If you thought the Korean wave in Singapore has died down, we’ve got good (or bad) news for you. It is back and ready to rumble into dessert time. Following shortly behind the craze for honeycomb soft serves, a number of Korean dessert joints have opened their doors for business, winning dessert-loving Singaporeans over with snow-like bingsu (Korean-style ice kachang) and injeolmi toasts. Had your share but want more? Here’s a list of new Korean dessert joints you should definitely check out.
1. Cafe Insa-Dong
Where: 279 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058828 What: With a clean look, this Korean dessert café located near Maxwell Food Centre not only serves reasonably priced bingsu, injeolmi toasts, ice cream and coffee but art pieces and beauty boxes imported from Korea as well.
Must-tries: Hidden between two pieces of their Injeolmi Toast ($4 without ice cream; $6 with) is a layer of grilled homemade mochi, with cereal powder, chocolate sauce, almond flakes and a scoop of triple chocolate ice cream on top. While that makes a great tummy filler, go for their Red Bean and Sweet Potato ($6.50) or Green Tea Bingsu ($7) for a more refreshing pick. (It even comes with green tea flavoured ice.) Great for: Couples or smaller groups (2 to 4 pax)
Where: 45 Burghley Drive #01-04, Singapore 559022 (Burghley Lifestyle Hub) What: With high ceilings and warm wooden furniture and pillars, Korean-owned Nunsongyee’s cozy interior makes indulging in a bowl of bingsu even more gratifying than it already is.
Must-tries:Take your pick from seven of their snow flake bingsus ($12.90 - $15.90) or their premium range ($18.90), which includes black sesame, coffee and strawberry (pictured). For something heartier or toastier, there are Korean rice cakes and Injeolmi toasts in flavours like garlic cheese, honey butter and chocolate to feed your fancy. Despite the steep prices, the snow-soft bingsus here stand to be the best we have tried so far. Come in a larger group to ease the price per pax. Great for: Large groups of friends and families – especially those with children who attend classes in the compound.
3. One Ice Cafe
Where: JCube, 2 Jurong East Central 1 #02-67, Singapore 609731 What: Occupying a small space in JCube’s trendy retail zone, J Avenue, One Ice Café is a simple no-frills café that seats 22 people. Besides bingsu, other Korean influences on the menu include Gyeran Bbang ($2.50), also known as Korean-style egg bread and refillable pots of K-Tea ($4.20) like Hyumni Nokcha (brown rice tea) and Jeju Chabssal Cha (glutinous genmai tea).
Must-tries: If you’ve never had the Korean shaved-ice, start with their classic Pat Bingsu ($6.80; pictured), where a soft bed of ice comes with a crunchy layer of cornflakes, red bean, hidden cubes of mochi and a lashing of condensed milk over the top for added sweetness. More intriguing flavours include matcha, peanut, oreo and choco banana. Great for: Couples or smaller groups (2 to 4 pax)
4. Chicken Up @ Tampines
Where: Century Square, 2 Tampines Central 5 #01-44/45/46/47, Singapore 529509 What: Besides attractive buffets for beer and fried chicken, the Korean fried chicken chain’s third outlet has people flocking to the east for their newest dessert addition.
Must-tries: Without a doubt, the Melon Bingsu. Topped with ice cream, milky shaved ice meets meticulously stacked melon balls in a melon shell. Plus, it makes for a great palate cleanser after that big order of Spicy-Up. While you’re there, spare no mercy on signature items like their Watermelon soju, Kimchi fries and their bestselling trio of fried chicken: Spicy Up, Yangnyum and Soy-Garlic Chicken. Great for: Families, large groups (Images: Chicken Up Tampines Facebook Page and Instagram)
5. One Thing Coffee Kids Cafe
Where: Bukit Timah Shopping Centre, 170 Upper Bukit Timah Road #B2-17, Singapore 588179
What: This humble Korean café is owned by a Korean family, who serves not only simple Korean desserts, but offers child care services as well. Let the kids go wild in the adjoining indoor playground area while you get your caffeine fix or get some work done with the free wifi connection available. Must-tries: For the humid day, seek comfort in their Patbingsu. They’ve also got sandwiches like croque monsieur, waffles, cakes and thick toasts in caramel and chocolate flavours that come with coffee, smoothies or fresh juice in a set ($7 - $10). Great for: Families with young children (Images: http://shirleycharlin.blogspot.sg)
6. Bing Go Jung Korean Dessert House
Where: 102 Guillemard Road #01-01, Singapore 399719 What: If you ever crave for a refreshing bingsu after a rich Korean BBQ meal, Bing Go Jung Korean Dessert House and its next-door sister restaurant Ju Shin Jung Korean BBQ would be perfect for you. And it only takes you one trip. Sit outdoors without worrying about that smoky smell you’ve carried over.
Must-tries: Covered in soybean powder and condensed milk, their Injeolmi Bingsu proves to be a hot seller. Green tea lovers can also indulge in the Green Tea Bingsu, which features chewy rice cake and crunchy cornflakes, almonds and walnuts for added texture. Great for: Big or small groups (Image: OpenSnap users kiwiberry & feleats)
Beyond desserts: Insadong Korea Town
But for the full works beyond (though still including) desserts, the relatively new Insadong Korean Town in Sentosa will be your best bet. Expect over 200 types of dishes from the traditional Toppoki and Pork Belly Kimchi Stew to Korean fusion inspired creations like Xiao Long Bao in Kimchi soup.
Standouts include Watermelon Soju and J-Cone (also known as Jipangyi), a popular J-shaped corn snack from Insadong Korea, where soft serve ice cream is pumped through the crispy hollow corn shell. Located next to Trick Eye museum, it carries the atmosphere similar to Marche but with the look and feel of dining at the famous Insadong Street. Ordering is done via self-order kiosks found near the entrance and collection made at respective stalls. (Images: OpenRice user MrHp) See Also: Have a sweet tooth? Check out these treats! More Korean food options for you
Written by Peh Yi Wen Images are writer's own unless otherwise stated