ah desserts. everyone’s favourite crutch to fall back on to make themselves feel better about themselves before they can go back to hating themselves. in the continent where desserts run wild, taiwanese desserts are more fruit-centric, refreshing and can be relatively low on the sweet scale while still making you lick your lips like ll cool j.
taipei’s #1 tour guide, marsha-san, took us to ice monster for our first local desert they serve ice cream, sorbet and popsicles. their specialty is shaved ice and i can’t say i’ve had anything like their style of ice before. when we opened up the menu and saw desserts ranging in the 180-240nt range ($7-10 cad), i figured it had to be pretty awesome at that pricepoint… and it didn’t disappoint in the least.
the ice pucks are already flavoured prior to the ‘shaving’ but the way ice monster does it winds up with a really different consistency. the ice gets shaved wafer thin and piled into a melon sized ball. our coffee shaved ice came with a side of coffee jelly, cookies and cream ice cream and a light drizzle of caramel sauce on top.
this was the michael jordan of asian desserts (which has been either fruit or red bean dependant in the past) for me. the ice didn’t even look like ice for christ’s sake. i wish the pictures could show texture better because it looked like we got served a mound of pulled pork. with every spoonful carved out from the mound, the ice flaked off like pulling apart a pork shoulder along the grain; totally bizarre, freaky and tasty at the same time.
we ordered a pineapple shaved ice on our next visit with fraran and i think the consensus was that this one was even better. it came with a side of frozen green mango bits, fresh pineapple chunks in a pool of pineapple puree with a side of sorbet. it was the complete opposite of the coffee, being light and refreshing.
with the size of ice monster’s desserts needing 2-3 people to share a single order, it’s actually quite reasonable for the price (240nt, $10 cad) and it stands out from the huge selection of other shaved ice shops.
mango dessert is another item on the to-eat list here. generous chunks of mango on top of a tower of blended mango & ice.
i doubt if i’d tackle either of these desserts with less than two people. i’ve since had one shaved ice dessert in hong kong and it paled in comparison to ice monster while also being more expensive. thanks for ruining me, taiwan.