Ice cream at Snow King

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Jasmine ice cream
Taiwanese ice cream is completely substandard: it's icy, grainy and typically limited in flavors. If anything, the most popular form of ice desserts here is shaved ice, with frozen yogurt (in the vein of Pinkberry and Red Mango) becoming more and more popular. Ice cream, the way I and most westerners probably know it, is a rare treat here: imported, expensive, and usually available only at fancy buffets.

When I was doing research on Taipei and making my list of things to do, I heard about this place called Snow King, which was unusual for Taiwanese ice shops in that it boasted a menu of truly unique flavors, like sesame chicken, pig's feet, curry. Other notable flavors at Snow King include tomato, corn, bitter melon, beer, brandy and some Taiwanese liquors, oolong tea, jasmine tea, chrysanthemum tea, wasabi, carrot, pepper, tofu, ginseng and some herbal flavors that I've never heard of before. I don't generally like my desserts tasting like meals, so I opted for something sweet.

Had I had a light lunch, I probably would've been more adventurous and gone with an alcoholic flavor or, at the very least, tomato or curry. But I'd just had a Japanese curry lunch in Ximending and wanted to cleanse my palate with something light and fruity or floral. Mulberry sounded delightfully refreshing to me, but not particularly special, so I ended up going with jasmine tea.

Each flavor at Snow King is priced differently, with a cup of some flavors at around $60NT ($2), and the alcoholic ones rounding out at about $120NT ($4). My jasmine tea ice cream was $105NT (about $3.20) and my friend's mango ice cream was $110NT ($3.33).

Mango ice cream

Ice cream by my American standards, it was not. It was still a little icy and still a little grainy, but the flavor was so incredible, so true. I didn't get to try my friend's mango flavor, but our server (who can impressively speak multiple languages) told me that it had strips of real mango in it, and my friend said it was really, really good. I'd be afraid to know what's in the sesame chicken or pig's feet ice cream.

Snow King, which opened its doors in 1947, is still a hole-in-the-wall. It's got a couple of tables, a "soda fountain" type of bar counter with stools, and another counter lining the wall. It does, however, cater to tourists with its helpful English (and probably Japanese) menus, if you ask for a copy. I think the place is definitely worth a visit if you're interested in sampling local or odd ice cream flavors. And plus, popular Ximending is just a 5-10 minute walk away, so there's no reason to miss it.

Snow King
No. 65, Wuchang Street, Sec. 1, Taipei City
(Wuchang Street, near Yanping South Road)
Daily from noon to 10pm

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  1. Thanks for the post! Without all the English blog posts on the web, I wouldn't have discovered Snow King! :D

    1. No problem, I hope you enjoy or enjoyed Snow King!



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