Bingsu brings original cool back to summer
[Recommended Local Eateries] Bingsu cafes
Patbingsu, shaved ice topped with sweetened, mashed red beans like the ones served at Jeongsan Patjip (above), the Daejeo2-dong community head's top pick, is a favorite summertime snack in Korea.
Bingsu season is back.
Lovingly-prepared bowls of sweet and cold bingsu (shaved ice) are a favorite summertime specialty throughout Korea during hot summer months. While plenty of franchises have adopted their own variations, the classic combination of finely-shaved ice, topped with mashed red beans, rice cake, fruit, condensed milk and syrup has endured countless trends and continues to be a top choice for both young and young at heart.
This summer, don't miss your opportunity to savor the original cool (pun intended) of a traditional bingsu dessert at two places recommended by the dongjang, community heads of each neighborhood.
■ Jeongsan Patjip (정산팥집)
Daejeo 2-dong (neighborhood) is not only home to Gimhae International Airport but also Jeongsan Patjip (red bean house), a regular destination for the neighborhood's community head. Hopefully, it will become a favorite for you, as well.
The owner's experience in bingsu preparation stems from his 24 years running a mill, an occupation perfectly-paired with the work required to expertly mash red beans and create the tenderest, chewiest rice cakes that accompany this classic warm-weather treat.
Home-grown red beans are boiled every day for Jeongsan Patjip's bingsu and danpatjuk (sweet red bean porridge). Milk ice is used for the bingsu to impart soft and aromatic taste. When all ingredients are put together in the bowl, a deceptively-simple, yet complex combination of flavors is created.
Each 7,000 won bowl of Jeongsan Patjip bingsu is enough for two or three servings. So, either come very hungry or ask for take-out.
Besides its namesake marquee de-ssert, the cafe has a range of other snacks, including hand-made sticky rice cake, bread, toast and brownies.
- Address: 15, Gonghang-ro 811beonga-gil, Gangseo-gu
- How to get there: Deokdu Station (Busan-Gimhae Light Rail Transit), exit 2. Walk 10 minutes, then take bus 307 at a bus stop across from Gangseo-gu district office. Get off at the Gangseo Bright Center bus stop. Jeongsan Patjip is located next to the Gangseo Nursing Hospital (강서요양병원).
- Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; closed Mondays
■ Annyeong Ggotbingsu (안녕꽃빙수)
When it comes to sweet treats, Annyeong Ggotbingsu gets the Dongdaesin 3-dong community head's thumbs up. Though small, it has won praise among community residents for its reasonable prices and quality ingredients.
A number of charming hand-written phrases can be found on its yellow exterior wall. The walls of Annyeong Ggotbingsu, which means "Hello, Flower Bingsu,"are decorated with various artworks from the owner. Additionally, the cafe hosts art exhibitions once every few months.
Its signature patbingsu (4,500 won) is kept simple, topped only with home-grown red beans that are boiled fresh every day and sticky rice cake, which helps to accentuate these humble, subtly-flavorful ingredients. Additional red bean mash is available upon request.
The dongjang says he enjoys visiting all year, in warmer weather as well as on cooler days.
Besides patbingsu, he recommends the Choco Bingsu (6,000 won) for children and anyone else with sweeter sensibilities.
Danpatjuk is available on the winter menu, and the cafe serves other Korean desserts rarely available elsewhere, including skewered rice cake and red bean toast.
- Address: 60, Daeyeong-ro 73beon-gil, Seo-gu
- How to get there: Dongdaesin Station (Metro line 1), exit 1. Walk straight and turn right at the alley where Starbucks is located. Walk an additional three minutes.
- Hours: Noon to 10 p.m.