk, mandarin orange, and shaved ice topped with sweet potato, red bean or rock mochi. Or you can opt for hot options like red bean or peanut soup.
We also try the caramel jelly and custard shaved ice (NT$160), which is surprisingly great. The milky custard, QQ caramel jelly and brown sugar laden shaved ice tastes like a I'm eating a deconstructed Caramel Frappuccino. Mmmmm. I actually like this better than the mango ice, which somehow seems like more of a sugary overload.
While more expensive than most other shaved ice places in town, Ice Monster has become a landmark for mango shaved ice and with their huge portions, a shaved ice is enough to share between 2 or 3 people. Unless you want to keep one all to yourself.
Can you believe Ice Monster was my very first review on this blog almost 4 and half years ago?! To everyone who's been following along my food adventures, thanks for reading and eating with me.
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