There have been a number of shaved ice shops popping up around Vancouver. One of them is Snowy Village in Central Richmond. It’s been a few months and there’s still lineup out the door. Finally one Friday I was determined to try Snowy Village, whatever and however long it takes!
Taking Mama Lam and Papa Lam with me, we waited for 30 minutes before we were seated. We had ample time to study the menu, Instagram photos, and what other customers were eating, and we ordered a few things to try.
To start, the Taiyaki, the fish shaped waffle with filling. This is commonly found at night markets and I’ve seen them at Korean supermarkets as well as street carts. The texture of this Taiyaki is quite different from the other ones we’ve had around town because it uses croissant pastry. Other ones are more like Belgian waffle, crispy outside and fluffy inside. This Taiyaki is more like Leige waffle, more dense and chewy, and it had speckles of sugar on top. We went for the traditional red bean filling but the Taiyaki was rather thin so it didn’t hold a lot of filling inside. For that reason I think I prefer the fluffy kind, even though this one tasted really good and I quite liked the texture of the pastry.
As for the shaved ice, here they call it Bingsoo, a derivative of the Korean dessert (I think it stands for “iced water” in Korean). Asking the staff, the most popular item is the Injeolmi Bingsoo, which is the traditional kind. It has rice cake cubes, red bean, topped with soybean powder. The ice is made with milk so it’s really creamy and has a hint of sweetness. The rice cakes were chewy yet bouncy, a nice texture that contrasts the soft, fluffy shaved ice. The soybean powder didn’t have much flavour but it’s like having cookie crumbs on top.
Mama Lam and I are both mango lovers so we had to order the Mango Bingsoo. There was plenty of mango on this shaved ice! The mango was nice and ripe so it’s juicy and sweet. They also drizzled mango syrup so there’s extra mango flavour. If you love mango, you really can’t go wrong with this. It costs $10 (vs. Injeolmi at $8) but I would pay the $2 for a mango one.
So we waited for 30 minutes to get shaved ice. Was it worth it? Probably not. But I had a craving for it so it had to be done. As the days get longer and hotter, I can’t see this line getting any shorter any time soon.
An alternative, is to order your Bingsoo to go. It’s packaged in an insulated cooler take-out bag so it’s not a bad idea if you just want the shaved ice (and not a photo for Instagram and alike).
No doubt the shaved ice at Snowy Village is very good. If the line is shorter, I probably would be a much more frequent customer. The downtown location just opened and there’s one coming to Coquitlam. Hopefully with more locations, the customer base will spread out and it will be a shorter line for me!
Snowy Village Dessert Cafe
113-8571 Alexandra Drive, Richmond