Over the past year, restaurants specializing in an Asian-originated dessert named "snowy ice" began to spring up en masse. Also referred to as "bingsoo", chances are, you've probably either heard of it, or even previously tried one somewhere within Metro Vancouver.
However, shaved ice has been around for a while. What sets snowy ice places apart from traditional shaved ice offerings like Mango Yummy and Icy Bar is the fact that the ice shavings themselves are infused with creamy flavours, rather than relying on its toppings for taste. This is exactly the case with Icepik Shavery.
Sitting right in the heart of the Kingsway corridor, Icepik isn't exactly a secret. Yet, it's a great starting point for anyone craving a taste of snowy ice, without having to trek out to Richmond or Downtown Vancouver, or even break the bank.
Located a couple of minutes away from Joyce Street and Kingsway, Icepik is just about a half hour drive from campus. It's central to both East Vancouver and South Burnaby, and also a leisurely walk from Joyce Skytrain Station, if you want to escape the parking meters littered out front.
The best part is its close proximity to the scores of restaurants within walking distance, so a light dessert is always an option.
Icepik is a cost leader, and price is where it truly shines. Small orders start at a modest $4.50, with 4 topping combos coming in at $6.50. Contrasting this with the equivalent order at Heart Stock by Granville Island topping out at over $11, or a bingsoo at Snowy Village averaging out to $10, the price seems almost too good to be true.
The closest equivalent in cost would be Frappe Bliss all the way by Aberdeen, and even then, the order sizes there are arguably smaller in comparison.
For those uninitiated in the ways of snowy ice, its texture is a lot smoother than a typical shaved ice dessert - this means that all aspects of its flavour are magnified, in both its high and low points.
Creamy flavours seem to work best, as the tastes of taro and earl grey are nearly always foolproof in execution. They also work wonderfully with the available toppings, like mochi, crushed oreos, almond agar jelly, cheesecake pieces, and tapioca pearls.
The only problem lies in the fruit-based flavours, like mango and lychee. They're usually fine, but some people may experience a sensitivity to the tartness of some batches. I've never had a problem personally, but I have heard this point enough from others that it deserves bringing up. At this price point, it's definitely a case of caveat emptor, or "buyer beware".
Regardless, there are a number of complimentary sauces to augment the taste of your dessert, from chocolate and strawberry toppings, to ever-timeless condensed milk. It's pretty nice being able to freely sauce up a dessert to your liking, rather than awkwardly asking your server for more... multiple times. Yeah, we've all done it.
If you're looking for a light dessert to round out the end of a meal, look no further than Icepik Shavery. With a 15% off happy hour promotion between 5-7pm on weekdays, there's no better way to celebrate the death of midterms.