Wednesday, June 29, 2005

CLOSED! dessert: i recommend ICE MONSTER

CLOSED a/o 1/2010!

15, Yong Kang Street

pricing: $$$ (for shaved ice)
last visited: 7.29.05

Shaved ice is the best in Taiwan, especially since it's so hot and humid here and you need something to cool you down. It's usually pretty cheap, lots of selections and lots of places to find it. However, there has been a lot of news lately about how it's not so safe to eat- you don't know where the water is from where they make the ice, you don't know if the ice blocks have been on the ground, etc etc. But I generally stick to places that have a lot of customers and check if their toppings look fresh. My personal favorites to put on shaved ice, besides Mango & condensed milk, are rice balls, lemon jelly, green or red bean, sometimes boba and almond jelly.

One very popular shaved ice place is ICE MONSTER which not only serves shaved ice with various combinations of fruit, but also tops it with ice cream/sorbet! My sister loves the shaved ice here, and apparently it's pretty famous or trendy. It's usually quite busy and they've expanded beyond their original location on Yong Kang Street.

I ordered the trio fruit combo and requested the lemon sorbet instead of the mango sorbet. The generous portions of mango, kiwi and strawberries were all coated with evaporated milk, and then the mountain was topped with a big scoop of sorbet. The fruit was kind of sugary as maybe they were soaked in syrup already and the strawberries were probably frozen and defrosted.

You can also get just one fruit, and mango shaved ice is very popular. The trio ice was $150 NT or about $5 US. It's definitely pricey for shaved ice- you can usually find it for $40-$60 NT and sometimes for $30 NT plus $5 NT for milk. Depends on where you get it- I had quite decent shaved ice in Hsi Men Ding for $35 NT with all you could select sides on your plate, and the mango shaved ice with rice balls at IDEE mall was really good.

The atmosphere is busy and crowded- you usually have to start looking for a seat while you are in line. You sit on stools along the countertops and tables in front of the ordering section, and try and eat your shaved ice before it all melts. The sorbet on top and ice quickly melted into a puddle, which some people enjoy, but I personally didn't like. I personally think Ice Monster is a bit overrated and overpriced, as everything is too sweet and I didn't even eat more than two bites of the sorbet. It ends up being sugar sensory overload, when you are just looking for the refreshing taste of shaved ice. But if you are sharing with friends and like all those fruits and sorbet, then it's a fun experience to try.


Jean said...

oh man. i can't believe you don't LOVE ice monster. i'll blame it on your hormones.. hahaha.. i'll admit it is kind of overpriced.. but it's still soooooo good. at least you know it will be good as opposed to some smaller places where it might not be "great"..

mm... ice monster.. definitely worth it... that's the first place where i'm going to take the baby. hahahahaha jk

小綿羊 said...

first time reading ur blog.
but kinda agree to wad u had said ^^

abit over priced.
had tried a store @ raohe nightmarket which seen to be better ^^

wonderful blog on taiwan food,
should had read ur post b4 visiting taiwan ^^

小綿羊 from singapore ^^

Jack Palevich said...

Alas Ice Monster closed in January 2010 due to the owners' divorce:

Free Credit Score said...

Awww! Sorry to hear that this place went out of business. But at least you got some very nice photos to share with us!

Jack Palevich said...

Ice monster has apparently reopened under new management and name but with old menu in the same location.

It is now called Yun Kang 15, which is it's street address.

M Lin said...

Just tried out the reopened spot. Very similar to Ice Monster, however the quality has gone down the drain. I feel Ice Monster's quality had gone down over the years as well before it closed, but this is a new low. The shaved ice overall wasn't too bad, I think they use more sugar syrup then condensed milk now. But the thing that destroyed it was the "mango" ice cream on top. It tasted of plastic and everything it touched was inedible.
I won't be coming back anymore.
Going to try the clone that's up the street when ice monster closed down sometime in the future. Maybe it's better? At least there's AC.