New Ice Monster Shaved Ice Opens in Taipei, Taiwan

A couple of weeks ago, we heard the bad news that Yongkang 15, the mango shaved ice establishment that replaced the venerable Ice Monster on Yongkang Street in 2010, had closed it’s doors.  This was quite a shock, especially considering that Taiwan was in the middle of mango season, the best time to visit for a mango shaved ice.

It turns out, the news isn’t quite as bad as it appeared!

While heading out to On Tap for some fish and chips the other night with some coworkers, I was surprised to see a huge line of people waiting for something on Section 4, Zhongxiao East Road, just before the intersection with Yanji Street.  This was still a few blocks ahead of the dance clubs on Zhongxiao, and the crowd was a much more diverse mix than you’d expect for a club, so I knew it couldn’t be for that.  But what was it?

I apologize in advance for some of the photos – I was not expecting this find and only had my phone with me!

Line for Ice Monster

Lining up to get into Ice Monster

As the taxi drew closer, I saw the sign that made my day…Ice Monster is Back!

Ice Monster - a new one or reopened back in Taipei, Taiwan?

Mango Delivery at Ice Monster

Only open again since May 29, we decided to brave the line to try out the new Ice Monster after our dinner.  What better dessert could you imagine than some iconic Bao Bing and Xue Hua Bing?

Display of Ice Monster merchandise outside the shop

Display of Ice Monster merchandise outside the shop

Back after dinner to try Ice Monster in Taipei

Entry and order counter

Pineapple and Red Bean ice pops they serve up while waiting in line

Ice Monster Napkin Dispenser

Decorative glass door at Ice Monster

Counter area when you order

The line went pretty quick, we were around 30 people back and our wait was only around 20 minutes.  There were staff at the front of the line handing out the menu and taking orders in advance of your entering the shop, so that helps the line run smoother.  They also don’t let people into the shop when there are no seats available, unless you tell them you just want to order for take away, then they may let you cut into the shop while those wishing to dine in wait longer in the line.  There are around 50 total seats in the shop, so turnover is fairly quick, and being indoors, it’s much more comfortable than the old exterior seating of 15 Yongkang Street.

Fresh Fruit for the desserts

Ice Cream / Sorbet options

Interesting display tank behind the prep area

Back seating area at Ice Monster in Taipei

Main seating area at Ice Monster in Taipei

Private Seating Room at the back of Ice Monster

Private Seating Room

The Ice Monster menu has four main sections; Avalanche for the Bao Bing shaved ice, Sensation for the Xue Hua Bing snow ice, Mocktail for mixed juice drinks, and Freeze for the frozen drinks.  Many of the menu items seem to be more similar to those that were on offer at Yongkang 15, not quite back to the offerings of the original Ice Monster.

Ice Monster's Menu

Avalanche Section

Sensation menu offerings

Freeze menu options

Mocktail menu options

We ordered two Mango Avalanches for the three of us, we actually wanted one to be a Fresh Mango Sensation, but I misordered! The avalanche was a delicious mix of shaved ice with sweet condensed milk and brown sugar syrup, a mango jelly and a scoop of mango ice cream, with a heaping serving of fresh mango mixed in for good measure.

Mango Avalanche at Ice Monster in Taipei

Mango Avalanche

Mango Avalanche

I do not know why, but the staff could apparently see our enjoyment of the avalanche, and perhaps thinking this was our first / only time stopping in, they decided to sample out some other wares on us!  We were each also given a scoop of their lemon ice, a scoop of melon sorbet to share, and they even gave us a small Fresh Mango Sensation to share as well!

Scoop of Lemon Ice

Fresh Mango Sensation

The Mango Avalanche and Mango Sensation were both outstanding, but I have to say, I think the lemon ice was one of the best I’ve ever had!  This tasted exactly like the Italian ice I used to get as a kid, and I thought the only thing that could have possibly made this one any better would have been the little white paper squeeze cup I remember from my youth.  I’ll definitely order one of the lemon based items on my next visit to Ice Monster, most likely the Lemon Jasmine Tea Sensation which caught my eye.

Mango Avalanche, Mango Sensation, Lemon Ice, Melon Ice.

Ice Monster
1F., No. 297, Sec. 4, Zhongxiao East Road, Da’an District
+886 2 8771 3263
http://www.ice-monster.com
Hours: Monday – Sunday / 10:30 – 23:30

Photo of the Week: Taiwanese Bamboo Salad

Bamboo salad with mayonnaise served in Taiwan

This is a bamboo shoot salad with mayo, a popular item in Taiwanese cuisine.  This particular order was from a holiday dim sum breakfast at the Brother Hotel.   We don’t normally see the bamboo salad on the menu there so assuming it might have been a special for the Father’s Day holiday weekend.

Photo of the Week: Peanut Ice Cream with Cilantro in Taipei, Taiwan

Peanut Ice Cream with Cilantro

Some people may think this combination of ingredients sounds less than appetizing, but all I can say is “don’t knock it ’til you try it!”  I was pleasantly surprised by the overall taste.  This street food concoction is said to be an old Taiwan treat and can be at a food stall near the Huaxi Street (Snake Alley) Night Market.  It’s basically a thin pancake with peanut brittle shavings and 3 scoops of ice cream (peanut, taro, and pineapple), topped with cilantro and then rolled up like a small burrito.  The mix of flavors worked surprisingly well together and I’d highly recommend trying this Taiwanese specialty if you are touring a night market on your visit to Taiwan.

Photo of the Week: Taiwanese Snow Ice (Xue Hua Bing)

Passion Fruit Xue Hua Bing (Taiwanese Snow Ice)

Known as “xue hua bing” in Chinese, snow ice is a popular dessert in Taiwan.  It is made with condensed milk and/or juice and shaved into the thin sheets, with various toppings added.  Popular options include the regular xue hua bing with passion fruit, chocolate, or mango, while other varieties include green tea snow ice topped with red bean, or peanut snow ice, topped with sprinkles.

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