Shaved ice is a popular dessert in Asia and has many different forms. Shaved ice has the texture of snow and often it’s made with milk. Thankfully a few places have started serving this dessert in Montreal. It goes by various names in different Asian countries. In South Korea it’s called Bingsu (sometimes written as bingsoo). The first place in Montreal to offer it was a now closed Korean bakery. The price of this is usually $6-$7.
1115 Sherbrooke W
This restaurant is located inside ‘Le Cartier” building. This is the place that bought the bingsu equipment from the Korean bakery after it closed. Their bingsu is quite good. The shaved ice is milky and powdery. The small size is the largest portion compared to the small size of other places. They have common flavors like mango, strawberry and matcha. It comes with sticky rice cakes and almond slices.
This small Korean cafe offers small, medium and large sizes of bingsu. Their shaved ice looks like fine powder. It has a great melt in your mouth texture. It’s milky and not overly sweet. Different toppings are available where you can choose one of the following: blueberries, mango, oreo, matcha and redbeans. They all come with chewy rice cakes too. It’s a small place with limited seating but you can take their bingsu to go to. They also serve coffee, matcha and lots of enticing desserts.
4074 St. Laurent
This was first an ice cream shop that offered some East Asian flavors. They have since expanded and offer other desserts, bubble tea, vietnamese coffee, vegan banh mi, vegan noodle bowls and bingsoo! They have mango, matcha, and some other flavors. All of them come with toppings of bubbles, cereal and red beans. Their version is pretty solid too. The shaved ice is pretty much the same as the other Korean places and made of milk.
Crème des Neiges (only open in summer)
79 St. Catherine E
This is a small Vietnamese takeout place with only a couple of tables. You can also get banh mi here too. Their shaved ice comes in the form of ribbons. They offer different flavors of shaved ice and you have a choice of toppings such as fruits, candy and/or syrups that you pick from a little buffet area. Unfortunately, closed for summer 2017 due to equipment failure.
Their main specialty is Korean fried chicken but they also do a pretty good, classic bingsu, which has the usual chewy rice cakes and red beans. It’s been a while since I’ve had it. I recall it being more expensive because they only offered a rather large sized portion.