It’s not shaved ice. It’s not ice cream. It’s…shaved snow? snow ice? Something like that!
It’s rare that I eat something and feel like it’s completely different from anything I’ve ever had before. Especially in regards to texture. Since those moments of pure surprise and delight are few and far between, I absolutely treasure them, and that’s what I experienced at Grace Street when I ate their shaved snow.
I’ve since learned much more about the magical dessert I had that one evening at Grace Street. First off, it’s also referred to as snow ice at other places. Shaved snow is Taiwanese in origin, and it’s best described as a different kind of shaved ice dessert. The really intriguing thing is how it looks pairs with how it tastes. It has delicate, ribbony layers, and one might even compare it visually to mille crepes. The one I got at Grace Street, and that’s pictured below, had melted a bit by the time I took the photo, but it’s possible that you’ll see some that look even more fragile and unusual.
Shaved snow is made by flavoring a base of milk and water, which is then frozen into cylindrical blocks, which are then sliced off into super thin sheets and folds. And there’s probably someone in there making sure everything gets layered just right in the serving dish. The result is a picturesque dessert that’s incredibly light and melts in your mouth.
Because of the airiness of the dessert, it’s fun to play with other textures by adding toppings. I ordered the green tea flavor of shaved snow with chewy tapioca, creamy condensed milk, and sweet mango syrup. Let your imagination run wild! It’s silky, it’s fun, and I can’t believe I haven’t had it until recently.
I was too busy having my mind blown by the shaved snow to order the restaurant’s other famous dessert–hodduk. Hodduk or Ho-dduk is a Korean-style doughnut made with brown sugar, cinnamon, and walnuts. While I haven’t had Grace Street’s version of it, I did use to have a Korean roommate who would make them occasionally, and they were totally addicting. With all the buzz I’m hearing, I’m sure Grace Street’s are worth the purchase.
Grace Street’s interior has all the coffee shop requirements. Couches, large wooden tables, ample natural lighting, open space, cool art work, and great snacks for munching on, whether or not you’re being productive. I think trying a new food was productive enough for me!
So, if you’ve ever wanted to know what clouds taste like, shaved snow is probably the closest you’ll get. Go for it, kiddos!
Green tea shaved snow with tapioca, condensed milk, and mango syrup
17 W 32nd St
New York, NY 10001