The injeolmi flavored shaved ice dessert from Sulbing Cafe in Santa Clara comes topped with sliced almonds, injeolmi rice cake pieces and bean powder. Photo by Kate Bradshaw.
Tucked into a nondescript strip mall in Santa Clara, Sulbing Cafe is the Peninsula's first outpost of a popular South Korean cold dessert chain.
The cafe offers bingsu, a Korean shaved ice dessert made with sweet toppings and condensed milk.
Bingsu, or snow – the dessert – isn't new. In 2018 we highlighted the dessert on offer at Mountain View's Chilly and Munch, formerly SnoZen. But this is the first California location of the popular international chain.
At Sulbing Cafe, the menu offers a variety of bingsu flavors, including tiramisu, chocolate brownie, strawberry, blueberry and mango cheese, plus a range of croffles (croissant and waffle hybrid desserts), as well as coffees, teas, smoothies and juices.
The signature snow flavor on the menu at Sulbing Cafe is the injeolmi – served with pieces of mochi rice cake – plus bean powder and sliced nuts. The dessert came in a giant bowl heaped with toppings, but underneath, pockets of condensed milk pooled in the frozen cream flakes, helping to add further creaminess.
The texture was unlike anything I'd eaten before, and reminiscent of the actual experience of taking in a mouthful of powdery snow – each spoonful was initially dry and powdery until after my mouth closed around each bite, when the powdery cold melted into a creamy, melty mouthful. The mochi cake bites added a level of chewiness, while the nuts added a satisfying crunch.
I think the bowl was meant to serve at least two for dessert but I happily ate a whole one myself.
==I Sulbing Cafe, 3050 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, Instagram: @sulbing_california. ==