Sulbing (설빙)

Friday, 4 March 2016

Can you believe that we went to Sulbing (설빙) five times when we were in Seoul? Yep, that's how much we loved it. Sulbing is a Korean dessert café chain which specialises in many different types of bingsoo (빙수), or shaved ice with toppings. However, the first bingsu in Korea was not from Sulbing. We originally wanted to go there, but it was packed with people so we went to a small café (I can't remember the name of the place) and got the above milk red bean snow bingsoo (눈꽃빙수) instead. And it was amazing. The ice was fluffy and it had a really strong milk taste. The hot red bean porridge was also the perfect side dish to balance out the coldness of the ice.

Bingsoo #2: sweet potato cake snowflakes sherbet (고구마케익설빙). Our first bingsoo from Sulbing. See those white cubes? They're actually cubes of cheese and they turned out to be (strangely) a really good combination with the ice and sweet potato.

Injeolmi sweet red bean porridge (인절미팥죽), injeolmi sweet pumpkin porridge (인절미단호박죽) and injeolmi toast (인절미토스트). We didn't order ingsoo for our second visit to Sulbing, but got two bowls of warm porridge and two slices of toast instead. Injeolmi is a type of Korean rice cake (tteok 떡) coated with roasted soy bean powder and tastes sweet and salty at the same time. (I love this stuff!) The porridges weren't too sweet, and the toast was crispy—but not chewy enough for my liking.

Bingsoo #3: mango coco sherbet bingsoo (망고코코설빙). My least favourite bingsoo. The mango was overly sweet (like canned mangoes drenched in sugar syrup) and there was just nothing special about the whole mango/sherbet combo.

Bingsoo #4: one strawberry bingsoo (한딸기설빙). This was the most popular bingsoo when we were in the city because of how cute and simple it looks, but actually hides a strawberry cake inside. Although I really like the idea of cake bingso, it wasn't so great when we started digging in because melting ice = soggy cake.

Bingsoo #5: injeolmi bingsoo (인절미설빙). Our last bingsoo before leaving. If you love injeolmi as much as I do, you'll really like this bingsoo as well. But to be honest, my most favourite bingsoo was actually the milk red bean one because it had more complex flavours than the injeolmi bingsoo.

Bingsoo is such a popular dessert people still eat in winter! Whenever we went to Sulbing in either of the Myeongdong (명동) branches, it was always filled with people. So regardless of the weather, bingsoo is a must try food in Korea. In summer, there are loads of cafés that sell the dessert, but if you're in Korea in the winter (like us), definitely check out Sulbing. I highly recommend it!

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